Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Football and Domestic Agression

Above is an article from The New York Times, regarding how football upsets can increase domestic violence instances. Regardless of statistical findings it is still challenging to state that the viewing of football and in particular the loss or errors in one’s team can actually be the cause of domestic violence cases. However, I do believe it is important to analyze and understand why it is that there is a correlation between football and an increase in domestic violence. There are other factors, though inexcusable, that could create an aggressive filled environment, such as, alcohol, a bar setting, or having friends or family in one’s home. Although these factors may also influence an atmosphere, one cannot negate the football culture as a whole which could play into one’s behavior. I myself do not have a problem with football as a sport; whether you play it or view it is a personal choice. I am not a “die hard” football fan; like many, I have a team and view it at times, primarily in social settings. Football is an enthusiastic sport and it can be just as exciting to watch as it can be to play. The problematic paradigm of football, which I focus on here, is the culture in which it is nestled and cultivated.

Football has a primarily “masculine” identity; masculine typically meaning strength and aggressiveness, which can be found in most dictionary definitions. Although I don’t think there is anything wrong with exuding aggressive or strong traits, I myself do it often, there is an underlying tension between these qualities and how they are interpreted distinctively in the male-identified community. Football’s culture can have an influence in elevating these qualities, specifically in men. At times it seems as though defining a fantasy world from one’s own personal world is difficult. Mainstream NFL football is a world in which men play a game and explore their strength and aggressive emotions and display them on television for millions of individuals to view and they are paid to do it. In our society, football is something men are “supposed” to love, there isn’t an option.

Men should identify with a team and exhibit anger and aggressive behavior when their team loses or makes an error in a play, this is the football culture. The examination here that should take place is when does the shift in reality to fantasy and back again take place. Inevitably the loss of one’s team should not shift someone’s behavior so drastically that they forget that what they are viewing is simply just a game. One team is bound to loose and one is bound to win and this is the reality. One should not be so possessed by anger or hostility that it may affect their entire mood and possibly influence their behavior or treatment towards another. The danger which exists here is that football is a hobby men “should” take part in, the component that does not come in when watching NFL or College football is that they should not be consumed by what they see on the television set, that being aggression and rage. Again I don’t know if football influences domestic violence patterns, what I am discussing is the correlation between the two and what should be analyzed by the culture in explaining these patterns.

By Stephanie Hernandez

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