American Football

American football has become a popular sport in the United States. Its origins come from soccer. Soccer is called football internationally, which tends to confuse American sports fans. American football oddly enough began in the 19th century in Great Britain. There their is a game known as rugby, which would later become American football. A soccer player in Great Britain at a school in Rugby picked up a soccer ball with their hands. This is prohibited by the rules of soccer and from that one rule violation came a new game. The game of rugby reached the United States in 1871. This game from the British transformed into football. Now it is an American tradition being played in universities, public schools, and in professional sports leagues. This sport at first glance appears to be completely male dominated. However, there are women and organizations who are getting involved. While women’s football teams do not get exposure as the mainstream NFL league teams, it is a great development for the sport. Women are also becoming football fans in large numbers. This development has been happening for the past two decades. Despite domestic abuse cases, paid patriotism, and racism in league circles there are still loyal fans. These issues can be addressed with reform  in sports organizations.

       The history of  women in American football starts in 1974.  The Women’s Football League was formed with seven teams formed. The pay was low with players only getting $25 a game. Despite this, teams formed and came to play.  These teams included the Los Angeles Dandelions, Dallas Bluebonnets, Detroit Demons, Columbus Pacesetters, Fort Worth Shamrocks, and the California Mustangs. Since the 1970s the number of women playing tackle football has increased. The unfortunate reality is that there are not established professional leagues. Women’s amateur leagues have been growing in number over the past two decades. There are about 4,000 women who play tackle football in the United States. Local leagues can be expensive to join, but that does not stop dedicated players. Women come not for the financial rewards, because there no opportunities like in the National Football League.

   There still remains a cultural bias that football is a man only game. The game continues to be male dominated, however women began organizing to play a sport they also enjoy. As the years progressed women became part of high school and college football teams. Although small in number this was a testament to breaking barriers. Kathy Klope was a place kicker for the University of Louisville in the 1990s. At the time she was the only woman to play on a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I-A football team. Title IX stipulates that girls and women should be allowed to try out and play on boys  and men’s teams if there is not a division for girls. This would be sex discrimination and so girls were given opportunities to play on boys teams.

 A  news clip showing a girl in Junior high  playing on a football team 

This change did not come until the 1980s to 1990s.  The Beth Balsey case in New Jersey ruled that she had a right to play on her high school football team. The judge ruled in her favor in 1986. By 1994 it was reported that a total 328 girls were playing on US high school teams according to the National Federation  of the State High School Athletic Associations. The girls who have the athletic talent do not have professional leagues to go to as adults, so they may switch to another sport. The thousands of women now take part in amateur  leagues. There is a possibility as time progresses professional leagues will be more prevalent. There is the challenge of exposure and the decline in viewership of American football. The loss of viewers could be attributed to bad publicity surrounding domestic abuse and CTE  injuries. It could be that being more inclusive with women can repair the damage from such negative incidents.

It will take some years before women’s teams emerge to a level in which they are viewed as widely as the NFL games. There is progress. The Independent Women’s Football League was established in 2000 with a mission to “making the sport available to all women and girls who dream of playing the game. ” This non=profit organization helps with funding teams and organization. The IWFL wants to also “foster an environment of goodwill and sportsmanship.” The IWFL has been a helpful avenue for rising women football players attempting to play at elite levels.

      American football just like any other sport has rules. The teams consist of a total of eleven players, which can be alternated. Each team has the responsibility of starting a play on their side of the ball. Players can either be defensive or offensive in terms of position. The offensive players must be lined up in scrimmage. They are seven offensives, but the four of these must be lined up one yard behind the line scrimmage. One to four backs can move parallel to the line of scrimmage. The team that maintains the ball will be called the offense. The defense has the task of preventing the offense from scoring. The offense then has the task of advancing the ball 10 yards every four plays. If they are successful they will achieve a first down. The objective is to score and make touchdowns. The offensive team can lose possession of the football by fumbling (or dropping the ball), missing the field goal, getting tackled in the end zone for safety, kicking the ball to the defensive team, scoring, not getting 10 yards in four downs, and throwing the football to a defensive player for an interception.

02-NFL-lede-01.w710.h473  If players violate rules, they face penalties. Yards can be lost depending if the violation was by the defense or offense. Personal fouls can result up to 15 yards, while a majority are between 5 to 10 yards. There are numerous violations that can happen in a football game. The false start is when the offense moves prior to the snap. The snap is the moment in which movement is permitted. Offside violations happen when the offense or defense is on the wrong side of the scrimmage line at the time of the snap. A defensive player cannot make contact with an offensive player, because this would be encroachment. Holding another type of  violation is when a player grabs another without the ball. It is also illegal to grab a player’s facemask. Kickers  and passers are not allowed to be run into after the ball has been kicked.

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The football field is about 120 yards long and 53 yards wide.  There are 100 yards apart goal lines. The field also has 10 yards of area in front and back called the end zone.

Intentional grounding happens when a passer throws the ball away from a receiver to avoid possible sacking. Other cases such as ineligible receiver downfield occurs when an offensive player is not eligible receiver and happens to be five yards downfield  from the line scrimmage during a forward pass. These are some of the common football infractions that can occur during a game. There are more possible penalties and violations, but these are the basic ones. The point of these rules is to maintain player safety and have fair competition. The referee must be extra vigilant to make sure all rules are enforced. Football has become a major element in US culture. Americans spend millions in total on products  and memorabilia of their favorite football teams. A common Thanksgiving tradition is to watch football and play some with family as well as friends. The sport has become part of American identity and a cultural icon.

References

   Iwflsports.com: History. N.p., 6 June 2000. Web. 23 May 2017. <http://www.iwflsports.com/theiwfl/history/&gt;.

Sherrow, Victoria. “Football.” Encyclopedia of Women and Sports. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1996. 104-05.

Garcia, Ahzia. “Inside the World of Women’s Tackle Football.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 May 2017. <http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/02/news/womens-tackle-football/&gt;.

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American Football

General Blogging Tips

Starting a blog is a laborious project. There are many considerations for those who wish to do so. These are some general guidelines to a person with an interest in writing and posting it for people to read. The process should be constantly evolving and making gradual improvements. This means experimenting with new ideas or techniques. Writing is essential and can be the key to your blog’s success. Layout and content are also critical elements. Do not expect immediate results from your efforts. It could take a number of years for visitation to increase to your blog. Planning before actually launching also make the process more organized. Starting is normally the most difficult part. Subject matter is essential and it is critical that it is a topic that sparks your interest. Do not be afraid to try creative experiments. Some attempts  may be successful others may not. These observations are a combination techniques and methods  that have been gathered over the years since this blog was started in 2014.

        When attempting to initiate a blog there should be an outline phase. This can either be done in a notebook or written on your computer. Before any writing is stated subject matter and topics should be selected. When making a choice, it should be a topic that you have an interest or fascination with. The more passionate you are about a topic or idea the easier it is to write about. If it is a subject that is either rare, unknown, or controversial it only enriches the substance of the blog. The subject of women with muscle and women in sports generates many opinions and reactions. This provides an immense amount of material for writing. Scope is also an element that must be considered. A narrow range many not provide as much content as a focused one. This can easily be solved by categorizing your blog posts into menu sections. The flaw with that is that readers could have potential information overload. Another pivotal part of the planning process is to articulate what is the mission or goal of the blog.

These women have some fascinating stories about why and how they got to where they are. 

It should be a lucid statement revealing what the blog is about. If it is not elucidated then visitors may leave and never return to the blog. There may be some occasions users will do a quick browse to understand what type of blog it is. Doing this may not be enough to get the visitor to stay. The general mission statement also helps summarize the whole blog.  It is a good practice to scribble ideas down so when you actually are ready to publish it is organized. Depending on what blogging platform or site you are organizing, make it so that it is simple to navigate for visitors. If possible make or either use an image as a site logo. This can be your signature, which visitors can remember.

Women have progress far in professional sports. Considering their entry into profession sports is recent that makes the progression even more amazing. This phenomenon has not been studied as much.  

Design choices depend on what is aesthetically pleasing to the producer of the blog. It does not have to be incredibly fancy or colorful. Sometimes the most simple design and still look nice to a viewer.  Outlining can help make creating a blog less stressful.

        Writing follows a structure. Essays function on a thesis, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The best arguments revolve around facts and data. However, it is how information is presented to the reader, which makes it most effective. If the text is too didactic  it becomes dry and dull. If writing on a blog becomes overly sensational then it resembles a tabloid lacking substance or depth. There should be a level of enthusiasm projected in the writing with a combination of substantive information. The thesis is the opening statement and the position one is arguing. Thesis by definition is “a theory put forth as a premise that can be proven.” From this stage of developing a thesis, the body paragraphs will follow in the essay structure. When selecting sources it is best to use books, websites, or newspaper articles. These can be either primary or secondary source materials. The more sources the better quality of written work. The conclusion gives a synopsis and also makes the final point to the argument. Writing does not have to follow this exact structure. Some posts can be short others a little longer. This also depends on the topic. The writing for a blog can either be formal or informal. Do not be afraid to try something either humorous or controversial. However, one should be mindful of what they write and how it is presented. Free speech is an excellent concept which allows various forms of expression, but it does not give one the right to advance an agenda of hate or falsehoods.  Comments should be welcomed, but if they are just meant to be bullying or disparage a particular group then they should be deleted. It is unfortunate that civil conversation in many regards had become extinct, especially online.  Closed minded people normally react in a negative way to new ideas or people different from themselves. They constantly may write negative comments and it is best that their responses be deleted. If they want to share their opinions or convictions they should start one of their own. Do not let them use your blog as a platform to promote themselves.

While there may be less than pleasant responses, this does not mean all criticism should be silenced. Constructive criticism should be used as a form of guidance to future improvement. If a reader has a suggestion, take that into account.  The quality of writing is what will make the blog a success and constant adjustment is necessary. Besides expression of ideas, audio and visual content is helpful.

       Photography and pictures can add to the quality of a blog. Writing can be enhanced more so with visuals. Selection of photos is also important if one is trying to make prove an axiom. Sometimes a photo is more powerful than  words. A great photographer captures the emotion and passion of the moment through a lens. The wonderful aspect about the internet is that there are millions of photographs at a user’s finger tips. These photographs can either be professional, personal,  or candid shots. They encompass all elements of life from work, daily life, and general pastimes. There has to be some thought in which photos will be selected for a post. It also helps to find photographs that are rare, which can be a special treat to readers.

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Photography can capture a wide range of human emotion. Here you can see Sally Pearson overcome with it after realizing she won a gold medal.
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This is an example of a professional photograph. It is not capturing the action in the moment, but forming a controlled environment. Asha Hadley  shown above is seen posing in a light pink and white colored room.
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Capturing movement in an action photo is not about controlling the setting. It is about documenting a specific moment.

The rare photographs are historical documentations. They provide evidence of past occurrences they people would not easily believe. Besides written documents, artifacts,  and oral traditions, photography also is a pivotal primary source material.  The discovery of new information allows for historical revision of the narrative. The idea of women being involved in sports or some form of physical activity is nothing new. There were cases in which they did participate, but were restricted due to the cultural mores depending on the time period. Photographs also become one more piece of evidence of the past and what it was like. Preservation is important for future generations.

Another element for selection of photos relates to demographics. There is problem with lack of representation of non-white people in media. If you are going to have a blog and want it viewed by global audiences there needs to be diversity. This should not be mere tokenism that is commonly seen in popular media. Doing this allows for expansion of audience. When choosing photographs do not just select pictures of people of the same ethnic, religious, or cultural group. This is a global society; it is time to start representing it as one. When you write understand there are billions of people across the globe with internet access. They are of numerous ethnic, religious, cultural, and national backgrounds. Speaking to their experience will gain their attention. Photo selections should not be done at random, rather a contemplative decision should be made whether it enhances the blog.

       Adding videos can also increase readership. This is more a challenge than selecting photos. There are enough public domain photos that avoid copyright restrictions. Videos if embedded from another channel on a streaming site and either be deleted or disappear. The best option would be to have your own account on Youtube, Vimeo, or Dailymotion. As long as the video is being used for educational purposes and the user is not making a profit of or taking credit for the material, it falls under fair use. Be sure to check the terms of services requirements for posting videos. The great part about videos is that they can be stand alone posts. Interviews and segments of  certain events can entertain readers. It is optional if a writer wants to put text with it. Some videos may need further explanation in a wider context. This is done to demonstrate relevance to the subject matter and prevent confusion. Rare archival footage would require further elucidation to the reader. If it has no audio, then it will leave the reader perplexed to what is its purpose relative to the site. Videos can be stand alone posts, although they can be used to enhance mostly text based posts. An interview, audio file, or news clip can add so much to a written post. Some may actually be more responsive to audio-visual material.

       Try something different with your blog. Posts do not always have to be serious. There can be a level of humor. This can be a relief in a world that is filled with nothing but violence and despair. A little break from bad news can be refreshing. Adding jokes or popular memes can draw some attention. Producing a blog is just not providing information; it is providing entertainment. Thinking from this perspective, the writer becomes a type of entertainer. Experiments in writing and production can either be a success or a failure. This does not mean there should be no attempts at different approaches.

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The memes and motivational posters above are examples of adding some comedy to your blog. The content should be multifaceted. Informative, comedic, and entertainment can make it a more enriching site.

      The other consideration is deadlines. This is difficult due to producing high quality works in a certain amount of time. Start off keeping realistic deadlines. If posting material once a month works, start off with that. Doing something rushed will often result in low quality work. This does not mean writing produced in a fast manner cannot be high quality. Once a writer is satisfied with their work they should publish it. There should be a dedicated effort not to keep going back and editing posts. This should only be done if a part of information is incorrect or there is a grammatical error. There should be an editing process that is done before posting. Avoid overwhelming yourself with trying to meet deadlines. Quantity does not equal quality and it creates another issue. New readers may have trouble keeping up with posts and may not visit as frequently. Information overload can discourage people from exploring certain sites. It may be best to wait a few days between posts. Sometimes there are materials and news that you want to share immediately. There is nothing wrong with multiple posts,but more is not always better. Eventually, you will realize when is the right time to add a new post. Keeping these general guidelines in mind anyone can produce a blog.

General Blogging Tips

Arm Wrestling

Arm wrestling is a sport which involves two competitors locking hands forcing the other’s arm down. Who ever has their arm go down first on the table loses. Although it is not a large sport like basketball, soccer, tennis, or football it has gathered a following over the years. There are divisions by weight class for competitors. It is not entirely certain when arm wrestling appeared in human history. It could have emerged whenever two humans realized it could be a simple game. Some depictions of arm wrestling can be seen in Egyptian art, but there is not complete record of the early form of this sport. One estimate is that it started as early as 2000 B.C.E.It is common to think this is an activity young children do on school yards and at home. Now it has a following in 80 countries recognized by the World Arm Wrestling Federation. Like any other sport, it has rules, competitor divisions, and other regulations.

          The divisions are male, female, and children who can compete. They are also divided by left arm and right arm including age. Children ages 12 or younger compete in a sub junior division. At age 18 one can qualify for a senior division . If a competitor is age 40 they can compete in the masters division. Veterans at age 50 can go onto the grand masters division. Competitors are weighed in to determine which weight class to go in.  The story of women in the sport reveals challenges for acceptance. Women just like other sports were at time largely excluded.Not anymore, because this small sport is seeing some women become interested. It seems to be happening in the most unlikely places. Debbie Banaian  a longtime arm wrestler began promoting and teaching the sport at the University of New Hampshire. There she teaches and challenges students in the sport.

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This Woman’s Mission? To Get Other Women to Arm Wrestle

When Debbie was starting out it was sometimes difficult to find other female competitors. Many times she was the only woman competing in tournaments. She began to use the internet to form a Facebook group called Female Arm Wrestlers United. This helped generate interest from women around the USA. Debbie admits there continues to be much opposition from women’s participation in the sport and at times the exchanges become vituperative. Women who compete in the world arm wrestling league are only now getting the same pay. It has been promised in 2017, but this seems questionable. Women get limited air time on television and Steve Kaplan claims their is a lack of interest. The sport in general is not mainstream, so it is up to organizers in the federation to promote it. That is the key to advancing women competitors  and the sport .

    Arm wrestling has equipment, uniform qualifications, and a basic set up. Competitions can be done either standing or sitting. A table for a standing match is required to be at least 40 inches from the floor. Competitions that are seated have a table of 28 inches. The other dimensions of the table include one inch and six inch pegs. The table is 36 inches across and 26 inches deep with the two pegs. The pegs are placed one inch around the edge. Arm wrestlers put their elbows on a two inch pad, which will be two inches away from their opposite edges. Clothing regulations are simple. For an international competition one must have a uniform that identifies their country. Then sleeveless or short sleeve shirts are the only ones allowed in competition. Hats and blue jeans are restricted in contests. Wrap supports and bandages are permitted. People with long hair has to be pilled back and restrained. Rings cannot be worn during competition. The hand set up requires both competitors to have a palm to palm grip with the the thumb and knuckles  visible.  The gripped hams must be level and straight. Your shoulders are required to be square to the table. The hand that is free must grip the pegs on the table. There is a one minute grip up and the referee will then adjust the opponents hands and signal the start of the match.

      Arm wrestling has a set of rules that determines who wins and loses. To win an arm wrestler  must force their opponent’s hand down on the pad. Committing two fouls in a match can lead to disqualification. Failing to show up the arm wrestling table when you are called also results in a foul.

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Having an injury during the mach that is so debilitating that one can no longer go on means that last arm wrestler remaining wins. There are fouls that are prevalent in matches. Bending the wrist is considered a foul and dangerous. Lifting the elbow off the table in a vertical direction also is a violation of rules. It gives a competitor an unfair advantage. Slipping out of the grip of the wrestle also gets a competitor demerits. Allowing the shoulders to extend past the center also will be punished. Behavioral misconduct will also be reprimanded. If arm wrestlers can avoid these fouls they can easily advance in competition.

         There are many muscles and parts of the body that are used in arm wrestling. The majority  of  mechanical use comes from the upper body. The muscles of the forearm, the movements of the hand, shoulders, back, chest, and stomach. Having a strong grip is critical to arm wrestling . The forearm muscles contribute to keeping the arm stable on a table.

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It is not just muscle tissue that contributes, but ligaments and tendons.  Tendons act as anchors to bones and muscles. Ligaments are responsible for linking bones to other bones . Bigger tendons and ligaments provide more power. The tendons of the arm include the pollicis longus, pollivus brevis, carpi radialis brevis, carpi radialis longus, and common extensor. The major muscles used in arm wrestling are the biceps and triceps. The muscle fibers work together in recruitment to stabilize the arm and produce force. An arm wrestler can move their challenger’s arm toward them manipulating leverage.

863668923 The shoulders and back also play a role. The deltoid  and latissimus dorsi contribute to adding more power to an arm wrestler. Using some of the back requires using some rotation of the body. When an opponent is being eased to defeat this use of  the back is designed to provide more force from another area. This takes pressure off the arm. Arm wrestling although it looks simple seems to have an vast  understanding of biomechanics of the muscles. The understanding of leverage and physics also contributes to techniques developed over the years.

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 The surprising element of arm wrestling is that it does involve the abdominals. The tightening of the abdominal muscles allows the body to summon strength from the core during a match. This time becomes valuable to allow energy to be focused on the arm. Another contributor to power in arm wrestling is the pectoral muscles. This seems more obvious, because the arms are connected to the shoulders of the body.

         One question arises when examining arm wrestling is can a woman beat a man at arm wrestling? There are elements of sexual dimorphism that make it a challenge. However, it should be noted that arm wrestling is not purely based on strength. Technique is important. It is possible that a physically weaker person could win an arm wrestling match if they have a particular method utilizing leverage and biomechanical function. Men have more upper body strength and their hands are larger than women’s. Arm width increases in men after puberty.Larger tendons and ligaments also contribute to strength. Denser bones are also essential. Therefore if a woman is attempting to arm wrestle a man technique can sometimes make up for the gap in strength.

Solely being reliant on brute strength will not always win matches. Jill Mills arm wrestles in a video from six years ago and wins one out of three matches. It is clear that she is stronger than them, but has no technique in her arm wrestling attempts. The men here however seem to know how to use leverage and power simultaneously. It is dubious that these three men could lift cars like Jill does. This demonstrates how people train differently for particular sports. It would not be impossible for a woman to win at arm wrestling against a man. Sarah Backman has done it before.She was an arm wrestling champion and beat many men at arm wrestling through both technique and strength.

If there were to be a theoretical match between Jill Mills and Sarah Backman, the outcome would be clear. Backman would win an arm wrestling match due to her technique. The 2011 match posted above shows her arm wrestling a man and winning. Even though he has the larger  hands and bigger upper body his technique is not as good. It has only been recently that women have become involved in the sport so that could influence the performance gap. However, biology is still a factor in performance.

       It should be noted that this sport does pose some health risks to the arms. This can be avoided by intelligent training and strengthening the tendons of the arm. The elbow can be vulnerable to strain and aches. That is also common in golfers and tennis players due to repetitive motion. The stain on biceps, triceps, and the elbow can lead to tendonitis. This condition is inflammation of a tendon or severe irritation.

man-and-woman-arm-wrestle A common arm wrestling injury is known as lateral epicondylitis. This colloquially is referred to as tennis elbow. Damage occurs from over use of the extensor  muscles. starting at the lateral  epicondylar in the distal humerus region. Joints and the elbows of the arm can be sensitive to  pressure. There are ways to prevent elbow injuries. It has been recommended that doing jumping jacks and a ten minute warm up can be a method of preventing injuries. Most injuries can be solved by either rest or medication. It is rare that surgery will be required to solve a elbow problem from arm wrestling. Strengthening the muscles is key, which means traditional weight lifting can help.

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25465_img-php4_123_863lo  There also is the problem of shoulder pain . Arm wrestling does require the use of the shoulders. The strain puts pressure on the genohumeral joint. It is a ball and socket like structure attaching the arm to the actual shoulder. This joint is located between the humerus and the scapula. This structure allows for the arm to do rotation like movements . Cartilage will act as a padded structural support between bones and joints. Over use then become the main cause of  shoulder pain. The cartilage is thin and without it bone would grind upon bone.

kashma-maharaj-11  Shoulder pain can be treated in numerous ways. Applying heat for 20 minutes to the effected shoulder can help. Applying a cold ice pack on injured the injured shoulder within a span of 48 hours can reduce inflammation. It should be done within the first 15 minutes of pain. Never apply heat immediately after the pain, because this will cause inflammation. Doing this will allowing for a longer arm wrestling career. This sport is not major and rarely gets coverage on television. It is possible than in the future this could change. AMC briefly had a reality show called Game of Arms, which followed arms wrestlers on their journey through training and contests.  It lasted  one season in 2014 and initially it had about 1 million viewers. Game of Arms was going to be renewed for a second season, but TV executives at AMC thought it was better they focus on their fictional drama programs instead. Although it did not see major success, it did give the sport some mainstream exposure. This is the challenge for smaller and underground sports. They do not have the sponsorship, corporate, and public relations backing that more mainstream sports have. It has the potential to grow and expand across the world. Women’s participation can help and could generate mainstream interest. The great thing about arm wrestling is that it does not require special sports equipment or uniforms. Anyone can have a match anywhere without going to an arena.

Further Reading

Harris, Rob. “What Muscles Are Worked Out in Arm Wrestling?”LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 06 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2016. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/442511-what-muscles-are-worked-out-in-arm-wrestling/&gt;.

Emerson, Heather. “Shoulder Pain From Arm Wrestling.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2016. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/411999-shoulder-pain-from-arm-wrestling/&gt;.

inneweber, Collin. “Arm Wrestling & Elbow Pain.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2016. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/131341-arm-wrestling-elbow-pain/&gt;.

Howard, Michelle. “Arm Wrestling Rules & Regulations.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 22 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2016. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/422830-arm-wrestling-rules-regulations/&gt;.

Arm Wrestling

The Definition of Sport

Sports can be defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”  The definition can also have a connotation  of simply being a game or contest  that has winners and losers. Poker, electronic gaming, and other activities are occasionally included in the sports classification.  At its core it is a leisure activity. Today it has become a major big business and global entertainment phenomenon. Fans obsess over statistics, their favorite athletes, and game presentations. This rise in popularity can be attributed to the development of popular media such as radio, TV, film, and the internet. Throughout history various civilizations had some form of sporting activity. Modern professional sport was not always inclusive having issues of racism, homophobia, and sexism. These social ills were only challenged in the later half of the 20th century and still remain persistent problems. Even though these continue to be obstacles, athletes of  various backgrounds compete in national and international competitions. There still remains a mystery between this cross section of sociology, entertainment, and biological sciences. What function does sport serve?  It can be theorized by certain observations. Sports does on a personal level functions as a form of escapism. Most forms of entertainment serve that role for a public that sees the world as a dangerous and dismal place. Another purpose is that it has a political function. Sports as much as fans hate to admit serve a political  agenda. It could be national unity, encouraging patriotism, or advancing a social justice cause . A more sinister purpose of sport is that it is an outlet for humanity’s aggressive tendencies. War is the highest form of violence conducted by people. Human beings are still animals, even though more intelligent and still are controlled by more primitive behaviors. Sports provide place to express violence without having severe consequences. It could be possible without it, society would become more violent. These observations of sport describe its multifaceted nature and characteristics.

           Although it seems like simple entertainment sports do have a political dynamic. They encourage unity through a national pastime. Baseball for example represented America’s desire for unity after the Civil War. Culture can be a unifying force for a state and sports are an enormous part of culture. The Super Bowl is a major part of Americans TV viewing rituals. It provides a space in which people of various backgrounds can have common ground on. Naturally, there is divisiveness in society. Having a common activity cements a bond between citizens. This also can create the illusion of a harmonious and peaceful society. This myth was challenged when sports began to include more non-whites and women. Racism, sexism, and homophobia have been a part of professional sports since its birth. Sports when they became desegregated and former colonies became independent became a vehicle for social justice. Newly independent nations in Africa and Asia were sending athletes to the Olympics for the first time in the 1960s. African American athletes in the United Sates challenged segregation and white supremacy. Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson, and Muhammad Ali  were active in their communities for the cause of racial equality.

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For new nations of Africa and Asia it instilled a sense of anti-colonial nationalism. It gave former colonized peoples a new sense of self and achievement. Currently, nations from all over the world send teams to compete in the Olympics. The most radical change besides the expanding ethnic diversity, was that women’s sports participation increased dramatically. This rise of women in sport has been ignored in academia until recently. Women’s inclusion into sport represented their growing power in society. Second wave feminism was largely responsible for breaking particular barriers. Yet, women faced other forms of discrimination  like sex verification tests, unequal pay, and limited access to certain training facilities. Non-white athletes either got limited media exposure and still faced the same racist prejudice.  However, it was impossible to completely ban non-whites and women from sport completely. Although sports was used as a vehicle for social justice it has been used for reactionary purposes. The 1936 Olympics was used as a presentation of of German racial superiority and the greatness of fascism. Nazi Germany used the games to spread its racist propaganda and to make Germany appear to be the best nation in the world. Jesse Owens through his athletic performance discredited Nazi propaganda. Owens’ success enraged Hitler hoping to capitalize on the victory of German athletes. There is no doubt that sports continue to play a role in politics. There is a reason that the national anthem of the US is played at football and baseball games. It is designed to encourage patriotism in a subtle manner. This could have negative or positive consequences. There is nothing wrong with loving your nation, but hate against others is unethical. Other problems emerge in this practice.

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Jackie Joyner Kersee is not just waving the US flag for fun. She is subtlety  saying she is proud of her country.

 Recently there has been controversy over the practice of paid patriotism.  The Pentagon has paid and established contracts to sports teams to have patriotic displays at sports events. The estimated 6.8 million dollars has been used to promote the US military and encourage enlistment at sporting events. Numerous sports organizations had contracts with the Pentagon including the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. Tax payers had to pay more for this and critics were concerned that it was promoting war. With military interventions increasing this is a major concern. The fear is that the public is being brain washed at sporting events to support aggressive wars that violate international law. These events are presented to “honor troops.” When this practice was investigated by congress it turns out tax dollars were being used to profit both the Department of Defense and popular sports franchises. Sports are more than just entertainment, they are platforms for political objectives.

            The more recognizable purpose of sport is entertainment and escapism. These two things are essential for psychological well being. The world can be a cruel and unforgiving place. War, poverty, and a general state of hardship can be seen through out the world. Sometimes people just want to get way from constant bad news and sports provide almost a therapeutic comfort. Entertainment has the power to briefly have an individual free from life’s troubles. Watching sports also can be a bonding experience among friends and family. People gather together to either watch soccer, basketball, football, or other sporting events. This ritual among people can be traced back further. Before television, books, or other forms of media there was story telling. This tradition can be seen in multiple areas across the globe. It can be seen that people would gather to hear the story teller speak. Humanity’s need for entertainment goes before the rise of civilization and permanent settlement. The cave paintings done by cro-magnons not only tell stories, but could be considered an early form of entertainment. Sports is clearly an outgrowth of this long tradition.

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Being amused is a way to fight ennui. Sports combine amazing athletic feats with interesting personalities. There is trash talking, show boating,  and rivalry between competitors that keep viewers captivated. Sports that are not mainstream even have devoted cult followings. Bodybuilding has attempted to go mainstream, but will always be in a sense be a subculture. Still it has its devoted fans who come to competitions and know the specific stats of their favorite athletes. Occasionally some sports that are not mainstream are broadcast to a larger viewing audience. ESPN used to broadcast more strength sports, but it mostly focuses on football, baseball, tennis, and soccer.

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 Entertainment provides a psychological relief from the stresses of life. Human beings seek stimulation such as this because they are social animals. This ritual of entertainment has been present longer than some realize.

          There is a more dark side of why sports are played. It may be an outlet for aggressive tendencies, that left unchecked could spiral out of control. The capacity for violence from human beings can be seen in war, crime, and murder. Sports do require a level of aggression to be played. Anyone watching a UFC fight or an American football game realizes this. Team sports do in a way function like simulated war. Strategies are made and executed in an organized manner. All team members must function as a cooperative unit. A level of trust is built forming comradery among players on a team. The army does this with recruits who join. They are regimented, taught to function as one unit, and learn to carry out broad objectives. Another dynamic is at play with this. Sports could also contribute to promoting a bellicose mentality and warfare itself. Besides just fighting a warrior mentality must instilled in subjects.Sparta did this during ancient Greek civilization encouraging a warrior society. Both men and women were expected to engage in exercise and sport. This instilled in the society the warrior’s spirit. Fight till the death, be loyal to your state, and work efficiently as a combat force. Modern day society does not like war, but its till happens. Humanity cannot admit that it still has aggressive impulses and that violent occurrences are anomalies. It is unfortunate that violence is part of animal nature. All through the animal kingdom organisms fight for mates and territory. Human beings do the same only with in a complex system of power structures and international politics.

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Watching or participating in sports may help people deal with violent tendencies that cannot be presented in polite society. Sports could be an area to unleash pent up aggression and for audience members to engage in simulated blood lust.

Controlling human violence requires a criminal justice system, a political structure, and a civil society. Sometimes these either fail or are too weak to control instinctual impulses. Sports may be a way to control violent impulses of the public. Professional sports simulate the Roman gladiator games, only without the possibility of death. The environment is controlled and sports organizations ( not always ) try to protect the health of their athletes. Having people participate or view sports may direct some of the public’s desire for violence away from society. Yet, wars still happen and crime is still prevalent. Sometimes sports can be a catalyst for violence. Football hooliganism has become a major problem in Europe. Right wing extremists, street brawlers, and overzealous fans assault people at  soccer matches. This case sports becomes another violent terrain.  It has become a delicate balancing act. There are positive effects of a shared activity among the public. For sports it can also lead to possible division if not managed properly.  Europe’s failure to challenge and address the growing disorder from football hooliganism will cause discord. Also a situation similar in the US is the widespread domestic abuse by football players and the NFL’s refusal to address it. Critics say that it is the aggressive nature of the game, which players bring home causing the domestic disturbance. It is a hyper-masculine atmosphere the denigrates anything female, which may explain some of these antisocial behaviors. Although domestic violence existed before football, some wonder if this just exacerbates it. There is an ugly side of sport that is not recognized . Recently, scholars and historians of sport are examining  this link between sports and violence.

   The definition of sport has expanded to include activities that are not specifically physical in nature.  Electronic gaming, race car driving, and poker are now considered sports. They may not be as mainstream ( race car driving has gradually become more mainstream), but they have an increasing fan base. It is not strange to see ESPN broadcast a poker tournament. A sport does not always have to involve intense physical activity. Hunting for many in certain parts of the world is considered sport. This does not involve the throwing of balls or complex body movement, but a gun  and the ability to track wildlife. Fishing has also been broadcast on ESPN as well. Sports can now be simply considered a game that consists  of contests in which there will be winners or losers. As technology advances and interactive entertainment flourishes video games have become an important industry. Video game enthusiasts began playing popular franchises together . Later they decided to hold competitions for prizes that could be won for high scores. Video gaming competitions have players compete in fighting games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, or other fighting game franchises.  There is a level of skill learning long combos and executing them fast enough to win matches. The reason some underground sports do not get exposure is because they do not have an official organization. These organizations set guidelines, policies, and rules for particular sports. Underground sports do not receive the any if at all TV broadcast.  Mixed Martial Arts seems to be an exception. The sport was not as popular in the 1990s. The 2000s brought new opportunities for MMA. When it was shown on the Spkie TV network in the US, the public started taking interest. It was something new and unknown. This model may not work with all underground sports. Demographics, marketing, and media play a role in the level of success. The definition of sport is not monolithic; it can have multiple elements.

    The other aspect of sport is the role of biological sciences. Skill, technique, and general athletic performance are studied through the context of exercise physiology, sports psychology, and anatomy. There are questions that are asked, that still have no answers. Has human physical capability reached its maximum? Is athletic ability determined mostly by genetics or training ? Can women in the distant future match men’s levels of athletic performance? These questions are still vigorously debated. Training techniques are rapidly being altered to see just how far athletes can push their performance. There is also controversy in regards to the use of performance enhancing drugs. They have been a part of sports since its development, but modern day society has become solicitous about them . Arguments range from the concept of fairness, health, and issue surrounding transhumanism. The last argument seems to be the most cogent. Should humanity enhance itself by pharmaceutical, chemical , or genetic means?This is raises a huge bioethical question. Humanity has a way of altering nature and abusing new found knowledge. When humanity understood nuclear physics, this lead to the creation of atomic weaponry. When humanity invented guns warfare could be conducted more efficiently. Science has produce many great milestones, but with that achievement comes less than positive repercussions. With every new medicine created there is a potential for abuse. These questions are becoming more interesting considering scholarship is putting focus on these topics. There is still much to be learned about the human body and even more in regards to how it effects athletic performance.

         Sports are multifaceted. Today professional sports are a billion dollar industry. The Olympics has competitors from all over the globe  and sports have large air slots on television.  Professional athletes are not the only ones playing sports. Children and the elderly are participating.  Youth are playing football, soccer, baseball, and other sports in either in school or through youth league organizations.

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Some young girls are even playing sports that mostly have boys participate. This is Sam Gordan  she is a running back.
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Mo’ne  Davis  was a Little League Pitcher who was the first girl to win and pitch a shut out in the Little League World Series.

Boys and girls want to either emulate or have aspirations to be like their favorite athletes. The United States has seen a growth in youth sports from the 1950s onward. There are positive benefits for children. They learn how to collaborate with others, it keeps them out of trouble,  and keeps them physically active.  However, there are issues. Aggressive parents ( soccer moms or football dads  ), the student athlete challenge, and injury are causes of concern. Parents need to remember that this should be enjoyable for the children and not push them too hard. These are children not professionals. The student athlete issue creates a problem. Young people should remember that academics are just as important as your athletic pursuits. This is especially critical for students entering universities. The goal is to leave with degrees first and for most. Children seeing as they are still growing and developing injuries carry an extra risk. Coaches, parents, and physical educators should be aware of potential harm. The elderly are taking part in sport and physical  between each other as well.  Seniors either are taking part in swimming, walking, and even bodybuilding. Ernestine Shepard who still active in fitness made a Guinness World Record as being the oldest female bodybuilder. She at the age of 78 shows no sign of slowing down.

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The reason seniors continue to be physically active is for the sake of their health. When people age there are changes in both the nervous and circulatory system. This can lead to diseases that are neurodegenerative  or cardiac illness. Maintaining good health is critical to the quality of life.  Medical professionals thought at one time it was a good idea that seniors slow down in old age. This has been challenged and now it is recommended that seniors engage in some form of moderate exercise. Sports activities among seniors help fight loneliness or depression. These feelings become common in old age, when psychologically an individual goes through introspection about their life. It seems that sports and physical activities are having more of an impact on the public’s lives than previously thought. What started off as simple recreation in ancient times became a professional industry. Still professional sports is relatively new. It really is the creation of the 19th and 20th century. The influence on culture can be seen in film, news media, radio, and television. The digital age has pushed sports exposure further, giving fans greater exposure and access to information. Stats and results become readily available. Fans can communicate to each other at their own convenience. Sports are constantly evolving and it is uncertain what it will be like in the future. There is a possibility new sports or games will emerge  either dethroning the popularity of current ones.

The Definition of Sport

One Year Anniversary ! Reflections,Hopes, and Plans For the Future

It has been one year since this site was established. It’s birth came from extreme ennui during a Christmas vacation. Writing has been a longtime hobby. Being a fan of women’s sports and muscular women in general it only made since to combine these two things. It was clear that 2012 was a major turning point for women in sports. More women were participating in sports in the Olympics. The best part was that it was nations all around the globe. Other countries still have to catch up. There are countries that still do not send women to the Olympics. When these cultural and social barriers are dismantled it will be a positive development .  It shows that equality between the sexes can be achieved. There are many challenges that remain for women in sports, but oppression is always doomed to fail. The lugubrious aspect of this is that women still receive less media coverage. This is damaging to athletes, fans, and supporters. This site hopes to in a small part reverse this situation. Most pivotal is the preservation of women’s sport history and the documentation of the muscular woman. Women have been written out of history, science, and especially sports, but they  had an presence as well as impact. Women’s participation in sports is a fascinating history that encompasses gender studies,  sex politics,  biological sciences, and popular culture.

        Developing this blog was an experimental process. At first it was going to be focused on solely the sport of female bodybuilding. This was changed again, to include muscular women of different fitness levels ( lithe muscular to hypermuscular). The final decision was that the blog would have women’s athletics. After all, women in sports are more powerful now than they were in the past. The physiques that are seem today show women with powerful arms, ripped midsections, and gracefully sculpted lower bodies. They are  almost real life superheroes. The first entries here were biographical profiles. This was designed to expose readers to athletes they either knew about or just discovered. These are some of the more popular posts on the site. The second most popular recurring posts are the memes and motivational posters. The approach was designed to be different. There are plenty of sites that feature women’s athletics or are directed at fans of female muscle and strength. The biggest challenge is making a site that is unique. This has not been  accomplished.

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It can be reversed, but it will take time. Creating anything is never so simple. It still takes some trial and error to see what people like. There is some help from the blog statistics menu. There it allows a writer to know how many people have been viewing certain posts and from which country. To my surprise, femuscleblog has attracted an audience around the world. Visitors from India, South Africa, Algeria, Germany, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, France, Russia, Canada, the US, the UK, and dozens more countries have come to this site. These website hits are probably not accidental. This could be a possibility considering the algorithm used in Google search engines. More men may like female muscle than previously thought. I doubt that they are truly coming for the articles. A Shakespeare or James Baldwin I am not.  Although I do not have access to exact demographics,  my conjecture is that the average reader could be men ages 18 to 60.  There are men who can appreciate and respect different forms of beauty . To some these women of great strength are their ultimate dream. For others, they are willing to accept not one paradigm of beauty, but many. Society does not accept this and is generally intolerant to different ideas or concepts. These women dare to break the social mores and perform amazingly. It cannot be ignored that power is sexy whether it is either mental or physical. This attribute was once considered male only, but women are challenging that.  There are growing numbers of men who like the look of the physically powerful woman.

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This goes beyond just enjoying the aesthetic, but their physical feats. Considering the biological differences,women have to work harder to achieve such levels of fitness. It makes their accomplishments even more impressive. While feminists complain that this admiration is sexual objectification, this is different from that action. One is the act of dehumanizing women and the other is based on respect. There is however of fine line between admiration and sexualization  . There is no simple solution to this problem. Here, it is attempt to present athletes  in a positive manner. However, it is hard to ignore beauty of them and the feelings they induce.

          Seeing as women are the main focus gender studies and sex politics will continue to be part of this blog. When discussing women in sports, these two academic disciplines are excellent tools at explaining behaviors. Why is it that sex discrimination in sports is so prevalent? Why do some men react negatively to the muscular or athletic woman? These questions can be answered using gender studies. This site is not third wave  feminist. It believes in gender equality, not a special interest group. The problem with modern day feminism ( at least in the West) is that the movement has become a special interest group for middle class  white women. It also has splintered into multiple factions and the radical feminists are the most vociferous. They cast all men as villains, dictate how all women should be, and even  denies basic biological differences between the sexes . The remaining feminists with a more rational perspective  are marginalized. The radical faction has created a negative image of the feminist movement to the point many women avoid that label. Men who object to misogyny are either repudiated or not given much thought. Even though feminism has it faults, its academic methodology is useful for this subject matter. Femuscleblog will continue to explore how the presence of the strong woman changes sexual politics and the relations between men and women.

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 Do men see it as a threat? Could it be seen as unnatural? Another possibility is it both arouses and intimidates at the same time. Other issues such the gap in pay and leadership positions in the sports industry will be discussed here.  It will also look at women involved in coaching and sports casting. This will done through a gender studies context to understand how women navigate male dominated areas.

       Science is an important part of our world. Biology explains the mystery of life. Anatomy and physiology topics will continued to be featured here, because of its influence on sports performance. The questions in regards to human physical potential and records will be discussed. Relevant to women, this site will provide more of an understanding of female anatomy. There still remains much ignorance about how a woman’s body works. Myths and pseudoscientific  theories are still presented as fact. One that is most common is that the female body cannot handle physical strength. The broader implication is that woman is biologically inferior. Even though this has been proven false, many continue to hold the belief. It was once said that women getting too much physical activity would destroy her reproductive organs. Pregnancy medical professionals said would be impossible for a woman doing sports. Currently, there still is a lack of knowledge regarding women’s athletic performance and the menstrual cycle. The site will continue to challenge myths and share knowledge about the functions of the human body.

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Some feminists attempt to avoid biological differences all together. The sameness feminists became antagonistic toward biology, because they believe it promotes “male superiority.” Having an understanding of biology, anatomy, and physiology actually would help their case, because it challenges notions of inferior beings. While it is true that men are on average stronger, but it is not impossible for women to gain strength. The muscles of men and women do not differ at a cellular level. This means women can be responsive to weight training. Genetics and also play a role, which varies among the population. Strength is not male only. Besides refuting incorrect information, health topics will be covered. The scientific aspects of sports seems to be rarely examined outside a few academic journals. This amazing information about the workings of the body must be shared with the public. My intent is to spark curiosity of the reader in topics related to the biological sciences through the perspective of sport performance.

       Another element that will be explored is the popular culture aspect of women in sports. The female athlete has become in many respects an icon in entertainment. She can represent feminist advancement, an idealized heroism, or women’s growing power in society. The female athlete has become a role model to not only girls, but boys as well. This paradigm shift is fascinating when there still is traditionalist backlash that is present. There is still a state of body image conformity and discrimination against women in sports. Yet, they are able to overcome and succeed despite various obstacles. Everyone loves an under dog story and the women in sports have no shortage of them.  It seems that popular entertainment has taken note.Women characters depicted in films and television are no longer one dimensional or standard tropes like the damsel in distress. From the 1990s  onward there have been various TV shows and films presenting the image of the female hero. The fictional depictions were borrowed from the feats of female athletes.

 Xena Warrior Princess and The Legend of Korra  are excellent examples of  this recent archetype of the heroine. They are not just strong characters emotionally, they show physical strength and are not ashamed of it. They are not dependent on male assistance when a crisis arises. It has been seen in many forms of entertainment that a female protagonist need male help, even when she showed herself to be capable. The change is a welcomed one because it allows for greater creativity. It has been proven that audiences can be accepting of women as the main protagonist. Not only are creators not afraid to put female protagonist in a staring role, but show that they can do damage to enemies. Women in popular culture are depicted with an extremely thin body type and rarely an athletic type of body. The new Super Girl TV show shows an actress who looks like the more powerful comic adaptation.

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 This program does not show a rail thin woman, but a woman with athletic looking biceps. This is a positive direction . The subtle message here is that it is okay for women to look and be physically strong. Hopefully this trend will continue. It has been present in other entertainment mediums (comics being one example). There has been  minimal scholarship on this topic, but it remains unknown. Some of the writings here will explore this rarely mentioned subject.

         Controversy will not be avoided here. No subject will be off limits  in regards to sports and its relations to the wider society. Racism, sexism, performance enhancing drugs, corporate greed, and the negative aspects of professional sports will be discussed. Some opinions readers may find disturbing or even offensive. Not talking about certain issues is actually worse. Political correctness claims to mean well by stifling debate. This does more harm than good, because debate can challenge lies and extremist view points . Taboo subjects will also be presented. This was experimented earlier with writings in regards to session wrestling  and the Lolo Jones videos. Many times we must move out of our comfort zones to learn something new. Does sex sell women’s sports? Why is it that white women are over represented in the media as the sole female athletes when non-white  women compete and get limited  visibility? Why do  third wave feminists have either ambivalence or disregard for women’s sports in some cases, but support it in other circumstances? Why is that some men are either offended by the fact women can perform at high levels or are stronger than some men ? The answers to many of the these questions are rooted in the oppressive nature of society through the context of ethnic hatred and misogyny. These matters are further complicated by class conflict.A vast majority of poor and working class women have not benefited from Title IX. There is a facade and illusion  of equality in sports. Vicious hatreds are still present, but it is impossible to exclude athletes of different racial, religious, or cultural backgrounds.

A major issue currently is that celebrity culture over the past three decades has invaded sports. This has a negative impact on women, because like most of the mass media it presents them as sex objects. There are women who actually participate in women’s sports who are damaging, because they promote this agenda. LoLo Jones  and Anna Kornikova  were mediocre in their sports, but received acclaim and endorsements. Their performance was dismal, yet the mass media presented them as the  greatest. Even athletes who have a high level of skill and performance have that ignore in favor of  sex appeal. An athlete should be lauded on there accomplishments, not their looks. Whether a woman is beautiful or not ( depending on which ever standard of attractiveness) should have little relevance. The unfortunate matter is the mass media promotes this sexism and the public views it as normal. This must change if women are to advance in a male dominated field. The challenges may be immense, but they will be overcome. Besides comprehending the problem, developing solutions should be the priority.

       While serious topics appear here, there will be lighter toned writings. Laughter is the best medicine  and in a world full of violence, pestilence, poverty, war, and struggle it is necessary. The memes and motivational posters are a part of that laughter. These are fun to do seeing as there is always one photo that screams comedy. The memes and motivational posters are so popular they will continue. Hopefully, they can become funnier  and possibly spread.Pieces on photography will be added in the context of sports. Other than displaying photographs, there will be recognition of the photographers. People like Gene X. Hwang, Bill Dobbins, Reg Bradford, Neil Lifer, and many others have indirectly contributed to women’s sports through their work. They present images of powerful, skilled, and pretty women demonstrating their talents. The candid photos are enjoyable trinkets. While it is enjoyable to look at the professional and polished pictures, random ones provide great entertainment.

Too often we forget the people working behind the scenes. They are the cog wheels in the massive clock. Photography does have power. With mass media being more visual, the value of photography increases its importance. It has the power to shift public opinion. Having positive images advances women’s sports and can help to make the athletic body on women more acceptable. Another great part of the the element of photography is it helps connect fans. The rise of the internet has allowed for pictures and photos of all sorts to be easily seen and distributed. Social media helps spread these great photos to be seen by the world. Photos can be shared by just a click of a mouse. Exposure can counter some of the prejudice, but there is also backlash. Sexist comments and other forms of hatred fester online. This seems discouraging, but there are a growing number of supporters. The connection between fans is pivotal, because they keep women’s professional sports alive. It is the reason why female bodybuilding survives even as it struggles. It has gradually become fan supported.  One contribution that cannot be estimated is how photograph preserves history.

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A photograph becomes a record of the past. It captures the action of an event and provides evidence that it happened. It seems that women being involved in sports is something new, but this is only a half truth. Women in the past did play sports, but had limited opportunity to compete professionally. The Heraean games was the first documented sanctioned competition for women. These athletic contests took place in ancient Greece around the 6th century B.C.E. Cuju was played by women during the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasty. There is a much longer history than people are aware. Photography has in this regard can archive women’s athletic participation and advancement. There are stories that are told in photos and the observer is left to reconstruct events. A photograph can capture triumph, struggle, or unknown sections of society. Photographs as visual aids can also be useful in demonstrating a point or explaining ideas. Run

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When writing for a blog, magazine, newspaper, or publishing a book photos are just as important as the text. Producing femuscleblog requires visuals and photos. This site would be nothing without talented photographers and their works. That is why there is a section devoted to photography and it will eventually be expanded to include more entries. I have collected many photos from various sites, that I believe deserve attention. My intent is to have entries with photo collections of various athletes for all to enjoy. Then there are also some photos that are so beautiful, that only a gentlemen can really appreciate. This emphasis on photography I intend to help foster an interest  in this art form.

        The positive development about women’s growing participation in sport is that it has become global. Women from all around the globe are becoming active and flexing their muscles. The 2012 Olympics was a major turning point. There are still countries that resist sending women to the Olympics. Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan are a few examples. The fact is allowing women to enter international competition increases the chances of nations winning medals.

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achin  The world is rapidly transforming. Countries that have once imposed restrictive measures on women are now realizing they are needed for the benefit of society. Saudi Arabia has realized this and will probably send more women athletes to the Olympics in the future. Despite the discrimination and sexism the women face, they continue to perform well under unfavorable circumstances. Although international competition is a great platform, women in various nations have  the opportunity to compete locally. The Chinese National Games have produced women who later will go compete in the Olympics. Sports that are not considered mainstream are even making there way overseas. Bodybuilding and fitness sports have made an impression on Asian nations.

This new found passion cannot be stopped. Women are gradually discovering that weightlifting or other forms of physical activity is no longer considered male only.  The nations with more traditionalist attitudes are gradually making a change. Women’s rise in these countries help challenge racist stereotypes. Non-Western countries are either presented as misogynist or primitive by the Western media. This promotes the idea of white supremacy and the West as being the perfect model of civilization. Every nation has its faults and admirable qualities. To condemn entire races and cultures demonstrates pure hatred. The emergence of Asian, African, and South American female athletes challenges this mendacious claim of backwardness.  One should ask if these nations are so backward, why is it that women are still struggling for equal pay in the West? No one has a monopoly on societal problems.

Generally, women in sports receive little press coverage. If the woman is non-white they are almost invisible . They cannot be stopped or erased, because women of various ethnic backgrounds are becoming known in the field.  It is possible that international competition can foster some form of solidarity among women in sports. If this happens,  women can effectively combat discriminatory practices in regards to sex testing , the high testosterone ruling, or low quality facilities. The first step has happened in a sense. There has been a paradigm shift in certain attitudes.

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 Women who are athletes are no longer seen as something negative. There still remains opposition, but it has become more accepted than it was 50 years ago. The important result of this is that young girls are seeing a new and powerful image of women. Other than reaching high competitive ranks, women are also going into fields that require physical skill.

          Occupations that require physical strength like the military, police, construction, fire fighting , astronautics, and sports women are becoming more a part of. This phenomenon seems to get little discussion. Considering topics such as sports performance and physiology are present it would only make sense to add this to the discourse. Men continue to dominate these areas due to biological and sociological reasons. There are women who can meet the physical and mental requirements of these jobs, but they still do not have acceptance. A combination of machismo culture and hatred of women is prevalent in occupations such as these.This requires attention due to the fact blatant discrimination is acceptable in these fields. The United States  has now lifted the ban on women in combat. Women who were qualified for front line  infantry roles were denied opportunity. Even when a woman is qualified in jobs such as these, their competence is questioned. The reason this is done is rooted in sexist stereotypes and the concept of women’s biological inferiority. The “weaker sex” conviction has never disappeared. Sexual dimorphism is a biological fact, but that does not mean women cannot be successful at jobs that require physical skill.

Like the women in sports, they are given limited recognition. This can be reversed.This provides a fascinating examination into gender roles, economy, and culture. Women going into these professions does symbolize that at least some progress has been made. There are no longer such things as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs.” the relevance to femuscleblog is too look at this from a perspective of physical performance  and  the relation to women’s health. What are the physical challenges women face in occupations that require high levels of physical fitness? How can women avoid getting higher injury rates? Are women getting proper healthcare in occupations such as these? There are many questions, but these problems have solutions. Adjustments must be made if women and the companies they work for are going to be successful.

          The plan moving forward is to produce work of high quality. When visitors come here, I want them to read something they like and is thought provoking. This should not be a lecture, but an enjoyable dissemination of knowledge. Quantity is not quality and this is important to realize. More posts do not always result in higher visitation or subscribers. Being consistent with a deadline is fine, but keeping it in a realistic production range helps. The possibility of writers block, burn out, and general loss of interest are always present threats. Blogging is still relatively new compared to other mediums, so a person just getting involved   must experiment. Through experimentation I have figured out what works and what needs improvement. This is a constant learning process. My intent is to have this site run as long as possible . The goal is to see it improve over the years and gain more of a following. I created this blog out of boredom during a vacation and did not expect it to reach the thousands of hits it now possesses. When I began there was no intended audience,  but I can see many have taken an interest from different parts of the globe. I welcome all to femuscleblog  whether you are a fan of women’s sports, a feminist or not, a curious individual,  or a person who just loves female muscle.

One Year Anniversary ! Reflections,Hopes, and Plans For the Future

Soccer

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Soccer or football as it is commonly referred to, is one of the most popular sports around the globe. Games similar to soccer have existed since the ancient world. China once played a game known as tsu chu. This was developed around the year 1697 B.C.E, but was not the first football game. The Roman Empire also had ball kicking games as well. Some sources suggest that there were also football games played in North Africa and Britain during this period. Some historians put the date of a prototypical model of football developing around 300 B.C.E in China. Modern day soccer did not come until a set of recognized rules were established in 1863. Soccer is a team sport that consists of a number of players. The team maintains ten outfielders. This includes defenders, midfielders, and strikers. Each team has a goalie which will prevent  opposing members from making a score. Players are not allowed to use their hands with the ball. Players will face penalties for fouls ( tackling a player for example). The soccer field itself has a particular arrangement. Opposite ends have a goal and a penalty area. There is also a corresponding penalty arc. The field has a halfway line dividing the field.

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The middle of the field contains a center circle. There are also corner arcs on the four angles of the rectangular field. The grass can be real or artificial. The Football Association has made a standard set of rules for the game. This is to simplify the game and have it standardized internationally.

Laws of the Game

  • The field of play
  •  The Ball
  • The number of players
  • The player’s equipment
  • The referee
  • The assistant referee
  • The duration of the match
  • The start and restart of play
  • The ball in and out of play
  • Method of scoring
  • Offside
  • Fouls and misconduct
  • Free kicks
  • The penalty kick
  • The throw-in
  • The goal kick
  • corner kick

These are the basic rules with each having particular stipulations. Prior to 1863 the rules were not standardized like this.

Besides the rules and the field the ball is the most important object. Sphere shaped with black patches it has become an icon unto itself. The reason a round ball is used is to allow for the ball to be kicked easier. This gives players more control when making passes. This gives the game a more free flow pace. If it were any other shape passes would be difficult to perform.

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Oval shaped balls which are used in American football are designed to be thrown. They can be kicked, but not like a soccer ball. The soccer ball must have proper air inflation. FIFA for example has guidelines in regards to proper air pressure levels.

       Women’s participation in modern soccer started in the 1960s. The US is known for not having an intense interest in soccer, but American girls participation has increased. Globally women are playing more football than in the past. Women from Asia, South America, and Europe  compete in the Women’s World Cup. Americans do have a team, but the excitement seems to be lacking. To them their idea of football is American football. However, this has not deterred American women’s involvement. By 1991 3.5 million US teenage girls were playing soccer.

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Truly an a game of the world, pictured here are the Nigerian and Chinese women’s teams.

Women’s entry into soccer could have started earlier. Before the twentieth century women did play a game known as stoolball. This did not resemble modern day soccer, but the concepts seemed similar. Soccer has over the years become an international phenomenon. Millions around the world watch games.

Further Reading

Sherrow, Victoria. Encyclopedia of Women and Sports. Santa Barbara:ABC-CLIO,1996.

Binder, Julee. Ultimate Visual Dictionary. New York: DK Publishing, 1998.

Soccer

The Modern Amazon

More women now are competing in sports than we have seen in the past. The London 2012 Olympics saw a high number of female competitors. Ever since Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, women’s participation in sport has increased. This is not to say that the muscular woman is some anomaly or something new. Now they are more visible creating a host of reactions. This site shall serve as both an archive, news source, and place of discussion about the new powerful women emerging in the 21st century.

The Modern Amazon