Gender Inequality and the Objectification of Females

It all began with 14 year old Daisy Coleman sneaking out of her house at 1am. What came next has been talked about since it was first reported several months ago by the Kansas City Star.  According to reports, Coleman and a friend snuck over to a 17 year old football player’s house where they consumed numerous alcoholic beverages. The night ended with Daisy seen being carried incoherently crying and then being dropped off in 22 degree weather on her front porch where her mother found her scratching at the door in the morning.

Daisy’s 13 year old friend, who also snuck out and was at the same party was also treated in a similar fashion although she was coherent.  According to reports, her Daisy’s friend went into a bedroom with a 15-year-old boy, who later told the police that “although the girl said ‘no’ multiple times, he undressed her, put a condom on and had sex with her.”  Gruesome, yes. Horrifying for any parent of a young girl? Absolutely. Because of the publicity this particular case received (the trial recently ended January 9 with plea bargain for the 19 year old defendant) it is unsurprising that Daisy Coleman attempted to commit suicide following the release of specific details surrounding the case. What is surprising, however, is that Daisy’s mother stated that her daughter was unable to attend the conclusion of the trial due to the suicide attempt that was made “after various bullying accusations on social media.” A recent article on also backed up Daisy’s mothers claim by stating that “the town lined up behind Matthew and against Daisy.”  To the reader, the problem with this situation is obvious. How is it possible that a 14 year old girl was blamed for her own rape and bullied because of it to the point where she attempted suicide?

According to reports, Daisy was bullied from multiple sources by people who accused her of seducing the football all-star and then blaming him for the results. Unfortunately, these accusations are nothing new. Girls in multiple rape cases, including the Steubenville, Ohio case have been accused of seducing the boys accused in their various rape cases with provocative words and clothes.  In particular in Ohio, the 16 year old who pressed rape charges had clear evidence (tweets, facebook posts and a picture of her being carried unconsciously by the ankles and wrists by her attackers) was blamed for “allowing the incident to occur.” Although her only memories of the night involved vomiting in the middle of the street, the evidence on social media was enough to file charges against the two football players and later convict them. The charges, however, were also initially dropped due to public outrage against the girl.

Shifting across the spectrum, many recent rape cases have had surprising declarations from the males accused. Males suggest that they were seduced by the young girls and that it was consensual. Surprisingly, especially in the Ohio case, they have received the support and backing of a tremendous amount of people.  This is partly what contributed to the negative out lash against both of the two girls mentioned in the cases above.  The argument surround in the “blame game” in rape cases has caused many discussions into the gender equality and the objectification of females.  Rape cases are only one example of the strained gender relations that still plague the United States on a daily basis and the idea that girls are simply objects to be used for sexual relations.

How has the psychology behind gender relations become so twisted that a girl can be bullied for stating the evidence for her own rape? Gender equality has long been the topic of controversy since women first began to speak out about various inequalities. After decades of struggle, however, it is clear that girls are still being objectified and portrayed in a certain way in our current society.  Rape cases are not the only instances where objectifying females has become controversial. Due to their objectification, females are experiencing greater gender parity in education, employment and other major fronts. One of the key causes of female objectification (which has led to various mediums of inequality) has been social media.  The recent focus on the media’s portrayal of women has produced two questions.  Can objectification ever be completed eliminated and, if so, how?

The Crossfit Obsession that is Sweeping the Nation

**Before reading this: scroll to the end of the page and watch the quick video **

If you are have been around me at all in the last year, chances are you have heard me mention my favorite pastime at least a thousand times. No exaggeration. Unsurprisingly, the responses to “I do crossfit” has changed from “What’s that?” to “Wow….I’ve been wanting to try that.” Crossfit is one of my newest obsessions and has also been the trending method of training across the United States.  But what is it exactly? Crossfit is a unique form of weight lifting that is built on the principal of only doing lifting moves that are actually useful for daily life. Benching? Nah. When are normal human beings ever going to need to bench something in daily life? Not only is crossfit built off of doing useful moves, but it is also a unique lifting program that manages to include cardio. Running is usually incorporated into the WODs (workout of the day) and is also included in warm up.

crossfitOne word to describe crossfit? Exhilarating.  Unlike some people, I perform much better when people are cheering me on and getting in my face. Crossfit is exactly the kind of encouragement I need. I may not be the best at pull-ups, but being surrounded by ten people at the end of a hard workout who are all yelling at me and encouraging me to finish is exactly what I need to motivate me.

Of course, like all workout trends there are many people who disapprove of some of the methods behind crossfit. People talk about the injuries sustained by many crossfit athletes and also talk about the “cultish” nature surrounding the program. My response to all the critics is that an athlete is only as good as his or her trainer. Injuries are not sustained because of bad workouts but by bad trainers. As for crossfit being a cult? It completely is, but that does not mean that not everyone can join the cult. In my crossfitting experience in the last year I have lifted with people ranging from the ages of 14-72. There have been pregnant women, men with recent knee replacements who are trying to get back into shape and D1 college athletes are looking to get more strength training. That is the beauty of crossfit. It is a workout program that can encompass a wide variety of ages and abilities. A D1 athlete and pregnant mom can do the exact same workout (albeit a slightly scaled down version).

So after that brief into that probably still left some of you slightly puzzled, I promise to get more in depth with everything crossfit related this semester. By the end you will know the difference between an RFT (round for time), and EMOM (every minute on the minute) and an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible). Sound confusing yet? I promise it’s not. To wrap it up, I will leave you with a video (from my crossfit club here at Penn State) and one of my favorite quotes.

“When people walk into a crossfit gym they ask where are the machines. Our response? We are the machines.”

Crossfit Video


This I Believe Draft

I believe in the power of dirt. The feeling of driving your hands into newly rototilled soil in early March. The satisfaction of burying a sunflower seed and then watching in avid curiosity as it slowly sticks its’ neck out of the dirt and unfurls and grows.

Growing up with two very hard core gardeners for parents led to an unusual childhood. As my Dad always said, “We had three children for a very specific reason: so we could have a weed-er, a water-er, and planter.”  As I am sure the listener of this has already deduced, I was the designated family planter. Of course, I was not always as enthralled with the planting process as I am now. As a ten year old girl, the last thing I wanted to do was leave my dolls and tea parties to go stick my hands into fertilized worm filled dirt. Forever the obedient child, however, I would dutifully pick up the variety seed packets and go busy myself planting row after row of spinach, carrots, beans, sunflowers and lettuce. The never ending yard work was always a part of my weekend and summer life until the summer of 2013 when I was a thousand miles away living among the cobbled streets and concrete houses of Ecuador.

At first, my freedom like a gift from God. No morning wake up calls to avoid the sweltering PA heat plopping seeds in their various man-made holes. After several months, however, and many skype calls with my family, I began to miss my daily routine that involved endless hours of yard work. Gardening is one of the few things in life that allows for both immediate and short term gratification. The immediate gratification of knowing you did a job well done and the long term gratification of watching all of your hard work grow and prosper (with the right conditions of course).  I got little satisfaction from my life in Ecuador. Although perfecting my Spanish abilities was one mile marker to be reached, there was little else to look forward to. I began to obsess about always maintain a clean room and house.  Looking back, I believe my lack of gratification from gardening made me seek it elsewhere (Ie. Having a clean house).

I knew that coming back to the United States after a year abroad would be difficult. I spent my last month in Ecuador primarily stressing out about how to transition into life back into the states. My anxiety reached new levels on the plane ride home. Greeting my parents went smoothly and, as it was 3am, I went straight to bed. The next morning, I woke up slightly disoriented after finding myself in my own room. Confused, I stumbled downstairs only to find an empty kitchen. Of course, I bellowed at the top of my lungs “Where is everyone!” “In the garden!!” came the faint response from my Mother, also known as the family weed-er. I had to smile. Of course I couldn’t expect to be coddled on my first day home and was thrown back into the daily routine. I was back to the toil of gardening. After a year off duty, however, I don’t think any girl was happier than I was to stick my hands into the fresh Spring dirt and restart my life in the United States.

I believe in the power of dirt.

Passion and Civic Issue Blog


Obviously as many of you probably know, I am as obsessed, if not more so, with crossfit as I am with healthy eating. I mean, healthy eating is also a crucial part in crossfit. However, it is a difficult sport to understand, and I am sure that background knowledge would help of you to either understand the sport or maybe become interested enough even to try it! Crossfit has many sport sensitive words (WOD, BBJ, PJ, AMRAP, EMOM etc…) that would probably be beneficial to know for any crossfit beginner. It would probably also be helpful to know the success of the theory behind crossfit, what some of the workouts are like and what the competitive side of the sport really looks like (for those of you that have never googled Rich Froning I would really recommend it).

As for my civic issue blog, this blog was harder for me to determine. Last summer, as my mother and I sat in the airport waiting for a flight to go visit my Grandmother, she handed me an article in the New Yoker. The article discussed the rape of a 13 year old unconscious girl in a small, football obsessed town. As the defendants were popular football players, no measures were taken punish the boys at all. Instead, scrutiny was placed on the young female and many people actually said that the girl’s provocative nature and dress made it seem that “she was asking for it.”  After video footage and photos appeared on social media of three boys dragging the unconscious girl into a house, chargers were later brought. I was horrified after reading the article and would really like to delve deeper into the thought process of some people that think that provocative mannerisms and clothing make rape more of a woman’s fault than the man’s. Obviously, there are more than five cases in the United States that showcase these mannerisms, but I would like to specifically research five different cases and examine them separately. Analyzing the consequences and conclusion of each case.

I can’t wait to continue to read everyone’s blogs this semester!

Beginning of the Semester Topic Discussion

Welcome back everyone! Because I LOVE LOVE LOVE my passion blog, I decided to pick a topic that was the same or very similar to the topic I picked last semester.  As you all know, last semester I wrote about my health food obsession. This semester, I decided to stick with a fitness theme and either continue writing my blog about my experience with healthy food at Penn State or branch off on another health topic and discuss my love for Crossfit. I participate in the Crossfit club here at Penn State and often find that many people have misconceptions about the “sport.” I would use my blog to discuss those misconceptions and give more detail about this aerobic lifting phenomenon.

As for my Civic Issues blog, I really wanted to focus on the LGBTA community. I recently over break found out that my neighbors, two wonderful women, would be getting married this month after living together for over 20 years. Obviously I was ecstatic for them and very supportive. I thought for the Civic Issues blog I could look into what states current accept gay marriage and why (i.e. specific cases or protests in the state) they have that rules. It would not only satisfy my interest in the legality of gay marriage but it would also allow me to gain more knowledge and educate my readers about how the US is reacting to the LGBTA community.  My only other thought for this blog idea would be discussing the sexuality of woman. More specifically in terms of rape. By examining specific cases, I would try to disprove what is often stated that provocative dressing etc. is what often leads and encourages rape and that the women involved “disserve it.” There are multiple cases like this that have been seen in the United States in the last 10 years.

The “This I Believe” topic is still REALLY in the works. I grew up listening to the essays on the radio and would really like to write a wonderful piece that I could share with my family. Unfortunately, I am experiencing a wonderful case of the writer’s block. A few topics that I came up with were the importance of family dinners, importance of knowing self-defense and the importance of knowing how to garden. I am not sure if I am taking the complete wrong approach to this essay thus far so feedback would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, I will continue to brainstorm! Can’t wait for another RCL semester with you wonderful people!