The struggle for gender equality has become an essential part of the development of society and a reflection of civilizational progress. Numerous movements of activists supporting women as a vulnerable group are aimed at creating conditions in which females can count on equal conditions in education, politics, and other spheres of life. One of the significant initiatives in this direction was the signing of Title IX in 1972 by President Nixon, which implied removing educational barriers and creating an inclusive learning environment for men and women (Title IX). It is as follows: “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, in be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program” (Title IX). However, social activists’ attempts to draw attention to women’s equality issues can lead to reverse discrimination, which is evident in the case below with cutting traditional Olympic sports. Expanding the rights of one population category may entail the infringement of the rights of another one, and promoting the rational resolution of controversial situations is an important condition for maintaining a social balance.
The upcoming 1996 Olympic Games may be held under the auspices of a new competition format. The point is that in an effort to address gender inequalities in sports disciplines, responsible authorities are considering cutting back on traditional Olympic sports, including swimming, wrestling, and volleyball, to include more women’s sports. This decision is accompanied by a number of controversial nuances because, in the light of such an outcome, the opportunities for male participation will also be limited. Analyzing the case from the perspective of Title IX and its underlying provisions can help reveal the ambiguity of the responsible authorities’ position. The issue of gender equality will inevitably arise since this law was originally enacted to help improve the situation, but the aforementioned initiative may worsen the situation.
Reasons for the Inadmissibility of Cutting the Olympic Sports
Although Title IX was originally drafted and implemented into formal legislation to ensure equality between men and women in the above case, its violation is clear. Druckman et al. analyze the experiences of student-athletes and note that, despite the authorities’ attempts, “the implementation of Title IX has not yet produced the policy’s aim of eliminating sex-based discrimination” (642). One of the main reasons is reverse discrimination, which inevitably occurs when priority is given to a particular class.
The activity to eliminate gender inequality in society, including in the sports field, is a significant objective. Nevertheless, its implementation by curtailing the rights of one group in favor of another one can be seen as reverse discrimination and bias. Traditional Olympic disciplines in which male athletes have always performed well can be canceled to provide more opportunities for women and expand their sports opportunities. This decision looks like an attempt to solve the problem superficially, without taking into account either the sport or the civilian aspects. Druckman et al. assess Title IX and acknowledge the persistence of discrimination by stating that “those most affected by the policy are not the constituents to whom policymakers and college leaders fully respond” (642). As a result, one of the parties inevitably remains vulnerable, which contradicts the idea of getting rid of inequality and overcoming social vestiges associated with gender issues.
Given the current situation, my fellow athletes and I have the right to challenge the decision to cut Olympic sports, including swimming. According to the official provisions of Title IX, it contains “a variety of procedural requirements, the most important of which is the requirement to establish grievance procedures” (Title IX). Submitting a collective appeal to the responsible authorities, including the National Olympic Committee, is an adequate solution to assess the legitimacy of the proposed measure and its legal grounds. Despite the fact that the main purpose of this law is to regulate equal rights in the field of education, the problem under consideration belongs to the category of gender issues. Therefore, it requires consideration in the context of the violation of equality on this basis. Moreover, given the national nature of the problem, the appeal should be considered beyond doubt because a large number of affected individuals, particularly male athletes, are likely to agree with the need for adequate remedial actions.
Potential Outcomes of the Appeal
If the appeal is considered at the highest national level, this can help create a legal precedent and achieve a fair resolution of the case. Those who spearheaded the cancellation of a number of sports disciplines may need to answer to Congress that ratified Title IX signed by the then president. The Olympic Games, like other sports contests, do not involve the combination of men and women within the same competition, especially contact sports, and this factor is taken into account in Title IX (Title IX). However, the document does not state that the organizers have the right to change the disciplinary rules of the competition and change the regulation of involving athletes, guided by gender considerations. Therefore, in case of a collective appeal to Congress and the National Olympic Committee, the petition to return traditional men’s sports will most likely be approved due to the lack of grounds to prevent this.
Interested athletes have reason to file a complaint that is to be considered. They can report “perceive distribution biases” under the gender aspect, which, as practice shows, is a common approach among male athletes (Druckman et al. 646). The authorities are likely to organize a special committee to provide a legal background for the proceedings. Otherwise, inaction on the part of the responsible boards would mean that they contradict themselves since adopting Title IX at the Congress level is a significant factor in favor of the protection of interested parties. In this case, male athletes act as stakeholders who are subject to reverse gender discrimination. More sports without cutting back on current disciplines might be a reasonable outcome of this case and become a relevant precedent in legal practice.
To maintain a social balance and not pursue discriminatory practices related to gender bias, the authorities in charge should reconsider their decision to curtail traditional male Olympic sports. In this case, reverse discrimination occurs when the priority of one class entails the infringement of the rights of others. In accordance with Title IX, interested athletes can file a complaint with a higher authority to justify the inappropriateness of such a decision. If the case is assessed adequately, the truth will be on the side of those who have applied. The responsible authorities should develop a different algorithm for the distribution of sports disciplines at the upcoming Olympic Games so as not to infringe on the interests of male athletes.
Druckman, James N., et al. “Gender Policy Feedback: Perceptions of Sex Equity, Title IX, and Political Mobilization Among College Athletes.” Political Research Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, 2018, pp. 642-653.
“Title IX.” The United States Department of Justice, 12 Aug. 2021, www.justice.gov/crt/title-ix.
“Miss Brill” Short Story By Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill” portrays humble attempts of a lonely English teacher to aggrandize herself and her surroundings and demonstrates the pitfalls of daydreaming. It reveals the inner workings of an ordinary person’s soul showing that everybody has their passions and dramas. The plot and narrative techniques chosen serve the purpose of involving the reader emotionally and helping them become more empathetic.
An affectionate “Little rogue!” (Mansfield 1), a remark by Miss Brill, speaks volumes about her attitude to her fur and helps penetrate her innermost feelings. It shows Miss Brill’s attachment to her eiderdown akin to a bond with a pet or even a bosom friend. It also reflects her repressed wishes, her craving for a break from the habit of being a mousy girl, for a more exciting lifestyle.
The underlying claim is that it is Miss Brill’s meaningless life that has led her to wishful thinking as in “They were all on the stage” (Mansfield 3) camouflaged as an “epiphany”. If she had been living a life of purpose, there would have been no need to search for it in a crowd.
The events in the story are accompanied by the local orchestra. The tunes modulate from the vivacious “the band sounded louder and gayer” (Mansfield 1) to the indignant “and the drum beat, ‘The Brute! The Brute!’” (Mansfield 2). The accompaniment thus mirrors the characters’ moods and engages the reader emotionally.
The reader witnesses the unfolding of the conflict between illusion and reality. It is a clash between Miss Brill’s efforts to embellish things assigning the roles of “the hero and heroine” (Mansfield 3) to two impolite teenagers, the role of an actress to herself and the unpleasant truth of “who wants her?” (Mansfield 3). The reader is immersed into her fun world to, later, run into a sad truth.
The red eiderdown stands out as the main symbol of the story representing Miss Brill’s hidden longings. These neckpieces were considered a sign of respectability, even luxury. Her attachment to it, clearly shown via her address “Dear little thing!” (Mansfield 1), in view of her narrow means speaks for her desperate desire to be among the chosen, to be noticed.
The author includes Miss Brill’s direct speech directly into the canvas of narration, for example, an exclamation “No wonder!” (Mansfield 3). Moreover, “this textual web, generally woven out of declarative and commentary sentences … gives an access to Miss Brill’s mental world” (Dr. Akbar 1072). The effect thus achieved deepens the impression of looking at everything through the woman’s eyes.
The story is mostly set in a local park with the ‘special’ bench as the focal point. The fact that the setting does not change contributes to the illusion of being present at a theatrical performance and looking at an encapsulated little world.
The author makes the best use of the traditional narrative structure to produce the desired effect. She walks the reader through the escalation and resolution of the conflict between reality and illusion. The reader feels the misery of her life after her denial to indulge in one of her small mercies. The resolution reveals that Miss Brill’s necklet was her last resort and she has nothing and nobody to turn to.
Through every detail the author conveys a deep understanding of human nature and renders it impossible for the reader to stay indifferent. Katherine Mansfield employs various techniques to create the effect of looking at Miss Brill’s inner world and teaches to be more understanding and purposeful.
Dr. Akbar, Ali. “Cognitive Stylistic Approach to Characterization in “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield”. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, vol. 15, no. 5, 2021. Web.
Mansfield, Katherine. Miss Brill, Katherine Mansfield Society. Web.
Individualism Vs. Collectivism In A Beautiful Mind
A person cannot live outside of society, outside of the collective. But simultaneously, for harmonious development and happy life, it is important to preserve individuality. A Beautiful Mind of Ron Howard was conceived as a film biography of the mathematician, Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash. The main character acts as an individualist and tries to fight a huge system that does not share her values. The question of what is more important, the collective or the individual– is one of the most difficult questions of social psychology.
A team is a group of people connected by a common cause, goals, attitudes, and values. Collectivism is a worldview in which the interests of the group become more important than the interests of the individual. But, as a rule, common interests coincide with individual ones. Otherwise, the individual leaves the team – participation in the team is voluntary. When making decisions, a team member focuses on the consequences for a significant community. He participates in the lives of other people and can ask for help or advice himself (Biddle 2020). Collectivism gives rise to a sense of duty among the participants. Life in a team involves observing its traditions and norms. The collectivist cares about the team more than about himself.
Individualism is a worldview in which the individual and his interests come first. Individualists recognize their involvement in social groups but do not depend on other participants. The only exception is the family as a group and a collective. But even then, more often, parents and relatives cannot influence the choice of an individualist, for example, in matters of study, work, social circle, etc. Otherwise, individualists prefer to act alone, make decisions independently, set their goals, and follow them. Individualists are emotionally detached from other people, and prone to seclusion (Biddle 2020). They can listen to another person’s opinion, but they will still act in their way.
Collectivism and Individualism in A Beautiful Mind
The Plot of the Film
So, the film tells us about the life of the brilliant mathematician John Nash, who advanced a generation from his contemporaries and made many discoveries in his work on discrete mathematics. All his life, he was friends with Saul, a wonderful guy and a loyal friend. Responsive and always finding how to help John in a difficult moment, either with a word, advice, or something else. Then John began working for the government and deciphering the secret codes of the Russians. Once already a married and respected man working for the state and extracting information about the USSR, John Nash was surrounded by terrible KGB agents who turned out to be orderlies from a local psychiatric hospital. It turned out that childhood friend Saul, his niece Marcia and security agent William Parcher are all schizophrenic hallucinations, and Nash himself is an insane person, essentially disabled.
The Main Character’s Individualism
The film’s main character is mentally ill, although he does not realize it himself. Nash’s individualism is manifested in trying to convince everyone that KGB agents are real. Moreover, Nash’s character is also replete with bright features of selfishness. He is straightforward and always says what he thinks. In the film, he speaks out: “I have to polish my manner of communication to make it acceptable to others. It is difficult because I am inclined to direct transmission of information, which often leads to disastrous results…”. Consequently, this once again confirms the craving for the individualism of the main character, and schizophrenia only worsened the situation.
Importance of Individualism and Collectivism
Individualists in the Group
Exploring this topic in the context of A Beautiful Mind’s film, one can think about what is more important – individualism or collectivism. This is a rather controversial issue since both concepts should ideally be present in the team. Therefore, the team should have a team spirit – the team members should have common goals, values, and similar opinions on the main issues (A Beautiful Mind, 2001). However, individuals’ views are important for this team’s upward movement; each team member should have their own opinion and offer ideas and solutions to the problems that have arisen. In the film, the viewer observes the situation one against all. In such an atmosphere, the opinion will not be considered since one person with a different view from the collective on all issues does not have authority and has no value.
Disadvantage of Individualism
In the film, John Nash is a closed and closed teenager; he does not communicate with his classmates and even attends lectures because he considers it a waste of time. Consequently, there was not a single person with whom he could easily contact and find common topics for conversation. Therefore, John Nash’s mind creates hallucinations so that such people are at least in his head. Perhaps if he had been more friendly and open, his complication could have been avoided more. However, the individualism of the main character did not allow this to happen because he considered himself right in everything. From all this, we can conclude that sometimes individualism blinds us and does not allow us to face the truth. However, John Nash is a victim of circumstances because he is mentally ill. As it turned out in the end, he had a serious stage of schizophrenia; and the main symptoms of schizophrenia are voices in his head, isolation, and hallucinations.
Differences and Similarities
Both individualists and collectivists have their justice. If for the former it boils down to the thesis: “justice is to row to yourself,” then for the collectivist, social justice exists at a high, almost “normative” level (Biddle 2020). It is impossible to say unequivocally what is better for the individual: collectivism or individualism. A lot depends on the characteristics of the team. If it is cohesive and well organized, it positively impacts the personality. A group in which participants respect common goals but also do not forget about personal needs is useful.
In conclusion, the balance of collectivism and individualism is important. The team should be to contribute to the full development of the individual, the disclosure of its potential, and contribute to the team’s development. In the film, the main character John Nash does not have this very balance. For the collective, his individualism turned out to be a danger to himself. Therefore, collectivism and individualism should be in harmony and exist in balance. It should be noted that it is difficult to determine unambiguously whether individualism and collectivism are good; moreover, their modern interpretations are not a radical negation of each other. Therefore, it is quite justifiable to consider them as a spectrum limited by absolute individualism and collectivism, between which there are many intermediate positions.
A Beautiful Mind, directed by Ron Howard, performance by Russell Crowe, Universal Pictures, 2001.
Biddle, Craig. Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice. The Objective Standard, 2020.