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By Tate Frederick, IV Form
Serving Up Equality: The Quest in Women’s Tennis
With the rampant gender inequality in professional sports, tennis could easily be considered one of the least sexist due to its recently equalized prize money. In fact, the World Economic Forum recently wrote that “the Women’s Tennis Association [is] pushing the women’s game and pioneering gender equality” (Edmond). Contrary to public perception, the professional tennis circuit still has to make significant improvements in order to achieve gender equality. The financial distribution still heavily favors men, some of the rules perpetuate sexist values, and unfair stereotyping of female players is frequent.
Despite the fact that prize money became equal in 2007, women still make far less than male players. On the Forbes’ list of top-earning athletes, Serena Williams only comes in 51st, behind five male players, even though she has won more grand slam titles than any player, regardless of gender, in history, and holds endorsements with companies such as Nike, Gatorade, and JPMorganChase (Wang). Williams has earned tens of millions of dollars less than Novak Djokovic even though she has won many more titles than he has (Macur), due to the overall amount of prize money. If Williams, arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, can’t achieve equal pay in comparison to her less-winning counterparts, where is the hope for women in less acclaimed positions? By maintaining this inequality, the tennis circuit is discouraging and discrediting the achievements of women in the sport. (more…)
By Lucy Martinson, V Form
Taboo or Taking a Stand? Why Sexual Assault Needs More Attention
Editors’ Note: In Dr. Worrell’s Social Justice course, students identified an issue that they wanted to take a stand on and then researched to write an evidence-based editorial to demonstrate that they have built knowledge and skills. This assignment was modeled on The New York Times Learning Network Student Editorial Contest.
Sexual assault has always existed but became more visible recently with actresses such as Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie accusing acclaimed director Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. The outbreak of these allegations brought the nation’s attention to the issue of sexual assault and harassment. Following this, actress Alyssa Milano started the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter, encouraging women to speak out and share their stories. This movement gained rapid popularity and snowballed across various means of social media, with thousands of women (and men) replying with their experiences and/or their support. Yet, even with these recent high profile cases, there is still work to be done to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of sexual assault. (more…)
By Laquan McKever, VI Form
Social Justice and Why Every Life Matters
My unwavering pursuit of social justice for all has left me isolated from one of the very communities that I vigorously fight every day to progress: the black community. I am President of SHADES (Students Heightening Awareness of Diversity through Service), and I helped to facilitate a national Student Diversity Leadership Conference; still, though, I invest a significant amount of time supporting other communities. Upon learning that I support and defend the LGBTQ community, a student of color told me, “You spend too much time worrying about others while you need to be worried about the injustices we face.” In that moment, I began to realize my actions are neither understood nor taken lightly by those who think they are more invested in social justice for black individuals than I am. What most people do not know about me is that through horrid experiences from my childhood, I have developed a feeling of obligation to genuinely support anyone hidden in the shadows of oppression — including people outside of the black community. (more…)
By Alan Gao, IV Form
Explaining the Immigration Crisis with Confucianism
In recent years, news of immigrants and refugees flooding into Europe along with reports of violence and terrorist attacks have spread rapidly. As a result, many people have become more hostile towards immigrants, especially as Donald Trump appeared on the political stage. In Europe, which has been affected most by the refugee crisis, there was a rise in anti-immigrant supporters that led to an increase in support for many populist right-wing political parties. France, for instance, saw the National Front rise to be the second largest party in the nation. In Hungary, the leader of its current ruling party, Fidesz, has claimed that “[f]or us migration is not a solution but a problem … not medicine but a poison, we don’t need it and won’t swallow it” (The Guardian). In Netherlands, the “Dutch Donald Trump” Geert Wilders, led the Party for Freedom to be the second largest party in the nation as well. Not to mention, there are many countries, like Denmark, that have already instituted a strict immigration process in the past dozen years. What is the cause of the rise? (more…)
By Jenny Shan, IV Form
Trump’s Reform on Immigration Policies, Pros and Cons
Editor’s Note: For this module in Social Justice class, students worked individually and/or collaboratively on a specific topic related to immigration policy or the refugee crisis. A Final Artifact of Learning (FAoL) should demonstrate understanding of the topic and “answer” the driving question in a comprehensive way. It should synthesize learning by organizing and applying understanding on the topic/question.
By Sophie Haugen, IV Form
Racial Colorblindness: The Solution to a Delusional Society?
Lois Lowry’s dystopian community of sameness in The Giver appears to be perfect, but this is not true. This world of sameness represses individuality, creating a meaningless world without love. Imagine our world – progressive and controversial – without difference. Upon first glance it seems ideal; no conflict about humanity’s differences or room for judgement. But, would there be any culture or diversity at all? Lowry’s creation of a colorblind society warns our own that while we should strive for equality, “colorblindness” isn’t the answer. Racial colorblindness has been part of discussions around affirmative action in college admissions and the Constitution. Colorblindness is exactly what it sounds like: blindness to skin color, race, and any variety these bring. As an ideal, it’s well-intentioned, but in reality it is a way to pretend race doesn’t exist and to ignore racism as social problem, as well as devalue the importance of culture and difference. (more…)