Thursday, November 1, 2007

Viewing Hope

Some people questioned why I would see any gender issues in the reaction Hope Solo's comments spawned. They insisted it didn't matter that Hope was female - it was what she had done as a teammate that mattered.

I was skeptical, frankly. It was difficult for me to believe that if a man had made those same statements, the same result would have transpired.

However, I obviously had no way to prove this. Now, though, the results of this latest study on how people react to angry women in the workplace provides something of a clue.


blahblah said...

I don't understand how someone would question that. Its blatantly obvious to me -- but, well, I'm a woman who works in IT so this is nothing new in my field.

Anonymous said...

Thought you had abandoned the WNT there A.C., 6 days between posts! :)

I believe most, albeit not all, of the relentless "fan" reaction that Hope's comments spawned were related to the disgusting manner in which the "team" responded to her comments, as opposed to fan reaction to her actual comments per se. We have previously agreed that men’s teams do not and would not have responded the way the WNT did. This is where the gender issues comes into play for me.

Hope being male or female regarding her comments remains irrelevant to me in this context.

I continue to feel that, while Hope had every reason to be upset, the initial negative reaction to her comments, mostly from commentators, was because she was seen as not being a “good” teammate. Male athletes get the same commentator reaction when they speak out publicly. It just dies down quickly because their is no team reaction or “overreaction” to it.

This is where Coach really screwed up, on top of all his other screw ups.

But that’s just an opinion from this coach’s corner.


Anonymous said...

Solo's comments were one thing. What gave the story "legs" was the Klingon inspired shunning and the Draconian over reaction of her teamates some of whom claim to be christians. They probably had Torquemada, who was a Dominican monk after all, in mind when they said that.

The rank hypocrisy emanating from these supposed professionals was in stark contrast to their wholesome girl power role model images, which they foisted on us and are now forever shattered.


Anonymous said...

From the moment the incredible "team reaction" became public, many have tried to figure out why? Why such an incredible, disgusting display from this wonderful “team”?! How can these women behave this way?! For lack of any concrete information, much innuendo, speculation and rumour has been bandied about. One of the angles some, including myself, have considered is the jealousy/envy angle on the part of “some” of Hope’s team-mates.

I read the following tonight on the Nike Soccer web site under “click to meet Hope Solo” :

The Glue
Every great team has that person who holds people together, who gets along with everyone, who makes everyone a little better. On the US Women's National Team, that's Hope Solo.

More Carrot, Less Stick
Goalies have a reputation for motivating their defenders through fear. Not Hope: She's all respect and encouragement in the backfield (she knows it's tough out there. She was a field player herself). And her teammates play harder for it.

Think about it. Even Abby didn’t have ONE word about her “leadership” position or capability on the team under her “meet Abby Wambach” section.

I really do believe we have something here folks. Part of it, anyhow!

Among other things (deflection of real responsibility, etc.), I believe these “team leaders” and the Coach were looking for any opportunity to put this girl (Hope) in her place! Knock her down a peg or two.

Just another thought from this coaches corner.


Anonymous said...

i think this new quote hope put up on her myspace page is interesting:

"if you truly expect to realize your dreams, abandon the need for blanket approval. If conforming to everyone else's expectations is the number one goal, you have sacrificed your uniqueness and, therefor your excellence."


Anonymous said...

Yes Meredith, I saw Hope's new quote and I like it. That would be because I have a little "bit" of that "rebel with a cause" in me so I can relate! :)

I also like some of her new statements in her "About Me" section:

"dont want to grow up, done a lot of stupid things, but dont live with regret, not always understood for who I am, too independent, too competitive, love to be alone, hate to be alone,
and of course a pain in the butt many of times ..

I like the enigmatic makeup of this girl! The perfect Keeper!

She's going to have to adjust though to being under a microscope with her new status out there.


ghostwriter said...

Didn't want you all to think I wasn't still following this. I bet you're all relieved :).

I think there are three "sociological/cultural" gender issues at play. There may also be personal ones as noted in a couple of the posts, but there would have to be significant variability in the personal reactions and what we've seen publically has been pretty monolithic.

First, there's the judging factor. As noted in the studies cited in the article backing AC's post, women are judged differently than men when they overtly express anger as Hope did. Even, apparently, by other women. Certainly, the women of the NT seem to bear that out and the "participants" in the observing anger experiment referenced in the article are likely (although it doesn't, to my reading, say so) made up of both men and women and there's no gender based difference noted regarding reactions. Maybe the author of the article didn't deal with those complications and maybe they weren't there. Have to go back to the original study to see for sure and I'm not headed there. So presumably many women react as negatively (or more) to women expressing anger as many men do.

The question I believe AC asks is, would these same women react to a man expressing legitimately provoked anger as they did to Hope and additionally would men react to a man similarly. I think she's right in suspecting there'd be a difference. (Although, apparently, Kristine Lilly can't even distinguish Hope from Terrel Owens when, in fact, they have virtually nothing in common. But that may be personal.)

Second, there's the reaction phase. AC and Coach have previously noted (as have other observers) that women tend to be more socially and less personally "combative" in "punishing" perceived transgressors. Certainly, that's been a feature of the WNT reaction to Hope.

Third, I think there's a team "image" issue. (I label it sociological/cultural since it ties in with the "how women are supposed to act" stereotype.) I think the WNT have bought into the idea that, in prominent part, their fan base loves them because they are "one for all" all the time. Thus, if they were to accept, forgive, or (heaven forbid) embrace Hope's outburst they'd face at least a collective, but personally felt, loss of status and public affection, not to mention a break with team tradition. I suspect this has lead them to a zero tollerance reaction to Hope where they ignor her prior contiributions, her past good behavior, and the various much publicized emotional stressors that may have contributed to her angry assertions. In doing so, they have forgotten that the famous motto half quoted above continues "all for one". Hopefully, in private they're doing better on that than in public.

Hope's new blog entries seems encouraging. I hope she's as good as they sound...and as strong. She'll continue to need to be. Interesting that she includes Muhammed Ali as someone she'd like to meet. Certainly a guy who went his own way, paid the price for it, and triumphed in the end.


Anonymous said...

Ghost, I agree with all your points.

This is a very complex situation, with many intertwined issues going on. One size does not fit all. Gender, status within the team, one-upmanship, personality clashes, competitive fire, the list can go on & on.

To those that say it isn't really all that complicated, that coach made a decision, player spoke out, player gets punished. Correct, but very simplified.

Very educational to analyze if you're into trying to figure out the human race, how we interact, males & females, mars & venus! lol


MC said...

Wow, you guys have really thought this out and analyzed it well. I'll just throw my two cents in that Solo got a raw deal and when it comes to Hope Solo, put me down as "for:.

Anonymous said...

M.C., you are so right on both counts. :)

Hope did indeed get a raw deal & we are analyzing it well and I suppose to death. It’s very educational & therapeutic, don’t ya know! A few of us are just frustrated psychologists.

The issues being dealt with naturally exist on any team. Not managing this basic team dynamic is where coach & "team leaders" failed, so back to square one.

Hope Solo got a raw deal and we can only “Hope” the new coach gets it right and fixes this team dynamic that has gone bad, very bad, whatever the reason!

I just don’t believe for one instant that Hope is that reason. I guess we will see come January.

But, Hope gets my vote too, if there was ever a doubt? lol


ghostwriter said...


Re mar & venus: wonder what planet Ryan's from.....might be where his next job will be. :)


Too true. Me too.


Anonymous said...


Ryan's from the moon, he doesn't get a planet!


ghostwriter said...


At risk of lowering the lovely high tone of our discussion, I had more in mind someplace cold, dark, and vaguely proctological... but I can live with the moon as long as it's the back side. :)

Anonymous said...

how about the former planet, now rock? Pluto.

MC said...

I'm still concerned...more about the so called "team leaders" than about the coach, since that's been taken care of so far. I hope Hope gets a fair shake and things get smoothed out.

Anonymous said...

USA Today! LOVE this quote!

"The squad, dubbed by Nike in an ad campaign as "The Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of", suddenly became the noisiest team you couldn't get to be quiet."

Announcement today at 3:30 folks! :)