« Family Research Council co-founder a big fag | Main | Kagan ' s nomination, the right/left divide, and the promise of ' no homo ' »



Ethan Epstein

This is exactly the jaundiced and power-obsessed portrayal of campus life given to us by CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN Tom Wolfe.


Close, but no cigar. You've hit on alot of buzzwords that many outside the lax (or college) community would never know, but that does not alone a good point make.

The point is just as in baseball, football, and frankly every sport ever played, there are a few bad seeds (to say the least!) that spoil it for the whole bunch, and your point(s) don't do anything to help spread that truth.

This guy is a nut, end of story. I played lax, as did many of my friends, and no matter how blackout drunk we may have gotten NONE of us would ever do to a girl what this guy did.

You do your readers a massive disservice by presuming that murder, rape, physical violence etc are some sort of behavioral norm amongst men who like to win. This is just simply not the case, and I'd frankly appreciate an update or retraction from either you or trueslant to clarify this point.

Painting with a broad brush pictures of delicate subject matter is seldom a good idea.


The issue here is of a young man obviously affected with some kind of rage issue, possibly a sociopath. Alcohol exacerbated this. These issues were present in the past, and his family knew of them but they were never addressed. This happens in families of every economic level and culture.If the mental health issues had been recognized for what they were and addressed this nay no have happened so that is what the media should be concentrating on.

Ethan Epstein

"Painting with a broad brush pictures of delicate subject matter is seldom a good idea."

That describes the discipline of sociology.


I was trying to avoid the ad hominem-ish angle, but yea, I'm not surprised to read this, considering the source.


But that makes sense, but alas, doesn't generate hype (and thereby $$'s). Sigh...

Laurie Essig

Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not going to retract the historical fact that certain male sports teams are at the center of an insecure white middle class masculinity.

Or are you asking me to deny that certain men's sports are often associated with violence- sexual violence, date rape, "mixed signals," fag bashing, etc. Such violence is not the result of sports- obviously- but cultures of masculinity.

Of course you can try to get TS to retract anything you want.

Laurie Essig

Of course the psychological and individual explanation is true- but it also part of larger societal patterns- and despite the sociology bashing by some of our fellow TS contributors, the point of sociology is to look for these patterns.

If we only talk about the individual as sick, we miss what is truly and really dangerous about certain cultures of masculinity that are born and bred of certain sporting cultures- dangerous to women, but also the men who play them.


Ridiculous! I am sure if the victim and or the accused were poor black kids from an impoverished background you would still find a way to blame it on the privileged whites spawned from the corrupt world of capitalism. It is narrow minds like yours that are dividing this Country. I for one, can't wait till you leave for Montreal.

P.S. The bitterness in your words is palatable. I am willing to bet you come from a privileged background and were ignored by the "power set" …be honest…I'm right aren’t I?


P.S. Lacrosse is the National Summer Sport of Canada, you might want to consider immigrating to Cuba...



A related culture was the culture that produced the Columbine massacre. This is not to say that everyone who attended Columbine was destined to become a mass murderer or that everyone who plays lacrosse or football is at heart a murdering misogynist. It's to say that on some related level real violence is as inculcated and condoned in lacrosse and football culture as it was in Columbine. The common denominator is a culture that rewards domination. It is simplistic to think that these ritualized war games serve no greater function than as pastimes for guys who like to win. Soccer, for example, a game similar to lacrosse and football but with no body contact, no physical domination permitted, seems not to spawn much violence.


I am sure if the victim and or the accused were poor black kids from an impoverished background you would still find a way to blame it on the privileged whites spawned from the corrupt world of capitalism. It is narrow minds like yours that are dividing this Country.


Who is dividing what now?

It's not about blaming individual white people (so calm down, no one is pointing the finger at you) it's about pointing out the way power structures work.

I think you're imagining a "bitterness" in the article that's not there, because you're taking this as some kind of personal deal. It's not.

People's actions are constrained and directed by the societies they live in. That's just a fact.


Canuba! :D


are you kidding me? ever see a soccer riot in europe?


Good point, bsg76. Soccer is a stand-in for war there too. But not in the US.


Exactly the kind in uninformed left wing diatribe from an individual that probably has had little or no contact with sports her whole life. This is a team that has 6-7K out for each home game largely made up of family, locals and HS lacrosse teams from the area. On a campus with over 20K total students most do not watch lacrosse or even know a team member. They are the big guys on campus within a very small circle. They drink once a week do to their academic/athleteic schedules. They party less than the average fraternity. They are from the average social/economic backround with regards to the rest of the student body. You are clueless in your observations and mindless in your comments. Sure you will find an audience from the rest of the uninformed who share your propaganda. Keep up the good work. A fine piece of editorial.


Have you 1.) ever played Lacrosse? 2.)spent any time with any Lacrosse players? 3.) played Lacrosse yourself?

Interesting that you mentioned Duke in this article. I presume you were referencing the Duke Lacrosse incident from a few years back. The Duke Lacrosse players were falsely accused, so those you seek to vilify are actually the victims.

Since you are so fond of putting people into a box, here is your box: angry, bitter, man hating womens' studies major who misrepresents the facts to paint an entire class of people as monsters. You're a bigot's bigot!


Spot on jkenn. This is liberal nut job and I can add to her hate list, big corporations, male dominated sports, all Republicans and the military. See these types all the time in the media. Probably loves Chavez. If she really wants to analyze someone she should start with the image in the mirror. Played the sport for many years. Some of the best people I have ever known. Would love to introduce this cockroach to some of them but it probably wouldn't change her demeted mind. How about the 80 plus similiar minded nut job teachers at Duke the signed a petition against those players without the benefit of ever learning the facts. I could go on.......


The paradox of hyper-masculinization is that it borders on homoerotic. The butt-slapping, the common demeaning of women and group sex such as gang bangs all carry the message that the truest bond is to be in found bro-ness. Society will be much better off when possible latent homosexuals such as the accused feel free to act on their homoerotic desires. Maybe he'll discover it in prison in an ironic twist on the idea of rehabilitation.
But let's not forget that much, or at least some, of male homosexuality is based on misogyny. The fashion industry, substantially if not predominantly driven by gay male designers, probably contributes more to violence toward women than does hyper-masculinized team sports. How about an article on that?
Lotsa misogyny out there.


Laurie! What planet are YOU on, ~darlin'?

A planet where lacrosse is a "gentleman's sport" rather than the native american substitute for battle that it really is?

A planet where lacrosse is "at the top of the strict hierarchy of masculinity and heterosexual desire" rather than here in the real world where that hierarchy is topped by football, football, and football?

I am still not completely certain that your post isn't a lampoon -- it's so patently ridiculous that I wouldn't think it could possibly be serious except for the fact that your byline photo projects a level of dourness which, if real, could easily be the face of someone who could write this screed and seriously mean it.

Unbelievable. Why don't you just advocate passing an anti-lacrosse amendment to the Homeland Security Act? Creepy!


Soccer seems not to spawn much violence?

You must be an American, because no one who is not American would ever make a statement to patently naiive, and so utterly false, regarding soccer. Better do your research, son.


"mix of machismo and middle-classness that often results in aggressive behavior." This is really really stupid. Would mixing machismo and high-classness would produce a somewhat different result? This piece is inane in its entirety.


While I don't disagree with anything you've said here, I think there may be a simpler explanation. Sports culture in this country has become a lot like politics in which alpha males have been groomed for their respective elite playing fields. Because these boys and men have been treated like conquering heroes their entire lives, they assume the rules of civility and honesty do not apply to them. They've been given passes each and every time they transgress, because of their athletic skills, which has taught them nothing about how to treat people respectfully, particularly women. You have only to look at the the national sports stage for the seemingly never-ending roster of misogynists: Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant, Lawrence Taylor, and on, and on. The team owners turn a blind eye, the sponsors keep them on the payroll unless and until they're convicted (if they are even charged in the first place), and their scores of sycophants keep telling them how great they are.

I think women should start kicking these guys where it really hurts: their wallets. Boycott any sponsors of teams and the teams themselves who perpetuate this attitude and abuse. Hard to maintain your status as a god when no one is there to watch you.


"angry, bitter, man hating womens’ studies major who misrepresents the facts to paint an entire class of people as monsters. You’re a bigot’s bigot!"

Sorry, but that above quote really does seem on-target.

Now, I'm not in love with the social-climbing lacrosse upper-middle-class good-ole-boys and good-ole-girls network (I live smack dab in the middle of it and am not part of it) but as one of their most strident critics, even I can say I think you have gone a bit too far. Can't you figure out that sociopaths simply exist randomly within various populations and go undetected until their ticking timebomb explodes? There was one on the intelligentsia circuit recently (professor upset about lack of tenure, remember that?) and numerous other examples spanning social classes that I won't detail. And though you may hate the hard-drinking, social-snubbing Ivy/Lacrosse snobs of the mid-Atlantic, I think it would be hard to find a substantial number of examples of truly bad behavior on their part - behavior worse than you find in, say, their football/lower-class brethren. Think about it - really, you're barking up the wrong tree by trying to paint the pinstripe oxford and Sperry Topsider set as more brutish and uncivilized than average. While to some degree they make me ill (and I also know some of them to be fine, nice people, some of whom maganimously assume I'm one of them), there are far worse groups of people! It's ludicrous to paint them as the monsters in our society. The ones who are insufferable at times - annoying and overbearing in their social aggression - but hardly the worst threat to our society.

And I think you got those social-class denominations wrong, also. I'd peg the above-described group as upper-middle class with some middle-middle class wannabes and the football counterparts as solid-middle-class ranging down to the tops of the lower (working) class.

Adam Belsky

Respectfully, I would like to add that as a former college athlete, coach, father, community member, I am aghast at the University of Virginia, its Athletic Department, and its Administration for allowing these teams to continue their seasons.

It goes without saying that violence and intimidation have no place on college campuses. It is always a fine line that athletic programs must walk to remain consistent with the overall educational mission of the University.

Team sports teach lessons for life about commitment, how the sum of the parts form a greater force than the individual pieces, and that teams require sacrifice and willingness to be responsible for other's as they are responsible for you. Team standards are supposed to be the highest community standards with their own set of repercussions.

In my humble judgement, the UVA lacrosse programs, both men's and women's have failed in maintaining their alignment with basic educational values. Team members are supposed to watch after each other, keep one another in line, and have the courage to speak up when one of their own violates team rules. They are supposed to protect each other! It is inconceivable to me that one team could harbor a violent aggressor, and another team had a victim in its midst.

What is the lesson learned as these two teams resume their seasons and pursue championships?

The comments to this entry are closed.


Blog powered by Typepad