How the Introduction of the Individual into a Non-traditional Sport for His or Her Gender Affects t

analytical Essay
1414 words
1414 words

How the Introduction of the Individual into a Non-traditional Sport for His or Her Gender Affects that Individual and the Sport Itself

A high school age boy makes the papers when he joins the girls' varsity field hockey team at his high school. A woman is judged according to femininity rather than muscle mass in a body building competition. An African American is thought inferior to his white counterparts on the sports field. A woman is discouraged from playing contact sports under the pretext of being too delicate. All of these events have one thing in common: they, in their own context, involve individuals entering a non-traditional sport for their gender or race. Over the years, events such as these continually arise causing either promotion of the evolution of this sport, or the destruction or discouragement of similar events occurring in the future. For the most part, such events are initially held in a negative light, only to become accepted over time, nevertheless showing the scars of damage and/or the reaped benefits.

The most immediate and perhaps most obvious cost of such an entrance into the untraditional is the questioning of the participant's sexuality. This inquiry is most common to women as they enter fields such as boxing and basketball. Men, however, undergo the same scrutiny as they enter traditionally feminine sports such as figure skating and synchronized swimming. The appearance of new genders in sport does however take a step in the right direction. Every opportunity seized to create some sort of equality between the sexes in athletics is a step forward for that individual, for his or her gender, and for the sport into which he or she enters. This idea is best shown through the actions of a high scho...

... middle of paper ... sports for their gender. This gender battle is deep, sports being merely one of the many fronts on which these differences appear. On most occasions, this experience is difficult for the athlete. They are analyzed, questioned, and observed, all of which makes life very difficult. It is however, for the benefit of their gender, race, and for sport itself that such modifications are made, that such alterations in sport are evolved.

Works Cited

"The American Dream and Sport." ESS 200 Course Reader. 1-54

Banet-Weiser, Sarah. "Hoop Dreams: Professional Basketball and the Politics of Race and Gender." Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Volume 23, Number 4 (November 1999): 403-420

Holmlund, Christine Anne. "Visible Difference and Flex Appeal: The Body, Sex, Sexuality, and Race in the Pumping Iron Films." Cinema Journal. Volume 28 (Summer 1989): 299-310

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that the appearance of new genders in sport is a step forward for the individual, for his or her gender, and the sport into which he or she enters.
  • Opines that they should have given the same respect to this single girl who dared to be different in a school where being different was the one thing everyone was afraid.
  • Analyzes how the "un-lady-like" manner of female athletes led to the qualification of femininity in sport.
  • Analyzes how the introduction of the individual into a non-traditional sport for his or her gender affects that individual and the sport itself.
  • Analyzes how the inclusion of all in sports creates unity between players of diverse backgrounds. the wnba gives women equal opportunities to excel in basketball as it does men.
  • Cites banet-weiser, sarah, and holmlund, christine anne. "hoop dreams: professional basketball and the politics of race and gender."
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