Gender, Gender And Gender Roles Essay

Gender, Gender And Gender Roles Essay

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Until recently gender and sex have been considered interchangeable and binary. Now as more people are publicly identifying as trans, agender, or nonbinary, and different sexual orientations are coming to light, feminism and human rights have expanded to encompass this group of people who are more marginalized than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. The idea of gender binary is still strictly enforced through popular culture and especially sports where women and men have been divided. This makes sense because of the physiological differences the sexes have, but the idea of “separate but equal” has not transferred to the public image and stereotypes women in sports receive. Sports have typically become an enclave for hypermasculinity where strict Victorian American gender roles prevail and deem aggression, competitiveness, and athletic skill as strictly male traits. Women in sports have faced an uphill battle combatting these stereotypes because the strict gender binary norms imposed in sports inherently keep women inferior to men.
As women began to impose on the historically men’s world of sports, their femininity immediately came into question, and their strong attribute were deemed unattractive and wrong. In the public’s eye, women were not allowed nor should be able to be as good as men at sports because the characteristics needed to succeed were powerful and therefore not suitable for the real woman. The athletic community was so skeptical of female athletes and their success that in the 1960s outrageous forms of proofs like sex testing became popular. Organizations such as the International Association of Athletics Federations officiated sex tests that subjected women to walk past three females physicians entire...


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...ereotypically masculine traits, they threaten the cisgender, heterosexual, male power dynamics. Women were not allowed to show strength or not be attracted to other women because it threatened to control and sense of need men held over women. If women all of a sudden do not need men or stop acting a certain way for men, they have no control anymore. These enforced binary assumptions keep the patriarchy in place but fortunately strides have been made. Women in certain sports like basketball can wear more masculine clothes, teams have become havens for diversity in all forms, and many women have certainly achieved athletic success. Acknowledging the terrifying history of binary oppression and misogyny is an important step to learning the place of women’s sport in the world and how it can help or hinder the dismantling of the patriarchal world of sports and pop culture.

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