Societal Views on Sports and Gender Essays

Societal Views on Sports and Gender Essays

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Societal Views on Sports and Gender


Sports have become a major part of American culture and society. It is ingrained in us as a small child that playing a sport is almost necessary. In elementary school we take physical education where we are exposed to competitive sport. But even at this level it is our genders that control which types of sports are deemed "appropriate."

Since women started to become involved in sports, there have always been those who have opposed them being there. We saw an example of this in the movie Girl Fight. By allowing a woman to partake in a sport, in this case boxing, that is typically viewed as male oriented in caused society to alter its views. This created many problems though. People do not want to see woman is a fighting role. It is thought to be unladylike and too rough. Because fighting is masculine, seeing a woman in that role changes gender roles in her community. Though it is clear that the Diana can handle herself in this movie. Her culture and society does not want to see her in a strong way. She faces many obstacles in order to show that she does belong where she is. In this movie she is victorious because it is her skills and determination that win out in the end, not her gender.

Both in Girl Fight and in Pumping Iron 2 the question of what is feminine and what should a woman look and act like is brought up. In Girl Fight, the idea of a female boxer is deemed not feminine. Diana is told that she is wrong for being interested in male sports. Also, her sexuality is questioned. People call her a dyke and other derogatory terms because they do not believe that she could possibly be a "normal girl". By questioning her sexuality they are saying too her that she is not allowed to be ...


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...g to their sexuality. Even though the football team is horrible and the cheerleaders are national champions. It is the fact that these male cheerleaders are involved in a feminine sport that makes them subject to ridicule.

There are positive things that can happen as a result of people playing sports not traditionally thought to be okay for their gender though. By having people in these roles it breaks down barriers between men and women in society. There are always going to be those that resist this, but in general people become more excepting of one another. At least that is the hope. Diana, Bev, and the others were either portraying or being, in Bev's case, pioneers in their sports field. But the fact that they got to compete at all shows us that our society has come a long way. Yet, the obstacles that they faced, shows us that we still have a long way to go.

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