In our society there are costs both socially and culturally for individuals who choose to violate their own gender and/or sex norms. We live in a time when, though great advancements have been made, gender roles are still differentiated out from each other with specific behavior and lifestyle expectations built into our value system and ascribed to individuals. The past decade has seen a growing move away from such distinct male/female expectations, however in areas such as sport the differences and problems that still exist in our gender ideology are much more visible. Though we are aware of these differences and can discuss them in a class environment (such as we did the past four Wednesdays) it is questionable how much we can do to change what exists. Norms and values are very much a part of our society and it may just take time to reverse thousands of years of the oppressive gender distinctions and role identities, which have come to exist so firmly today.
The 20th century was a reaction against the past. So much changed in one century it is almost impossible for us today to understand what it was like just 100 years ago. 100 years ago, Victorian ideals were entrenched into every day American life. Women represented everything private and domestic. Everything about them was shrouded in a cloud of restrictive ideology- even their bodies were hidden behind layers of uncomfortable clothing. Men dominated the public sphere. They were fierce, competitive, and in charge of the world. Women were not allowed near the public sphere. In terms of sport, women were kept away from any type of physical activity. Their domain was anything domestic. Domestic tasks kept them busy and away from the world. ...
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...gy also keeps them away from sports and stigmatizes certain athletic adventures as feminine.
This problem of labeling certain things and expecting people to fulfill their gender role is misleading and confusing. You cannot grant rights and then set limits upon them. Though much advancement has been made, and Title 9 has been wonderful and great, there are still problems that exist. People still cling to a strict set of ideas and values governing the behavior of men and women especially in terms of sport. Women are no longer only members of a private sphere and men are no longer the dominators of a public sphere. But they are still expected to act a certain way and not stray too far from these expectations. I don't have any answers about what is to be done, however discussing it and becoming aware of the issues is very important and has been quite helpful for me.
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