Over the years the perception of women in sport has changed considerably. In this course we have viewed several films all dealing with the depiction of female athletes in an attempt to gauge society's current perception of women in sport. I will briefly summarize each film and the main themes of the films before providing a description of the female athlete which I will infer from commonalities between the films.
The first film we watched was a documentary entitled, Dare to Compete; it provided a brief history of women in film, focusing primarily on American women in sport from the late 19th century to the present. From this film we gained a notion of where women have been and how far we've come in the sports world. In fact, the growing equality, autonomy and independence of women throughout the 20th century from the suffragette movement to the adoption of Title IX and the Equal Rights Amendment is linked directly with the growing prominence and acceptance of women in sports. The main themes of the film, along with the examination of women in sport, were the celebration of the female athlete and how far women have come in the sports world as well as a reminder that female athletes have not yet attained the same status as male athletes.
The second film we watched was, Bend it Like Beckham, about a British girl of Indian descent who wants to play soccer. The conflict in this film deals with the opposing views of the athletic, modern, westernized-protagonist and her supportive, but more conservative and traditional parents, who worry about their tomboyish daughter who would rather play soccer than learn how to cook a full Indian dinner. The basic theme is the value of embracing your culture as w...
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...ave viewed during this course the female athlete is well-rounded, trains hard, and is tomboyish despite the gender restrictions placed on her by her parents or society at large. She is also heterosexual and must learn which of her life goals are the most important to her. This description seems to fit in with the currently acceptable rules of conduct within society.
1. Bend it Like Beckham, prod. and dir. Gurinder Chadha, 1 hr. 52 min., Fox, 2002. DVD
2. Dare to Compete : The Struggle of Women in Sports, prod. and dir. HBO, 1 hr. 21 min. HBO, 1999. DVD
3. Girlfight, prod. and dir. Karyn Kusama. 1 hr. 50 min., Columbia TriStar, 2002. DVD
4. Love and Basketball. prod. and dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2 hr. 4 min., Warner Home Video, 2002. DVD
5. Remember the Titans. prod. and dir. Boaz Yakin. 1 hr. 53 min., Disney Studios, 2000. DVD
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