gender sports final

gender sports final - Laura Serafin Professor Fader ENGW...

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Laura Serafin Professor Fader ENGW 1102 6 March, 2008 Sports in a Gendered Society As our society enters the twenty-first century, it is disheartening to realize as an avid sports-minded woman that gender bias still exists in organized sports today. Despite the endeavoring efforts of the Feminist Movement in recent decades to promote the parity of women, the power of organized sports still unfortunately remains “in a male’s world.” Like the female population, homosexual males also struggle for equal representation in sporting activities, often shunned by their “straight” male counterparts. Although progress on each front has been slowly forthcoming, societal attitudes must change with respect to gender relations and their roles in sports if we are to ultimately share in the “power” of play in sports. What purpose do organized sports serve in our society and the gendering of our sexes? The answer lies in the fact that society has selected sports as the powerful “social institution” upon which men, beginning with their youth, learn their roles as productive males and place in society. As Michael Messner states in his essay “Power at Play: Sport and Gender Relations,” organized sports have served to “bolster a sagging ideology of male superiority.” Through sports, males learn many of life’s lessons such as how to become competitive, strong, and dominating while developing a masculine personality that builds “good character.” According to Messner, gender identity is not a “thing” that people “have” but rather a process of construction that develops, comes into crisis, and changes as a person interacts with the social world. Essentially, this is how males, like
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females, become “gendered” because it is through these experiences that we learn our roles in society. Why are sports more than just a game to men? In Messner’s essay, the author explains that the games men play hold far greater significance than just the actual games themselves. He states that the games are rituals designed to maintain the “ideology and values of a competitive and hierarchical culture. Because masculine identity is rooted in the need to win, athletic competition, according to Messner, causes men to
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gender sports final - Laura Serafin Professor Fader ENGW...

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