Reaching out to lesbians is a bold step for the wnba

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Chapter 21 / Exercise 8
Electrical Wiring Residential
Mullin/Simmons
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Reaching out to lesbians is a bold step for the WNBA. Although the American public is more acceptant of homosexuality today than in past, issues of sexual preference are still hotly debated. Hopefully the WNBA will be a catalyst for greater recognition of and acceptance of differences in sexual preference. And women athletes will be accepted purely on the basis of their athleticism and not on the basis of their femininity or heterosexuality. ***CULearn – Cahn “From the ‘Muscle Moll’ to the ‘Butch’ Ballplayer” the early twentieth century, a growing number ofwomen were receiving higher educations, entering professions, or finding other paid work that gave them the ability, should they choose, to live independently of men. From this point on, prejudice and discrimination against lesbians became a powerful social force. As a stereotyped figure in U.S. society, the lesbian athlete forms part of everyday cultural knowledge. years following World War II, the stereotype ofthe lesbian athlete emerged full blown. by the turn ofthe century, women had begun to challenge Victorian gender arrangements, breaking down barriers to female participation in previously male arenas of public work, politics, and urban nightlife. Some of these "New Women" sought entry into the world ofathletics as well. 1910s and 1920s: Medical experts and exercise specialists disagreed among themselves about the effects of athletic activity on women's reproductive cycles and organs. Some said it unleashed nonprocreative, erotic desires identified with male sexuality and unrespectable women, or, conversely, whether invigorating sport enhanced a woman's feminine charm and sexual appeal, channeling sexual energy into wholesome activity. Sexual hype, helped to attract customers and mute charges of mannishness. The most frequently used derogatory term for women athletes was "Muscle Moll." In its only other usages,
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Electrical Wiring Residential
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Chapter 21 / Exercise 8
Electrical Wiring Residential
Mullin/Simmons
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the word "moll" referred to either the female lovers of male gangsters or to prostitutes. Fueled by the gender antagonisms and anxieties of the Depression, the public began scrutinizing women athletes known for their appropriation of masculine games and styles-for signs of deviance. they suggested that athletes were literally un-becoming women: unattractive females who abdicated their womanhood and fell under sexual suspicion. World War II opened up significant economic and social possibilities for gay men and women. wake of wartime disruption sparked a "homosexual panic" which promoted the fear, loathing, and persecution of homosexuals stereotypes of Black females as highly sexual, promiscuous, and unrestrained in their heterosexual passions discouraged the linkagebetween mannishness and lesbianism. The effect extended beyond sport to the wider culture, where the figure of the mannish lesbian athlete announced that competitiveness, strength, inde pendence, aggression, and physical intimacy among women fell outside the bounds of womanhood Communication and Language ***Reserve – Kleinman “Why Sexist Language Matters”

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