Gender And Sport


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A thorough overview of issues, attitudes, and perceptions related to gender, particularly women and LBGT\'s in the arena of sport.

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Gender And Sport

  1. 1. Gender and Sport Presenter: Hunter Ignatoski
  2. 2. Historical Overview of Gender & Sport Issues
  3. 3. Beginning Thoughts <ul><li>Women Athletes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Threatening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excluded by Scholars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Origin of Sports </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hunting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2000-1700 BC - Bull Vaulting </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Ancient Greece <ul><li>Lives not conducive to sports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Excluded from political arena </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No economic power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Married young </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerous births </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Died at younger ages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spartan girls participated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraged by parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both sport and festivities </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Middle & High Middle Ages <ul><li>Middle Ages 300-800 AD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women and men participated in ballgames </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>St. Jude Ballgame </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High Middle Ages 1000-1300 AD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More female participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Educated in chess & dance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Still unbalanced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joust </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What is Sport? <ul><li>Sport today – “Physical activity engaged for pleasure” </li></ul><ul><li>Terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cricket </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hunting </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 17 th & 18 th Centuries <ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shrove Tuesday and Easter Monday </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Football games </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Passed down from middle ages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased Popularity in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Horse Racing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cricket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pugilism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cockfights </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 19 th Century <ul><li>Physical need for women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrupted by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fashion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Restrictive clothes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Might produce degenerate offspring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Psychologists suggested exercise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Theodore Roosevelt </li></ul>
  9. 9. Emergence of Women's Sports <ul><li>Appeared after Civil War </li></ul><ul><li>Demands of inclusion came from elite </li></ul><ul><li>Croquet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Craze swept the country </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Archery </li></ul><ul><li>Tennis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduced by Mary Ewing Outerbridge in 1874 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 20 th Century <ul><li>1870-1920 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical Education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1920-1940 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Play Day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CWA, NAAFWD, AAU </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1940-1950 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>War </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1960-1980 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title IX </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Ideas that Lead to Title IX <ul><li>Mary Wollstonecraft </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Girls should be allowed to take the same exercises as boys, and only then could there be a fair test of the assertion that males were ‘naturally superior.’” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth Cady Stanton </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ When girls are allowed the same freedom as boys in romping, swimming, climbing and playing, they would demonstrate that they were as capable as boys.” </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Media Representations of Male and Female Athletes
  13. 13. Gender Marking Language <ul><li>Women’s events seen as “other” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender marked language and logos used for women’s events but not men’s events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. NCAA Division I Final Four </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Performance Descriptions <ul><li>Description of performance varies based on the gender of the participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For males attributed to a combination of talent, instinct, intelligence, size, strength, quickness, hard work, and risk taking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For women is often attributed to talent, enterprise, hard work and intelligence, along with emotion, luck, togetherness, and family support </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Performance Descriptions, cont. <ul><li>Losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Men’s losses more likely to be due to the power, strength, and intelligence of their opponent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s losses explained as a combination of nervousness, lack of confidence, lack of comfort, lack of aggression, and lack of stamina </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. The Established Hierarchy <ul><li>Males considered superior to females </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male athletes are generally referred to as “men”, not “boys” or “gentlemen” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Female athletes are commonly referred to as “girls” or “young ladies” rather than “women” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a tendency to use first and last name or last name only of male athletes and first name only of female athletes </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Amount of Media Coverage <ul><ul><li>Coverage percentage is closest to being equal during the Olympics, however the type of events covered differs according to gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s events that get significant coverage tend to be events that are physically attractive such as diving, gymnastics, and figure skating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coverage of men’s events focus on displays of power and strength </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Television Coverage <ul><li>Women’s sports makes up a small percentage of sports news reports and highlights shows </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s sports are usually covered at the end of the program after all of the men’s sports have been covered </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s sports are not taken as seriously as men’s sports </li></ul>
  19. 19. Newspaper Coverage <ul><li>Women’s sports do not occupy as much print space as men’s sports </li></ul><ul><li>Tendency to show more photographs of women athletes </li></ul>
  20. 20. Gender Equity and Trends
  21. 21. Gender Equity <ul><li>Gender equity is far from being achieved. However, girls and women have never been closer to equity until recently. </li></ul>
  22. 22. “ Cosmetic Fitness” and the “Beauty Myth” <ul><li>Many women are under the influence of confusing cultural messages that dictate they should be firm but shapely, fit but sexy, strong but thin. </li></ul><ul><li>Heterosexualized muscular bodies are valued and favorite when displayed in high fashion sports gear. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Homophobia <ul><li>Homophobia is a generalized fear or intolerance of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people. </li></ul><ul><li>It affects most women in that it creates fears and pressures women to conform to traditional gender roles. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Mariah Burton Nelson: “ Homophobia in sports serves as a way to control women, both gay and straight”. Quote from Are We Winning Yet?
  25. 25. Inequities in Participation <ul><li>International sports </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer sports for women than for men in the Olympics. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities have increased over the past century, but gender equity has not yet been achieved. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Body as an object <ul><li>Images of women are presented as objects to be viewed, evaluated, and consumed. </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging in sports changes how women relate to men. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Who has power? <ul><li>Men occupy the highest levels of power and have access to higher levels of privilege and influence. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Male ballet dancer vs. female wrestler <ul><li>Who is more likely to be more socially accepted? </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>How many men have shopped for clothing in the women’s department or vice versa? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Masculinity <ul><li>Power and performance by men in sports have been used as evidence of aggressive nature, superiority over women, and rights to claim social space. </li></ul><ul><li>Fantasy of a heroic manhood: role of warrior same as being a man. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Femininity <ul><li>The culture still has images of femininity that conflict with attitudes and motivations needed to excel in sport. </li></ul><ul><li>Each female athlete must resolve the conflict for herself. </li></ul><ul><li>Women bodybuilders: powerful women, unfeminine freaks or sexualized hard bodies? </li></ul>
  31. 31. Gay or Lesbian in Sports <ul><li>Generally not accepted in sports. </li></ul><ul><li>Homophobia is widespread. </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination when seeking jobs as coaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Message to boys and men in sports is clear: “Don’t be a fag!” and “Don’t play like a girl!” </li></ul><ul><li>Deep fear of homosexuality in sports. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Transgender Athletes
  33. 33. Transgender/Transsexual <ul><li>Transgender - any individual who identifies outside of the typical gender roles of male and female. This identity may or may not include sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to fully transition to another gender. </li></ul><ul><li>Common Terminology i.e. FTM and MTF </li></ul><ul><li>“ A body’s sex is simply too complex. There is no either/or. Rather, there are shades of difference.” (Coakley 264). </li></ul>
  34. 34. History of Trans Athletes <ul><li>Transgender athletes were not allowed to legally participate in the Olympic Games until 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Strict requirements for trans athletes to compete </li></ul><ul><li>In 2005, USGA allows trans athletes, specifically MTF’s, to compete in golf championships </li></ul>
  35. 35. Resulting Controversy <ul><li>Claims that MTF’s would have an unfair strength advantage over natural-born women competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns that FTM’s do not have adequate ability to compete against men </li></ul><ul><li>Mismatch of birth certificate gender and new gender </li></ul>
  36. 36. Famous Trans Athletes <ul><li>Renee Richards </li></ul><ul><li>Mianne Bagger </li></ul><ul><li>Michelle Dumaresq </li></ul><ul><li>Alyn Libman </li></ul><ul><li>Loren Cameron </li></ul>
  37. 37. Renee Richards <ul><li>Born Richard Raskind </li></ul><ul><li>Challenged IOC for exemption of gender verification test (1976) </li></ul><ul><li>1 st MTF to compete in the U.S. Tennis Open (1977) </li></ul>
  38. 38. Mianne Bagger <ul><li>Successful MTF golfer in Australian Women’s Open </li></ul><ul><li>Eligible to join the ALPGA Tour in 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>“ They obviously don’t consider that I meet that condition [of being a woman].” </li></ul>
  39. 39. Michelle Dumaresq <ul><li>Professional mountain biker </li></ul><ul><li>Received license to compete in women’s category in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>2003 Canadian National Champion and 3-time World Cup Competitor </li></ul>
  40. 40. Alyn Libman <ul><li>Began transition from female to male in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Figure Skating allows him to compete against men </li></ul><ul><li>“ We should have the right to compete in the Olympics if we’re good enough as athletes.” </li></ul>
  41. 41. Loren Cameron <ul><li>FTM bodybuilder </li></ul><ul><li>Author and photographer of Body Alchemy </li></ul><ul><li>Uses bodybuilding as a tool to validate the “emotional and physical triumphs [of transsexuals].” </li></ul>