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Men, Masculinity and Sport
Transcript of Men, Masculinity and Sport
What is does it mean to be masculine?
and what about sport....
'They are sissy's, big girls blouses and woosy's.'
'They are only playing so they can see other guys bodies.'
'They only play to make up the numbers.'
Men, Masculinity and Sport
How do we define it?
Sociologist Erving Goffman wrote that in America there is only "one complete, unblushing male" :
"a young, married, white, urban, northern heterosexual, Protestant father of college education, fully employed, of good complexion, weight and height, and a recent record in sports. Every American male tends to look out upon the world from this perspective. Any male who fails to qualify in any one of these ways is likely to view himself.... as unworthy, incomplete, and inferior."
Hegemonic Masculine Male
Complicit masculine Male
Subordinated Masculine Males
Homosexual Masculine Males
David & Brannon
1. "No Sissy Stuff!" One may never do anything that even remotely suggests feminity. Masculinity is the relentless repudiation of the feminine.
2. "Be a Big Wheel." Masculinity is measured by power, success, wealth and status. As the current saying goes, "he who has the most toys when he dies wins."
3. "Be a Sturdy Oak." Masculinity depends on remaining calm and reliable in a crisis, holding emotions in check. In fact, proving you're a man depends on never showing your emotions at all. Boys don't cry.
4. "Give 'em Hell." Exude an aura of manly daring and aggression. Go for it. Take risks.
an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.
What underpins this aversion?
Rejection of Masculine Traits
Affinity for feminine traits
“gay men who are seen as queer and effeminate are granted no space whatsoever in what is generally considered to be a masculine preserve and a macho enterprise.”
Hekma (1998, 2)
“The extent of homophobia in the sports world is staggering. Boys (in sports) learn early that to be gay, to be suspected of being gay, or even to be unable to prove one’s heterosexual status is not acceptable.”
Messner (1992, 34)
What effects do you think homophobic views may
have on participation?
Through the public denunciation of previous gay athletes such as David Kopay, sport has set a social benchmark - NO GAYS
By restricting the participation of gay sportsmen, sport helps to reinforce hegemonic masculinity within its own arena but also in wider society
Some sports reinforce masculine hegemony more than other such as football, NFL, NHL & NBA
Homophobia in institutions inevitably leads to homophobia in sports, which is directly linked to heteronormativity and gender performance.
Is it still a problem now?
Russian Anti- Gay Law
"It's disrespectful to our country, disrespectful to our citizens because we are Russians,"
"Maybe we are different than European people and people from different lands."
To understand the different masculinties present within society
Recognise the institutional homophobia present within society
Explore what has been done to overcome homophobia and what could be introduced
Consider arguments suggesting homophobia is on the decline
Collectively, colleagues and I show a strong relationship between decreasing cultural homophobia and a softening of heterosexual masculinities in Western cultures.
inclusive masculinity theory
decreasing cultural homophobia and the diminishment of homohysteria permits various forms of adolescent masculinities to exist without hegemonic dominance of any one type. The reduction of homophobia has permitted youth to be accepting and inclusive
A Possible Change in focus...
what are your thoughts?
softening of masculinity