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The paper discusses how the sports media can ruin a player's reputation with its nagging half-truths and its penchant for giving momentum to rumors that are baseless and vicious. Next, the paper addresses sex and gender divisions in sport, gender discrimination and sexism in the media when it comes to female snowboarders. The paper also looks at the world of rodeo riders and the reasons so many women follow the rodeo, and describes a gender dysphoria tragedy. The paper draws the conclusion that even though society is changing, sports is an institution dominated by male tradition, and it will not be easy for professional sports to fully embrace tolerance for these gender-related issues. The paper posits that it will require bright, talented and famous sports players to step up and pave the way for gays, lesbians, transsexuals and others to be accepted by teammates, the media and the fans.
From the Paper:"The sports media can ruin a player's reputation with its nagging half-truths and its penchant for giving momentum to rumors that are baseless and vicious. A classic example is Mike Piazza, a handsome and successful major league catcher who played for the New York Mets among other teams. Whether Piazza (who retired several years after this article was published) is gay or not - and it seems certain he is not - his "multiple performances of masculinity - towering home runs, declarations of heterosexuality, references to playmate girlfriends - serve to reaffirm his place within the gender hierarchy" (Butterworth, 2006, p. 141). Since gender is linked to "culturally specific discourses" (some of which can be viewed in the sporting context) of "masculinity or femininity," the booming home runs Piazza hit, viewed through the lens of sexuality, are seen as "masculine aggressive" (Butterworth, p. 141). Women, being the opposite of men, are therefore viewed through the media as "feminine passive" (p. 141).
"Hence, men who are not aggressive and assertive "are failures... [and have] betrayed their dominant position and made themselves 'like women'" (Butterworth quotes Butler, 1999, p. 138). Some scholars view baseball as a response to the 19th Century "crisis of masculinity" in the U.S. that arrived with the "new liberations of women" (p. 143). This crisis is still with us to some degree Butterworth posits, and baseball helps shape "working class masculinity" (p. 143). Although there has been widespread acceptance of gays and lesbians in the "culture at large, silence about homosexual identity hangs over the world of men's professional sport" (Butterworth, p. 143)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Breckenridge, Celia. (2002). Men Loving Men Hating Women: The Crisis of Masculinity andViolence to Women in Sport. In S. Scraton and A. Flintoff, Eds. Gender and Sport: A Reader.New York: Routledge, 236-259.
- Butterworth, Michael L. (2006). Mike Piazza and the Discourse of Gay Identity in the NationalPastime. Journal of Sport and Social Issues. 30(2), 138-157.
- Forsyth, Craig J., and Thompson, Carol Y. (2007). Helpmates of the Rodeo: Fans, Wives, andGroupies. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Vol. 31, 397-417.
- Fuller, Linda K. (2009). Sport, Rhetoric, and Gender: Historical Perspectives and MediaRepresentations. New York: Macmillan.
- Goffard, Christopher. (2010). Column One: Public Triumph, Private Torment. The Los AngelesTimes. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from http://www.latimes.com.
Cite this Term Paper:
Sports, Media and Social Change (2013, January 13) Retrieved January 22, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/sports-media-and-social-change-152204/
"Sports, Media and Social Change" 13 January 2013. Web. 22 January. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/sports-media-and-social-change-152204/>