How Gender Effects Power in Sports

I need to remember to sign off of my wiki in the library

There are many different ways power is represented in our society. One area in our society where there is a great divide in who is seen as having the power is in sports. Men and women have been separated in sports pretty much since sports have been invented. This separation and how we value each gender group’s athletics respectively says a lot about our society’s ideology and who has power in our athletics.

This separation has lots to with our cultural ideology about what it means to be a man vs. a woman. In our society men are generally represented as tough and rugged, who can take the punishment of sports and the physically stress they create. Women are normally represented as housewives who are very fragile and nonphysical. These societal perceptions have lead us to believe that women cannot or should not play with men because they physically would not be able to handle it because men are seen as being more powerful.

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These stereotypes even cross into women’s only sports teams. For example a professional men’s tennis match is 5 sets, while a women’s is only three. The fact that most professional women athletes are more than capable of playing just as long as their male counterparts seems to be overlooked. These women’s sports games as a whole tend to be valued a lot less then their male sport counterparts. For example atRutgersUniversityit cost three dollars less to see a women’s soccer game then a men’s game. There is also little to no coverage of these women’s sports on TV compared to their male counterparts.

Our social ideologies about what we feel women can do compared to men are so deeply ingrained in our society that they have transferred into our athletics. We generally represent men as more powerful in our media culture, which leads our society to generally value women in sports less than men. This is a great injustice because women’s sports are incredibly competitive and women athletes are just as, if not more athletic than there male counterparts.

Homosexuality in Athletics
Homosexuality has become a target for discrimination and injustice. In our society, people, males especially, have lots of pressure to fit into the social ideological mold of “manliness”. This cultural phenomenon has led to rejection and “othering” of homosexuals.
After he retired from the NBA in February 2007, John Amaechi came out in his memoir.
After he retired from the NBA in February 2007, John Amaechi came out in his memoir.
One area in which sexual preference plays a key role in how you are judged as a person is in sports. Being homosexual, especially in men’s sports, is seen as almost a cardinal sin. The main reason that homosexuals are judged so harshly in the world of sports has to deal with our cultures ideology of masculinity. In our culture athletes are mostly portrayed as extremely tough, emotionless, hyper males whose only goal in life is to physically injure their opponents. This representation is far from what most of these athletes are actually like as people in society. This society’s ideology of what an athlete should be is pushed so strongly onto the players that they are afraid to actually be themselves in fear of shunned by society. This is especially true for gays in sports who don’t fit into the stereotypical hyper male representation. Take for example the case of Rick Welts. Rick Welts was the president and chief executive of a professional basketball team, who spent 40 years in the system of the N.B.A. Rick Welts, is a homosexual man, but waited until after he retired from basketball to come out about his sexuality. Even though he was not an athlete, the pressure from just being involved in sports was too much for him to open up about his sexuality before his retirement. The stigma for gays in sports is so great that to date no active professional male athlete on a prominent professional sports team has declared that they are gay. In our society and especially in sports we are afraid to be different because we feel that we are in a “Panopticon”. This means that we feel like we are constantly being watched and judged and if we stray from the norm then there will be unwanted consequences by society.
In my opinion I feel that more gays should come forward in sports. If homosexuality stays as a taboo topic then a large number of people in our society will have to suffer a great injustice for a longer period of time.

Growing Up Male in America

Growing up in today’s society, there are a lot of pressures on males. Our cultural ideology about what it is to be a true male puts a lot of pressure on young kids to grow and be “hyper masculine” like the males that are shown on TV and commercials. One of the biggest pressures on male kids is to participate in sports. Parents are pushing their kids to start playing sports younger and younger because that is seen as the socially acceptable thing to do. These pressures of males to compete and perform in organized sports at young ages can have a profound negative effect on these children.

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In our American society we take our athletics very seriously and they are a big part of our culture. In America being a professional athlete is one of the most coveted careers and position in society. Parents see the quality of life that is achieved by these athletes over and over again on TV and in magazines. Naturally they want the best for their children so they start trying to groom them to be athletic superstars at very young ages in hopes that with many years of coaching and practice they could someday become professional athletes and experience the quality of life that comes with that position in society. However the pressure put on these kids, especially males, are very harmful. The stress of high levels of competition can lead to emotional burnout and injuries that can affect these children for the rest of their lives. These risks however are not taken into consideration by the parents of these children. Its not the pressure on the children to conform in society that causes this, it’s the pressure on the parents to conform. The parents don’t want to be seen as not giving their kid an opportunity to succeed as a professional athlete like everyone else is doing. The kids are not directly pressured by society; they are pressured by the parents who are pressured by society. As a consequence of this, kids who do not participate in sports at an early age are seen as destine to be less successful in the long run, which is very far from the truth.

Link To Other Wiki
In the society we live in today, there shouldn't be any reason to keep something like sexual preference a secret. Yet this is exactly what many people must do. This is specially important if you hold certain jobs. One of the harshest among these jobs is sports. Most who out themselves while they still play are criticized harshly. For fear of repercussion very few athletes have admitted their homosexuality while still playing. Admitting something like this can be a career-ender. –Dilan Samarasinghe

This quote from a peer’s wiki really stood out to me because it was very similar to a post in my wiki and also I am an athlete. In the world of athletics, even at the High School level, being homosexual is seen as a taboo. Athletes are constantly being told by society and the media that they need to fit into the mold of a stereotypical “tough guy”. This is unfortunate because being gay does not fall into this mold. Athletes who are gay most generally are too afraid to “come out” for fear of societal ridiculing. As I stated in my wiki post this fear of ridicule and possible career ending because society does not generally represent athletes who are homosexual or support them because they do not fit into the media image of the ultra masculine male athletes. Athletes are constantly under the media and social spotlight, so the reaction of society to them going against social taboos is much faster than it would be for a normal person. This makes it even harder for athletes to "come out" because the reaction by the media and society is incredibly swift because of their positions in society, so they have very little time to prepare for the backlash. Overall my paper about homosexuality in sports and Dilan’s paper about homosexuality in sports are very similar and express many of the same points about societies perception of gay athletes.