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Gender and Sports

Essay by   •  December 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  719 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,123 Views

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Gender and Sports

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players shoot a ball into the top of a basketball hoop to score points. This sport was created in December 1981 by a physical education teacher who needed an activity for his students on a rainy day. When you think about basketball do you think about males or females? You automatically think about males right? Basketball is considered to be a male dominated sport. Attendance at men's games is higher than attendance at women's games and men's games are advertised more than women's. Professional women basketball players are paid a mere $69,690 compared to a whopping $473,604 paid to men"(www.livestrong.com).

In "Power at Play: Sport and Gender Relations" Messner quoted George Gilder and John Carroll because they believed that sports are the most important male rite and that women should be banned from sports. This is because of their neo-Victorian belief that men should be in public and women should be at home. They also believed that sport is a natural realm in which masculinity unfolds. Messner believed that "sport is a social institution that, in its dominant forms, was created by men and for men"(636). Why did many people believe that sports were for men? That is because the male body structure is strong and built to engage in strenuous activities. Messner also conducted studies on young men and the reason they were attracted to sports was because they could bond with other people. In "Tale of Two Carters" the sport of basketball was used to bring Ken and Thomas Carter together. Thomas Carter was the director of the film that was inspired by the high school basketball star/coach. Basketball brought the two men together and helped them bond.

Messner stated, "Men from poor and blue-collar backgrounds, especially blacks, often perceived athletic careers to be their best chance for success in the public sphere" (638). Ken Carter believed that playing basketball would be the only way that he would be successful. However after his high school basketball star days were over, he went back to his school and became the head coach of the boy's team. Ken had a lot of passion for the game of basketball and that is what Thomas saw when he decided to make the movie. According to Messner black men have put their "stamp" on basketball. K. Carter thought that if he played basketball and played it exceptionally well that he could eventually make a career out of it. He was just like most other young black men who thought that sports would take them to new places in life. It didn't always work out this way for them though.

According to Messner many people didn't believe that gay men played professional sports. They were believed to be too "soft" to be athletic. When you see sports commercials do you ever see an effeminate male portrayed?

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