Friday, August 6, 2010

Male Acceptance in Female Dominated Sports

Meagan Laurie


Gender Popular Culture

August 5, 2010

Just the other day, I went shopping for my friend’s son named Pablo. He was being given a gymnastic themed party and that’s where the challenge began. I went to several sporting goods stores and I found it very hard to find gymnastic items for boys the same age or around the age of Pablo. There was a large variety of gymnastic items for the girls but when it came to boys there seemed to be a boycott against boys and gymnastics. This dismal amount of items for boys in gymnastics makes it evident that a sport like gymnastics isn’t accepted in the sports world especially when it comes to men participating in a sport dominated by females. Therefore, I find it easy to argue that gymnastics, against many other sports, is not necessarily acceptable for men because of its lack of masculinity and because of marketing strategies of sporting goods, it sends the message that gymnastics is for women and not for men.

The message that is being sent to men interested in the sport gymnastics through advertisement is that it is a sport mainly for women and that it is not something that men participate in. When boys want to participate in sports this strategy inhibits young boys from growing interest in the sport and they participate in more socially acceptable sports such as football and baseball, or more simply, sports dominated by the male demographic. This leaves little room for those who want to be gymnasts and it almost makes the few males who want to participate in this sport think about how it may make others think about their sexuality. To support this claim author Michael Messner argues that, “All boys love baseball. If they don't they're not real boys. There are millions of males who at an early age are rejected by, become alienated or lose interest in organized sports. Yet all boys are, to a greater or lesser extent, judged according to their ability, or lack of ability, in competitive sports from, or lose interest in organized sports. Yet all boys are, to a greater or lesser extent, judged according to their ability, or lack of ability, in competitive sports” (122). By participating in sports other than what men like to call ‘All-American sports’, young boys face a lot judgment because of their choice of a sport not acceptable to many men.

Advertising items pertaining to gymnastics as a female dominated sport distracts many young boys from ever choosing to participate in that sport. Stated before, the sport weighs heavy on their sexuality in participation of gymnastics. According to Jackson Katz, “at any given time, the class structure and gender order produce numerous masculinities stratified by socioeconomic class, racial and ethnic difference, and sexual orientation” (350). Advertising business use this method of thinking to control what our young boys choose to participate in to create a world of masculine and sometimes overly masculine men in the future. This strategy tends to work because if you look at the many products associated with gymnastics, you would mostly see young, white, skinny girls and rarely muscular white men. This further excludes those of other races from participating in gymnastics. Therefore, advertising agencies control who they want to participate in each sport and if one, mainly males, chooses outside of that realm then they face judgment on many different levels including sexuality.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Binge Drinking & Date Rape: Subverted Version of Say Ahh






This student-created production is covered under the Fair Use codes US copyright law. Specifically, Section 107 of the current Copyright Act and Section 504(c)(2) cover the educational-basis of this video production. The production is intended to be a transformative remake, aiding in both student and public media literacy.  The use of copyrighted material is in the service of constructing a differing understanding than the original work, which according to Section 110 (1) (2), is to be treated as a new cultural production. This student-production is in no way limited to the protections provided by the Fair Use codes stated above due to the many other sections of the current US Copyright Act, which also include the principles of Fair Use.

Please refer to Fair Use principles when re-posting, quoting, and/or excerpting the video-production posted here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Sex Room" The "Real" Mix

video


This student-created production is covered under the Fair Use codes US copyright law. Specifically, Section 107 of the current Copyright Act and Section 504(c)(2) cover the educational-basis of this video production. The production is intended to be a transformative remake, aiding in both student and public media literacy. The use of copyrighted material is in the service of constructing a differing understanding than the original work, which according to Section 110 (1) (2), is to be treated as a new cultural production. This student-production is in no way limited to the protections provided by the Fair Use codes stated above due to the many other sections of the current US Copyright Act, which also include the principles of Fair Use.




Please refer to Fair Use principles when re-posting, quoting, and/or excerpting the video-production posted here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What A Manly Man He Is!!!

Meagan Laurie


July 16, 2010

Many people say that males and females are very different from each other. Besides our apparent sexual differences, there are many differences in how we act and go on living each day in our everyday lives. We categorize these differences as masculine and feminine traits. These traits vary from dichotomy words, to language differences and even body language. Living our lives based on these traits allows us to categorize other people based on what we think and not what is truly a characteristic of the other person. These opinions about how one should lead their lives by following these normative traits makes it easy for one to take notice to those who either support these character traits or venture out of the character traits. In the media, these traits are now varying amongst the sexes but many shows make sure that their characters stick to the normative rules of feminine and masculine traits. One show in particular depicts a certain character as the epitome of a masculine charcter.

When it comes to the characters Goren and Eames on the popular show, “Law and Order Criminal Intent,” many of the show’s viewers would say that the two are a perfect team for solving, what sometimes seems like impossible, cases. With strategic planning and excellent cop work, Goren and Eames seem to be an unstoppable partnership for solving many ‘whodunit’ cases. But if you take Eames, the female character, out of the picture, it is very clear that she is very expendable and that her hand in many of the cases, partnered with Goren, is next to invisible. This is due to the fact that Goren is clearly the mastermind and the brains behind many if not all of their investigations.

The character of Goren is depicted as the logically witty and the detective who has the stroke of genius when it comes to catching the bad guys. In the episode, “Silencer,” one would see these characteristics in Goren as he goes through solving the case. He takes action and is the leader to many of the clues to solve this murder investigation. Eames has little or no input as far as actually solving the case, but she does tag along with Goren to confirm that his excellent detective skills are correct. Logic is something seen as a word that is automatically assumed to be a male characteristic or a masculine trait. Indeed, Goren possesses this quality and shows it off, if you will, in the process of solving the investigation. The mere fact that he is a detective is indicative of him being automatically perceived as male being that the word detective is processed to many as a masculine job. One may assume that patriarchy is to blame for this clear gender oppression but according to Johnson, “race, gender, and class oppression are actually not oppression at all, but merely the sum of individual failings on the part of blacks, women, and the poor, who lack the right stuff to compete successfully with whites, men, and others who know how to make something of themselves”(92).

Although that statement may seem very harsh, it is indeed very true of the character of Eames. She could easily say what she feels would be the right way of solving the case but is never really allowed that opportunity. If Goren is solving the case then that allows little or no room for other’s input and therefore Eames stands no contest to that of the intellect of Goren. Speaking up or over the boisterous Goren, she would be seen in a bitchy and very negative way. Thus, the vicious cycle of patriarchy continues. Goren does not act as though he could do without his female partner but the way the show depicts his character is very indicative of how much he could do without the female counterpart. Furthermore, Goren is always the first at the scene and the front-most person in every scene. He is excellent at being the “in your face” detective and it is because of the attention he demands when solving this investigation according to Newman known as “Linguistic tendencies” (84).

Linguistics tendencies are what Newman defines as, “gender-typed conversational behaviors that actually reflect power differences rather than gender differences” (84). What this suggests is that language can establish power in everyday conversation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be male and female conversations but it also suggests that it happens more with the male being the power force in the conversation. This is evident in the character Goren. He not only demands attention, but spares no expense in interrupting people with his intellectual explanations. When he is close to actually solving a case and the prime suspect is in his grasp in the interrogation room, he controls the topics of conversations. There are clear power imbalances between the two detectives who solved the case because Goren takes over the interrogation leaving Eames to merely read the suspect his/her rights. This leaves viewers to assume that Goren has solved another case with the help of the female counterpart but rarely do the viewers see that it took both detectives to solve the case. But the viewers also feed into the fact that Goren is a brilliant detective. What they don’t see is that without his female partner, many of the cases probably would be harder to solve. Goren is sometimes very abrasive in questioning witnesses at times, and when those times arise, Eames acts as the mediator and the woman figure that is the comforting agent when in a pressuring situation such as questioning.

Goren is a very brilliant character on the show “Law and Order Criminal Intent”. He is automatically known to be not only extravagantly intelligent, but the powerful figure in his partnership and virtually the entire show. Suspects answer to him, his commander answers to him and even his partner answers to him. His masculine traits are what sets him apart form his partner and anyone else for that matter. But are all masculine traits so abrasive, aggressive, and so power seeking? Goren’s character leaves very little room for debate on that issue but as long as we assume that certain words are assumed to be masculine due to dichotomy of our vocabulary, then these masculine trait words will always be seen in the powerful light, well, just as long as Goren’s a detective!

Newman, David M.. Identities and Inequalities Exploring the Intersections of Race Class Gender and Sexuality. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007.

Johnson, Allan G. "Patriarchy, the System: An It, Not a He, a Them or an Us." Reconstructing Gender: A Multicultural Anthology. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2003. 91-98. Print.


“Silencer.” Law and Order Criminal Intent. USA. TV-14, Australia. 3 Apr. 2007. Television.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Meagan's Feedback on Christian

       I found every one of your sites very helpful and supporting of the idea of gender popular culture. I especially found the Soulja Boy site very interesting because I, too, find the usage of the word "hoe" was just dramatically overused in that one song. I mean he might as well had said hoe at the end of each bar in the song. I also found the song analysis of the song "angel in the morning" very interesting. Feminism didn't rally strike me as the main concept of the song, maybe I'm wrong but the chick seemed pretty uhhhh, 'horny" if you will. But I gues in the rhelm of breaking a social norm about women being bale to have one night stands, then I guess feminism could be used to explain this phenomenon. Here I am going on and on about the feminism site, I forgot to mention the Top Chef one. I found it hard to point out exactly what it had to do with gender popular culture. Maybe its me, but all the others sort of jumped out to me and this one, although interesting to read, didn't necessarily touch on the gender popular culture for me. Otherwise, you did a really great job!! Thanks for allowing me to read blog buddy.