Kine 1000- Reading Notes for Finals
Sex and Gender
Egg and Sperm: A scientific fairy tale
- By extolling female cycle as productive enterprise, menstruation must necessarily be
viewed as a failure.
- Menstruation as “debris” of uterine lining- making scraps, products of no use.
- Male reproductive system seems more dominant, because they produce hundreds of
millions of sperm per day, while women only shed single gametes per month.
- Female analogy to spermatogenesis is ovulation.
- Ovulation does not merit enthusiasm.
- Sperm are always produced, ovarian follicles sit, age like overstocked inventory.
- No new follicles appear after birth.
- New born females have all the germ cell they will ever need.
o Reach full maturity during active productive life and then degenerate during
- Males- produce fresh germ cells
- Females- stocked piled germ cell by birth which degenerates.
- Ovaries become old and worn out from hundreds of cycles.
- Egg production is inferior, because it is finished at birth.
- Degeneration of eggs- 300 000 eggs remain by puberty and only 400-500 are released
during 40 or so years of a women’s reproductive life.
- Why so many eggs that die in the ovaries are wasteful, but not the 100 million sperm per
day for males?
- For every baby produced, women only waste 200 eggs, men waste more than one
- Sperm delivers and goes to egg, while the egg is inactive.
- Egg= femininity, Sperm= masculinity
- Sperm have enough energy to penetrate the egg.
- Egg coat called “vestments” reserved for sacred, religious dress.
- Egg said to be like “sleeping beauty”- a dormant bride awaiting her mate’s magic kiss.
- Egg is passive and depends on the sperm for rescue.
- An egg dies within an hour if not rescued by a sperm. - Female organs are interdependent, male organs are autonomous, independently, and in
- “Sperm are cells with limited behavioral repertoire, on directed towards fertilizing eggs.
To swim to an egg to acquire ability to effect membrane fusion.
New Research, old imagery
- Sperm transforms egg from passive to active, by binding to it.
- Sperm uses mechanical and chemical (digestive enzymes) to get through the egg.
- Sperm’s tail is actively proven weak.
- Sperm’s head moves back and forth.
- Sideway motion of sperm’s tail makes sperm’s head moves sideways.
- Sperm must be efficient in escaping from cell and surface from egg should trap cell to
prevent escape, otherwise few if any sperm would reach the egg.
- Sperm and egg stick because of adhesive molecules.
- When sperm is stuck to an egg, its tail is weak and sperm releases enzymes to get
- The egg is seen as more active, because the zona has adhesive molecules that
aggressively catch sperm with a single bond and clasp it to zona’s surface.
- The egg traps the sperm first before it attempts to penetrate the zona.
- Egg and sperm first touch when the tip of the sperm’s triangular head shoots out long
thin filament that harpoons the egg.
- Filament may not stick to egg right away but grow as much as 20 times longer.
- The sperm must locate the nucleus in cytoplasm to fuse two cell’s chromosomes.
- Many sperm can bind to and penetrate the zona’s outer coat of unfertilized egg, but only
one sperm will fuse with the thin plasma membrane surrounding the egg proper,
fertilizing egg and producing new embryo.
- Egg have sperm receptors.
- Sperm are proteins and have “pockets
- Molecules which fit pockets are called ligands.
- ZP3 turns into egg binding protein.
- Egg selects proper mate, prepares him for fusion and protects offspring from harm.
Social implications: thinking beyond
- Women as servant and mother. - Importance of cultural ideas about passive females and heroic males into the personality
Sexuality and Heteronormativity
Sport and sexual regulation
- Gay and lesbians in sport do not reveal sexual orientation, until after they retire.
- Gay male athletes don’t come out because of harassment from fans, teammates, and
- Esera Tualo plays for the NFL for 9 years:
o Tualo’s main concern about coming out was that either someone from his team
or another, would’ve attempted to physically injure him, if they knew he was gay.
o Gay athletes face risks of losing career and suffering physical punishment.
- High performance sport help reproduce heteronormative ideals.
- Sport is a place for maintaining and reproducing normative masculinity.
- Normative masculinity in sport mirrors attitudes in patriarchal capitalist society.
- Normative masculinity- aggressive, competition, accumulation of wealth as signs of
- Sexual regulations.
- How are the attitudes in sport shaped by society?
- Sexual regulations- sex and sexuality, like all things in society are neither natural nor
- Politics, history and economics shape morality.
- Society fears difference and privilege sameness.
- Being different is seen as a threat.
- Policing normal and making others conform is how power is maintained.
- Foucault says “normalization” is seen as “constant pressure to conform to the same
model, so people may be like one another.”
- Society has a tendency to label and classify everybody.
- The label “deviant” placed on one to have power over them, to send them to prisons or
asylums whether deserving or not- those who are labelled are harassed.
- Hetero-sexist- assuming that everybody is sexually attracted to the opposite sex.
o Normalize heterosexuality.
o Deviant as abnormal. - Being a successful athlete is equal to being heterosexual.
- Norms of sport is masculine and heterosexual.
- Drills and practices in sports produce sameness and brings excellence in play.
- Those who do not do drills are soft and lazy.
- Teasing and ridiculing other boys and men about being a fag is a common way both
athletes and coaches police sexually in sports.
- High performance sports= normalizing institutions.
- Female disturb heterosexual sanctity of men’s sport.
- “Evolved” races had to have greater degrees of gender segregation.
- Fear of white women in sports, because of fear they would lose their womanhood.
- Women who excel in sports are not proper women.
- Feared the more women engage in their bodies in a physical manner, the more likely
they would not be able to control their impulses.
- Assumption that successful women athletes are lesbians.
- Women can compete, even excel in sports as long as they demonstrate that they are
sexually interested in men.
- Women athletes have to go to great extend to prove their femininity.
- Women displaying hyper femininity in high performance sport.
- Stereotype of “mannish lesbian” hold power over women’s participation in high
- Sport where women could “respectably associate without company of men.”
- Sport provided space for community, companionship, and sharing intense experience.
- Gay men enter high performance sport to prove that they are as manly as their straight
- Heterosexism ensures who a man and women is.
Don’t be gay dude: How the institution of sport reinforces homophobia- Kelsey Lucyk
- Canadian sport make and use concept of muscular Christianity to explain hegemonic
masculinity, found in Canadian institution of sport.
- Sport reinforces, naturalizes, and institutionalizes homophobic behaviors.
- “Gay athlete perception” that they are not serious about sport or that they are locker
room voyeurs that just want to have sex with their teammates.
- Media does not reward gay athletes with sporting images, because sport is reserved for
men. Hegemonic Masculinity in Sporting Canada
- Sport favours one man: hegemonic, heterosexual, and masculine man.
- Muscular Christianity- dominant masculine identity in Canada.
- Canadian society is heteronormative- assume males desire women and vice versa.
- Heterosexism- heterosexuality is normal.
- Homosexuality- same sex desire.
- Homophobia- fear of homosexuality.
- Contemporary masculine script: the rejection of femininity, ambition, and the pursuit of
success and wealth, heterosexual potency, and toughness, confidence, and
- Since the 19 century, muscular Christianity has existed as the dominant paradigm of
masculinity in Canada.
o Developed by Anglo- protestant bourgeois.
o English middle class promoted team sports as a way to achieve Christian like
character and leadership.
- Sexual hazing- opportunity to terrorize and exclude gay athletes, while espousing
notions of teamwork, mental well-being and respect for others.
- Young men’s Christian Association to depict Christianity as tough, virtue, and masculine.
- Sport was meant to protect “respectable” adolescents from temptations of tobacco,
alcohol, sex, and falling with “the wrong crowd.”
- Sport has maintained its founding muscular Christian values of teamwork and
- Canadian sport developed according to Christian values resulting in linkage between
morality, respectability, teamwork, and leadership.
- 1980s, phenomena of wide spread televising of sport events.
o Televised sport figures like Terry Fox and Paul Henderson replaced war heroes
of Canadian society.
o Televised sports turned athletes into role models “reconstructing the formation of
- “Sport tend both to change with and promote the values of the culture as a whole.”
- Homosexual athletes threaten hegemonic masculinity, because they threaten the
perceived distinctions between gay men and straight men and thus perceived
differences between men and women. - Commentators in sports ridiculed gay athletes by talking about their body language,
appearance, and costume rather than their performance.
- Feminine sports includes gymnastic, figure skating, and tennis which are artistry, beauty,
- Men’s sports are hockey, rugby and football or fighting sports which encourage physical
strength and aggression.
Exclusively no gays or girls allowed
- Even if men are engaging in feminine defined sport, they still have to maintain a
masculine image of strength and aggression.
- In the locker room, men discuss their sexual conquest of women.
Inclusivity: Sexual Hazing and Bonding Experience
- Locker rooms hold potential for homoeroticism.
- Wayne Gretzky challenged hegemonic masculine scripts.
- Hazing in masculine sport team is sexual; makes often make to perform homoerotic acts
while expected to despise them.
Sexual abuse: Playing with fire and taking a hit
- Sexual hazing- forcing men to engage in homoerotic behaviors (forcing men to have sex
with other men).
- Theoren Fleury (NFL player) did not come out about sexual abuse by coach until he
retired, for fear of jeopardizing his career.
- Fleury did not want to be labelled as homosexual.
- Male sexual encounters with other men are homosexual, but by framing it as a bonding
experience, hockey players can use sex to compete with each other or exercise
Contradictions and Queers: They do exist!
- Professional and elite level athletes that have come out while competing are mostly from
- Gay sporting leagues provides safe place for gay athletes to experience pleasure of
- The gay games promote participation as players can be of any skill level, sexual
orientation, or gender.
o Players focus on winning in contrast to hegemonic masculine players who focus
on self-achievement and beating their opponent.
- Gay sporting leagues are a problem. o A way to mainstream gay athletes.
o Gay sport reinforce gender and sexual binaries.
o Existence of gay sport leagues marks them “different” which prevents
acceptance of gay athletes by the dominant society.
- Hegenomically masculine males (those who adhere to masculine Christian ideals).
- Until homophobia is opposed by every level of institution, there seems to be little help to
accept gay athletes.
- By performing masculine scrip of aggression, competitiveness and strength, they are
participating in systemic homophobia.
- If we exercise sport to reflect values of inclusivity and participation, rather than
dominance and aggression, then gender would not matter.
Jason Collins: The Substance of Change
- Jason Collins- a gay 34 year old NBA veteran.
o Aggressive player.
o Came out about being gay.
NBA reporter opine that Collins has “a sinner” engaged on open rebellion
Sport, violence, and pain
Men, spinal cord injury, memories and the narrative performance of pain
- Not all is social construction, ideology or discourse, all people have bodies and they are
often fragile and feel pain.
- For those in pain, the biological, fleshy, corporeal body is primary locus of experience.
- There is more to pain than just signification and narrative.
- Small group of men were interviewed about their pain after their SCI from rugby.
o All white, heterosexual, both in UK.
- Pain is not forgotten, it becomes the subject of narration.
- Autobiographical memories are not prestored in memory in the form of more or less
discrete units, but rather memories are dynamically constructed on the basis of
knowledge, drawn from different memory systems.
- Phenomenological record- person has experience of remembering a past event.
o Thematic knowledge and self- contribute to the construction of dynamic
representation which constitutes that memory. - Autobiographical memory- socially and culturally constructed.
- Autobiographical memory also organizes knowledge about itself.
- Memory not “truth” of the past, they are simply facts.
o Weave together people, events, and feelings that may or may not be connected.
- A self-remembered today is a reconstructed version of the self in the past.
- Narration- people take something like pain that imposes itself so unwelcomingly into
their life and turn it into a meaningful story that is told to self and others.
- Neuropathic pain- caused by damage in the nervous system. Occurs in area with normal
sensation and areas with no feeling after injury.
- Articulating their subjective experiences of neuropathic pain was difficult for the men
o They were lonely in pain and couldn’t express it to anybody, because it hurts so
They aren’t able to describe their pain.
- Pain is beyond narrative because it is inexpressible and thus unsharable.
- Pain destroys language and so the body and the sufferer are disconnected from other
- Men in studies described pain as “burning” and “electric shock.”
- Some described their neuropathic pain as being “sharp” and “shooting.”
- Naming pain as a way to give language and voice to their painful embodiment.
- Naming pain is shaped by cultural and narrative resources individuals had access to.
- Biological event is unique to individual, but through language it is socially constructed by
shared conventions of reporting.
- Narratives of pain, not created by the individual’s minds, but are social creations.
- We are born with narratives that are appropriate and apply in everyday interactions.
- Even though physical pain associated with injury is an unwelcomed phenomenon, in a
limited zone where the men are in state between being disabled and able, participants
welcomed the neuropathic pain they experienced.
o The pain meant that they were still alive.
- Pain was a sign that they were still alive and that SCI may be curable. Hidden pain
- Hiding pain is an act of white young men, because their expression are shaped by
cultural pressures of hegemonic masculinities and regime of training their bodies in
- Some people hide their pain because they don’t want to be a wimp or a sissy.
- Locked in pain is when the body is in control of the individual who inhibits it.
- Loss of control is threatening to athletes/sport players.
- It is hard for athletes to withdrawal from social demands.
- Pain is a phenomological centripetal force, it stays with you and you could not forget it.
- Pain relief is temporary and does make you forget the pain in the long run.
- The kind of body that one has is crucial in kinds of story told.
- Men in the study have impaired bodies which are bio-social in character.
- Over time they acknowledge that they are embodied.
- Narratives of pain told by men in study clearly links individual subjectivities to wider
cultural frameworks of meaning.
- Life history interview used as opportunity to signify a kind of masculine self in action in
times of pain.
Offensive Play by Malcolm Gladwell
- Kyle Turley retired in 2007, was offensive line main in NFL.
o Developed nausea and headaches at a bar.
o This experience was similar to the time when he hit his head during the NFL
- “Dog fight”- when one dog “turns”, makes a submissive gesture with its head, the two
animals are separated and taken back to their corners. Each dog in alternation then
“scratches” is released to charge at their opponent.
- A lot of athletes get Dementia.
- Deposits of Tao in the brain are results of brain trauma coupled with weakened ability of
the brain to repair itself.
- A lot of people develop Alzheimer’s disease too.
- Both dog fighting and professional football players are selected for gameness-
individuals who keep charging at their opponents. - Kyle Turley went to practice even after his many concussions and injury, thinking he was
a warrior and should suck it up.
o He puts the game above his well-being.
- We encourage and love the courage and grit of football players, which motivates them.
Race and Racism: Successes and Failures of Multiculturalism
I feel like a Trini: Narrative of a generation and a half Canadian
- Mark identified himself as a Trinidadian rather than Canadian: his values, perspective of
life, education was different than those of Canadians.
o From Caribbean.
o Canada was where he had lived, got education, and found athletic talent, but
Trini gave him foundations for his values, self-confidence, and aspiration.
The move to Canada
- Stories of a silenced minority group were counter-hegemonic.
- Being a generation and a half Caribbean Canadian has informed Mark of his
experiences, identification, aspirations, opportunities, and sense of belonging or home.
- Mark’s mom came to Canada 5 years before to give him and his younger brother a
- Faulty (or Racist) promise assures that if you’re not white, you could not be Canadian.
- Mark felt he enjoyed the best of both worlds: sports and academics.
- He took advantage of the Canadian education and athletic opportunities, while
maintaining social values and aspiration of Trinidad so he cannot be expected to fit in
and be able to excel academically and gave him confidence to succeed in Canadian
Schools, teachers, coa