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Chapter 11

SOC275H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Hegemonic Masculinity, Ableism, Masculinity


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC275H5
Professor
Hae Yeon Choo
Chapter
11

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Chapter(11:(The(Gendered(Body(
!
!
The!attributes!of!our!bodies!become,!whether!we!like!it!or!not,!key!
elements!of!our!identities!
We!negotiate!our!bodily!identities!with!the!world!
!
Gender(and(Dis/ability(
If!in!modern!societies!the!‘universal’!idea!of!a!person!has!often!been!
constructed!as!a!male,!it!has!also!been!constructed!as!able>bodied!
In!our!culture,!disability!is!often!ignored!or!rendered!invisible,!seen!only!
when!the!specific!topic!of!disability!is!addressed!
Disability:!an!umbrella!term,!covering!impairments,!activity!limitations,!
and!participation!restrictions.!
Ablism:!active!discrimination!against!disabled!people!and!attitudes!that!
diminish!disabled!people’s!competence!and!focus!on!disability!as!their!
defining!characteristic!
‘not!being!seen’!is!not!the!only!thing!disabled!people!share.!Disabled!
people!are!often!infantilized!or!seen!as!childlike.!
the!risk!of!disability!increases!with!age!
Adults!with!disabilities!face!significant!barriers!to!employment,!
particularly!discrimination,!lack!of!accommodation,!and!underestimation!
of!their!abilities.!!
When!these!adults!are!immigrants,!Aboriginal,!or!from!racialized!groups,!
the!barriers!can!be!even!greater!
Women!are!‘overrepresented’!among!Canadian!adults!with!disabilities!
Women!also!face!a!double!whammy!with!regard!to!poverty,!since!lone!
parents!with!disabilities!are!even!more!likely!to!live!in!poverty!
Because!employers’!ideas!of!the!‘ideal!worker’!may!be!both!sexist!and!
ableist,!women!with!disabilities!also!face!additional!barriers!to!
employment!
Women!with!disabilities!are!(and!have!been)!more!likely!than!men!to!be!
institutionalized!
These!reasons,!disabled!women!may!face!greater!body!threat!and!body!
scrutiny!than!do!disabled!men!
For!men,!disability!may!strike!at!the!heart!of!both!physical!and!sexual!
performance,!which!are!key!elements!in!hegemonic!masculine!ideologies!
Because!masculinity!(unlike!femininity)!is!constructed!on!the!basis!of!
strength,!damage!to!self>esteem!and!a!sense!of!‘invalidated!masculinity!
Some!disabled!men!may!be!able!to!‘recover’!their!masculinity!through!
participation!in!sport,!but!for!many!men!this!is!impossible!
For!all!men,!however,!disability!is!a!complex!experience,!influenced!by!
issues!of!sexual!orientation,!ethnicity,!personality!
!
Gender(and(Sport(

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Sport!and!physical!activity!produce!enormous!benefits!that!we!are!only!
beginning!to!understand:!not!just!enhanced!bodily!health,!but!also!
improved!mood,!cognition,!and!self>esteem.!
Our!relationship!with!play!can!vary!dramatically!with!sex,!race,!class,!
ability,!and!sexuality!
Early!childhood,!boys!are!encouraged!to!participate!in!more!physical,!
rough>and>tumble!play!than!are!girls,!and!boys’!mastery!of!sports>related!
skills!is!considered!important!to!their!development!as!gendered!beings!
Fighting!is!a!key!component!of!masculine!identity,!sport!has!emerged!as!
perhaps!the!key!area!in!which!masculinity!is!proved!and!defined!
You!throw!like!a!girl”!!
o The!differences!between!men’s!and!women’s!throwing!speeds!are!
significantly!greater!than!any!measured!cognitive,!communication,!
or!even!sexual!differences!
o Young!suggested!that!girls!in!modern!industrialized!societies!
throw!(and!use!their!bodies)!awkwardly!not!because!of!their!
anatomy,!but!because!of!‘basic!modalities!of!feminine!body!
comportment,!manner!of!moving,!and!relation!in!space!
Self>objectification!that!girls!learn!as!inhabitants!of!female!bodies!in!a!
gendered!society!
Self>objectification:!we!adopt!the!perspective!of!an!outsider!on!our!bodies!
and!selves!
This!undermines!ability!to!be!comfortable!in!one’s!skin,!to!move!the!body!
unselfconsciously!in!space,!and!most!importantly,!to!focus!completely!
Older!girls!in!the!study!were!more!likely!to!self>objectify!
The!gap!between!girls!and!boys!widens!before!and!during!their!time!in!
the!school!system.!
School!experiences!thus!have!a!profound!effect!on!life>long!attitudes!
toward!and!experiences!of!sport.!
Sport!was!conceived!of!as!an!inherently!masculine!pursuit!aimed!at!
training!boys’!bodies!and!minds!to!fit!them!for!their!roles!as!men!
In!schools,!sport!entered!the!girls’!curriculum!at!various!Canadian!schools!
in!the!early!twentieth!century,!but!‘athleticism!never!acquired!anything!
like!the!same!hold!it!had!over!the!equivalent!boys’!schools!
Was!extended!to!girls!only!to!fit!them!for!greater!health!‘and!ultimately!
motherhood!
Title.IX:!an!amendment!to!the!Education!Act!that!abolished!all!forms!of!
sex!discrimination!in!public!schools!
Has!been!interpreted!as!meaning!that!women’s!and!girls’!sports!must!be!
funded!at!the!same!levels!as!those!played!by!men!and!boys!
Women!who!excel!in!sport!are!still!likely!to!be!perceived!as!unfeminine!or!
suspected!of!homosexuality.!This!is!one!area!in!which!women!are!at!least!
as!influenced!as!men!by!homophobia.!
Successful!sporting!women!are!‘masculinized’!by!society!
Victoria’s!Beacon!Hill!Little!League!major!girls’!softball!team:!Little!
League!organizers!told!the!girls!that!they!would!have!to!fund!their!own!
travel,!even!though!Victoria’s!winning!divisional!boys’!team!had!been!
provided!with!travel!funding!to!enable!them!to!attend!the!nationals!
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BC!Supreme!Court!challenge!launched!by!15cformer!and!current!female!
ski!jumpers,!who!argued!that!the!International!Olympic!Committee’s!
decision!to!exclude!women’s!ski!jumping!from!the!2010!games!violated!
Canadas!Charter!of!Rights!
Still!an!income!gap!between!men!and!women!in!the!world!of!work!
generally,!in!sport!the!gap!is!dramatically!wider!
The!highest!paid!male!athlete!in!the!world!was!Tiger!Williams!
The!highest!paid!female!athlete!in!the!world!was!tennis!star!Maria!
Sharapova,!who!earned!approximately!one!quarter!of!what!Woods!earned!
and!only!just!over!half!of!what!the!lowest>earning!of!the!top!eleven!male!
athletes!earned!
Sharapova!out!earns!higher>ranked!athletes!seemingly!on!the!basis!of!
attractiveness!
Sex.testing/gender.verification:!variety!of!tests!conducted!on!female!
athletes!to!be!sure!that!they!are!biological!females!
One!problem!with!‘gender!verification’!is!that!biological!sex!is!not!merely!
a!matter!of!having!an!XX!or!XY!chromosome!
The!proof!of!masculinity!in!sport!has!been,!at!least!since!the!nineteenth!
century,!tied!to!the!proof!of!the!power!and!‘manliness’!(as!was!then!said)!
of!nations!
Provides!a!male!athlete!an!opportunity!to!become!a!nation’s!hero!(while!
female!athletes!are!more!likely!to!become,!say,!‘Canada’s!darling’)!
For!racialized!men,!this!is!an!opportunity!found!in!few!other!areas!of!
endeavor!
In!earliest!childhood,!sports!serve!as!an!avenue!for!‘disciplining’!boys!into!
appropriate!gender!norms!
In!hockey,!Canada’s!most!cherished!game,!boys!from!about!the!age!of!six!
participate!in!a!game!that!tolerates!aggression!and!rule!violation!
Sacrificing!one’s!body!and!safety!are!also!considered!characteristic!of!
good!(and!masculine)!players!
The!ritualized!and!important!place!of!fighting!in!hockey!is!evidence!of!its!
connection!with!constructs!of!hegemonic!masculinity!such!as!domination!
and!violence!
!
Gender(and(the(Beauty(Myth(
Our!ideals!of!beauty!and!attractiveness!themselves!remain!deeply!
gendered!and,!for!many!of!us,!the!source!of!personal!pain!
We!know!a!lot!more!about!the!standards!of!beauty!for!women!than!men!
Because!it’s!men!who!were!creating!those!standards!in!the!first!place,!and!
their!valuation!derived!from!other!things,!like!wealth!and!power!
Specifically!sexual!standards!of!beauty!often!vary!(Boobs!not!sexual!in!
some!tropical!cultures!vs.!Islam)!
Purdah:!practice!of!the!social!seclusion!of!women;!a!system!of!
segregation!aimed!at!keeping!women!(particularly!married!and!
marriageable!ones)!completely!separated!from!the!world!of!men!
Sexual!standards!of!beauty!often!change!and!are!subject!to!societal!
influence!
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