The Juxtaposition of an Athlete’s Strength vs Traditional Values of ‘Femininity'
By S. Lawrence Bueno
A female athlete’s paradox is discriminatory. Why are men expected be tough and authoritative when women are not?
Women who are feminine are not hostile or triumphant. To have a killer instinct, to aspire to win with all your heart and soul, is not feminine. Femininity is defined by the ability to seem appealing, fragile, and small. It's all about gaining male acceptance. Therefore, the global paradox of gender is subdivided into two bipolar constructs: masculinity and femininity.
The construction of hyper-masculinity all begins at school; where boys are primarily influenced by their peers to adopt masculine forms, to be seen as popular; a higher position in their hierarchy. This negatively affects boys because they are taught to depend on no one but themselves, never to lose, not to do anything that could be constructed as a weakness and suffer pain in silence. A man is supposed to always be violent and aggressive while playing. Young boys learn to strive for domination.
Hyper-masculinity negatively affects girls too because boys are consciously and subconsciously taught not to see the humanity in girls. They are seen as objects and a man’s property. Females are seen as sensitive, weak and non-athletic in terms of sport. This is shown by the commonly used phrase “he plays like a girl”. This is an insult and indicates that men fear to be seen and compared to women. “Playing like a girl” implicitly portrays women as weak beings who are inferior to men. Another common insult used to scare boys into being feminine is the term “gay”. Homosexual people are often seen as ladylike and incapable of being genuinely masculine.
Despite this behavior being frequent in our society nowadays, we can help reduce and diminish this toxicity in men by understanding the critical effects it has on everyone. As a society, we should ensure that boys are free from the fictious stereotypical vision of a man who doesn’t show emotions, or who live by a script.
Society persistently stares at a everyone; we live by an illusory script. The juxtaposition of an athlete’s strength can be whatever they work for, and the traditional values of femininity should no longer to be applied to women.
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