Gender In American Football

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When was the last time you saw a female American football player in the media? In most cases, the response would be never, due to the lack of women who play American football. Masculinity and patriotism are associated with American football, especially today. Although Title IX prevents discrimination based on sex, it seems as if American football is an unwritten exception to that law. The media is one of the main reasons for the lack of female football players. American football demonstrates a hegemonic masculinity and the media tends to assert that idea. In a greater scale, the media associates sports with men due to its aggressive nature. Women who try to change that perception tend to receive negative media depiction or none. In fact, there…show more content…
Softball is a sport that would be considered female dominated, but even that sport is not popular enough to remain in the Olympics. Even as nations try to redefine sports by having more women play masculine sports, the viewership is not there to help sustain the sport, and this continues to affirm "gender-appropriate sports" because women are not seen playing masculine sports. Although efforts are being made like having every single women's hockey broadcasted in the Olympics, gender stereotyping within sports prevent certain female sports to remain in the Olympics due to the lack of viewership and participation. For example, the United States and Canada dominate female hockey because they have better funding and better selection of players, this limits the number of teams in the Olympics, risking its elimination. This was an evident problem as even the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, mentioned that women's hockey will face elimination if the rest of the world did not "catch up" (Poniatowski 23). Despite the many efforts to break gender define boundaries, the media is the ultimate deciding factor. Women who are in sports are not being covered as equally as men in sports, and when they are, females are being depicted negatively and their athletic abilities are insignificant in…show more content…
(Poniatowski 26). These previously stated ideas are mentioned in the article "Examining stereotypical written and photographic reporting on the sports page" by Paul M. Pedersen. The author analyses over two thousand pieces of printed media to determine if there is a noticeable gender inequality. His studies determined that women and men were given more coverage if they participated in "sex appropriate" sports (Pedersen). Softball or gymnastics would be considered an example of female "sex appropriate" sports. Hockey or football would be considered an example of male "sex appropriate" sports. Women who play "sex inappropriate" sports receive negative implications due to the media's emphasis of sport stereotypes. Like the article mentions, the media will "under-represent, stereotype, or trivialize" female athletes, therefore giving them negative media depictions (Pedersen). Pedersen's study concludes there is a hegemonic masculinity in media and shows how when women play more feminine sports it is deemed more accepted by the media, which creates

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