sports


To correspond with Heywood, “All American Girls: Jock Chic, Body Image and Sports”

The video we watched in class and the one Tim suggested we watch. Both, very similar. Thanks to the female athletes in class that edu-ma-cated me on the difference between “strategy” and “dirty play” in sports!

New Mexico Lobos soccer player Elizabeth Lambert plays rough with BYU Going Viral ESPN

Raw Video: Brawl at Girls’ Soccer Game

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Lesbian or Biker Chick?

When most people see women with heavily tattooed bodies they automatically put them under the stereotype of a lesbian or a biker chick. This, to me, seems like a strong stereotype to place someone under just because of some body art. It seems that women with multiple tattoos are challenged by gender prejudices. My favorite professional soccer player, Natasha Kai, is known for her 19+ tattoos.

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She has two full arm sleeves, a leg tattoo, and tattoos pretty much everywhere. When people see her for the first time they always ask if she is a lesbian. Yes, she is a lesbian but I want to know why people always assume this because of her tattoos? Why do people judge her based on how she looks? However, I find it interesting that these stereotypes have not really affected her respect as an athlete. Regardless of her looks she is an amazing soccer player.

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If anything I think her image has probably helped her become more successful. Many people think she is a badass with attitude and love following her soccer career. However, I think this is true for older aged fans. This leads me to wonder if some parents of younger children don’t want their children to look up to her. Will her image make her less of a role model for younger girls? She is famous for her ink, being lesbian, and her badass attitude…Will parents really want their children looking up to her? I think she is a great role model, she does what she wants not caring what people think of her, she is always herself.

So why are women who have multiple tattoos stereotyped as lesbian or biker chicks? Are women with sleeves less feminine? I have 5 tattoos and was thinking about getting another one and many people have told me not to because I will “look lesbian.” I just don’t understand these connections. First, I don’t believe in someone looking gay or lesbian and second, a tattoo is artwork that has some sort of significant meaning to you. Women with tattoos shouldn’t have to prove to anyone they are not lesbians just because of their ink, because in the end it doesn’t really matter what people think.

Intersex, is it such a big deal?

Germany Athletics Worlds Semenya Gender Test

So it’s official, Caster Semenya’s gender test is in…she is indeed intersex. But is anyone else as deeply offended by the invasion of Semenya’s privacy? No one cared about her gender until she won the 800m women’s finals at the World Athletics’ Championship. Then the media decided to ask about her deep voice and masculine appearance. Previous tests had shown that she had higher testosterone levels, but I’ve dated a girl that produced way too much testosterone and no one cared about her- she jut had facial hair. Semenya is an athlete, not a model. She is not expected to look feminine. (I for one like women with deep voices). But thanks to the media, now Semenya’s world is turned upside down. All her life she had thought of herself as a woman, she was raised as a girl. Would your mind not be completely blown away by this new information? Mine would, and I am pretty sure I would question my entire life too.

Intersex is a very difficult concept to understand. According to the tests that were most likely done without Semenya’s consent, she has internal testes and no womb or ovaries. But what exactly does this mean? According to medlineplus.com, intersex means, “a group of conditions where there is a discrepancy between the external genitals and the internal genitals (the testes and ovaries).” There are many causes for the intersex condition, but many cases have unknown reasons. At birth, the child is assigned a gender and is treated as such unconditionally. Some children have surgery to construct a gender by removing some tissues. In Semenya’s case, it seems she was just determined to be a girl, and treated as such. She would not have known otherwise if she had not been tested. I do not know if choosing a gender is the correct way to deal with intersex children because it appears to cause major problems when the truth is discovered. But in such a gender-roled society, it seems to be the easiest solution.

While the media waited to hear about Semenya’s test results, You Magazine decided to give her a makeover to make her look more feminine.

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Obviously her masculine appearance was causing suspicion so put her in make up and put her in a dress—that solves everything. With captions such as “Wow Look at Caster Now” her transformation from an ugly duckling into a swan is abused by the media—and it sickens me.

It is not like Semenya is the first to fail the sports’ gender test—in 2006 Santhi Soundarajan did too. Her world was also turned upside down—she reported to have said she was totally broken mentally and physically. But her advice to Semenya is the best anyone could offer—you are a girl Semenya and the gender test cannot change who you are.