Culture's Paranoia About Female Athletes...

. Sunday, July 6, 2008
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Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend. I not going to post much on Sunday...

But I found this article from the Women's Sports Foundation yesterday by Patricia Nell Warren and thought I would share:

Ever since the 1800s, when the first liberated Victorian females began to move into sport, American women have been battling our culture's paranoia that sports will "masculinize" us (i,.e. lesbianize us). Today the ultraconservatives persist in their belief that a woman's sexual orientation can actually be changed merely by her doing things like ski jumping or stock-car racing or even basketball -- not to mention what they believe is the threat to her heterosexuality if she merely associates with a lesbian coach or player in her sport. When conservatives like Debbie Schussel rip the entire WNBA with nasty comments like, "Women who act like men are a bad role model for girls,” they're really talking about sexual orientation. The homophobes would be very happy if women had to go back to the very short list of "ladylike" sports permitted in 1900.
It's an interesting perspective from a seemingly dynamic individual.

Not to minimize Warren's statement, but I find it difficult to disentangle sexuality and gender roles as they pertain to "culture's paranoia that sports will masculinize" women.

Nonetheless, something to chew on...