Lenin and Philosophy Essay
Lenin and Philosophy
The images dispersed through this document attempt to give an example of how women are systematically removed from their sports settings, and placed within a more feminized or sexualized manner. In this way, we can see how over and over, in the images of Chynna Doll, Kristina Korneacouvia and others are used further entrench the socio-cultural rules which place within a limited and static gender role. The images illustrated throughout this paper are clear examples of Mulvey’s “male gaze” paradigm.
In most of these photographs the athlete was professionally made up. Their hair was styled in the wind blown look often used on models, they wore makeup, and they were each dressed in sexually suggestive, revealing clothing. In doing so, the media acts within the paradigm of hegemony by sending mixed messages. Particularly, sports magazine may seem to portraying female athletes in a positive light, yet there is a constant trivialization of the actual performance in sports.
This allows those that maintain the power and create the rules to allow women a limited role, while simultaneously maintaining the all-pervasive social dictations on the role of women as passive objects within a male dominated society. In this light, women in sports advertising are women first and athletes second. The status quo of gender hierarchy is maintained by muffling images of strong women, while simultaneously re-encoding women as sexual objects. The 1996 Olympics brought much success to female athletes.
Many proponents of women’s rights and equality in sports though that this marked the final acceptance of women in the sports arena. Women’s sports magazines flourished during this time as well. Unfortunately, despite the athletic success on the playing felid and an increase coverage in the media, the media depicted women in less active rolls, oftentimes showing them in their home and family settings, or dressed in their athletic gear in a provocative way.
In this sense, women are allowed to participate in sports, but the underlying message is one that keeps the backdrop of women in the domestic and sexual field. This is a further entrenchment of the aforementioned ideological hegemony of male superiority. Furthermore, this fact reinforces the dominant cultural order that blatantly sexualizes the female experience of success and merit in the sports arena. Ann Balsmo (1996) in her Technologies of the Engendered Body, discusses this phenomenon, stating “To be both female and strong today violates traditional codes of feminine identity.
Any attempt to reconstruct the body is transgressive out by using signifiers of hyper-femininity. ” Herein lies the essence of this analysis; women today are caught within the traditional structure of male-dominated hegemony and the perpetuation of this domination through the against the ‘natural’ identity of the female body. The transgression is balanced vehicle of the mass media.
Through the light of social and individual discovery, it is now time to take back these traditionally held power roles, allowing a woman’s body and physical accomplishments to be as worthy of merit and public praise as those of her male counterparts.
Althusser, Louis. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. (Online version) Balsamo, Anne. Technologies of the Gendered Body. Duke Univ. Press, 1996. Blinde, E. , Greendorfer, S. , & Shanker, R. (1991). Differential media coverage of men’s and women’s intercollegiate basketball: Reflection of gender ideology. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 15, 98–114.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 May 2017
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