Interactive comment 1 (UPDATED)

(To be assessed)

Hi Andy,

Just commenting on your blog in relation to a couple of aspects I found interesting.

Something that interested me was your comparison between how male and female sport is perceived around the world, your example was in South America – football is for boys and volleyball is for girls. Why do you think in South America this is socially accepted that boys are seen as playing one sport while girls stick to another? Do you think this would be accepted in NZ especially when certain female teams perform better on the international stage? (e.g. – NZ men’s 7’s rugby vs women’s 7’s rugby teams).

My thinking regarding this is that In New Zealand I believe we tend to look through more of a critical lens in terms of this issue. This is because a critical theorist would aim to eliminate unjust treatment of females not being able to play football, a critical theorist might also aim to investigate why this is the case in South America by asking questions such as whose voices & perspectives are represented? (E.g.- is it an all male governing body for the sport), and also what strategies can be used for people who are excluded from the sport? (Such as female football players in South America as was your example). Similarly we could also look through a feminist lens to explain in this situation how women have been disadvantaged and oppressed, and then focus on achieving an equality (not ‘bringing men down’) between the two sexes in your football example.

One other point that interested me was the picture (figure 2) of the babies, one dressed in blue and the other in pink. Do you think if we did not associate children with these stereotypical social norms such as – boys = blue colour, war toys, rugby balls etc. vs girls = pink colour, Barbie dolls, dresses etc., they may grow up to develop their own beliefs and values as opposed to how society believes they should act. I believe this is an act of ‘gender socialisation’. Gender socialisation is the process whereby people acquire the rules, beliefs, and attitudes ‘appropriate’ to their gender. Someone looking through a functionalist lens will try to reinforce that sport is a positive arena that challenges gender stereotypes such as males all having short hair or females should all be elegant and gentle.

Let me know your thoughts.


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