Athletic Photos Analysis

671 words - 3 pages

Sports, as a whole, are a male dominated activity. The American society expects every “real” man to be interested and/or involved in sports. In contrast, there is less pressure for females participate in sports let alone physically enduring activities. These roles reflect the traditional gender roles imposed on our society that men are strong and dominant, while females are submissive to men. However, deviation also occurs in athletics as males and females begin to challenge these norms. By analyzing the two photos below, the players and the environment portray traditional and deconstructed gender norms.
Michael Kimmel further analyzes traditional gender roles by relating that, “feminism also observes that men, as a group, are in power. Thus with the same symmetry, feminism has tended to assume that individually men must feel powerful” (106). The first photo with the boy and girl players reveals this concept of perceived male power. The boy’s gesture to obtain the ball portrays his belief that the girl lacks the capability to start the game. By reaching out, he expects her to submit and hand the ball over to him; she holds the ball out, signifying her compliance to his command. In addition to their gestures and positions, the postures of the players also reflect the gender norms. The girl has her legs together, giving off a more closed and secure posture while the boy has his legs farther apart, making his stance open and controlling of the environment. Finally, the dark and somewhat isolated environment in the shot further emphasizes the masculine control of the environment, which makes females typically more vulnerable to dangers. The many contrasts represented in this photo show the traditional gender roles in athletics, but these roles are not always consistent.
Even though the first picture depicts traditional male dominance and female submission, the second picture shows the opposite of these roles. This shot has the boy and girl playing together, representing unity and equality between the two genders. Traditionally, the separation of genders is a followed and they...

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