Men and Women in Nontraditional Sports as Portrayed in Film
Women and men play various sports because they as Americans want to experience the excitement of playing for fun, and doing something they love. The idea of what men and women can do for fun in sports has been shaped by the American society in many different ways through the media, schooling and education, and professional sports organizations. America portrays women playing field hockey and doing synchronized swimming while men do boxing, and body building. If a woman chooses to do boxing because to her it is fun and if a man chooses synchronized swimming because he likes it, they face many cultural costs and benefits of choosing this sport. Society does not like change and holds female athletes up to ideals such as being beautiful, graceful, and healthy. Male athletes are held to ideals such as strong, aggressive, and powerful. People who choose to play non-traditional sports risk being judged by society as unnatural and homosexual, instead of being viewed as an athlete who is special and unique, they are often subjected to unwanted sexual advances and assumptions. The benefit of doing an untraditional sport is that you are able to do something you love. As a result of people who do non-traditional sports, they open the doors for future generations of women and men who might want do play an non-traditional sport.
The movie, "Pumping Iron II" is an example of women doing bodybuilding which is considered a non-traditional sport. Images of muscular women are viewed by some people as threatening and imitating. The benefit of this non-traditional sport is that it forces us to question our thoughts about women and what they are. We must ask, what is a woman? Bodybuilding of women forces our society to question and ask if a woman is a woman if she looks like a man. In the movie, the judges of the bodybuilders were faced with this question up front. The judges were forced to make an ambiguous line between what the difference was between a man and a woman. The costs of this sport may be unfair judging of the bodybuilders because the judges are still divided on what makes a woman's feminine form better.
The bodybuilders had to deal with assumptions of the public that accuse them of unnatural or homosexual. A main character, Bev Francis had to frequently insist that she was a woman not a man, and she was faced with the questioning of her sexuality. Bev's muscles, dress, heavy facial features, and "unfeminine" body language evoke the stereotype of what a lesbian looks like: the butch, the lesbian who is immediately recognizable as such, visibly different. Bev had a strong belief that she looked like a woman...