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Reading Response 2 Sporting Diversity The politics of difference and identity A Sexuality and the Organization of Womens Sport Since the introduction of women in sport women have struggled for equal rights and opportunities within an environment driven by male domination and masculine values In order to gain acceptance by their colleagues coaches and the media women must fit a profile that reflects appropriate behaviors and appearances based on characteristics of hegemonic femininity However the world of sport is based on the ideals of strength power and aggressiveness Women are forced to balance both of these expectations They must be physically and mentally strong yet also portray an image of vulnerability to be perceived as feminine Krane 122 Womens sport is constructed and maintained by white powerful men The organization of hegemonic femininity in sport is a result of masculine values and ideals On one hand men denigrated women for not being as big and strong and playing as well as their male counterparts On the other hand if men found the quality of play acceptable they criticized womens behavior and looks as masculine Krane 123 It seems as though women are in a lose-lose situation Upon achieving a feminine appearance in sport women are sexualized trivialized and devalued However if women excels at athleticism and is able to compete at the same level as a man or their bodies become too muscular they are often accused of being a lesbian Krane 122 Female athletes are aware of the expectations and pressures to portray an appropriate heterosexual image Lesbian athletes often conceal their identity to avoid potential discrimination and prejudices that are present in their strictly heterosexual environment They fear scrutiny from the media fans officials coaches and even their teammates In the video on homophobia and womens sport we saw how women even teammates and close friends are often intimidated and unsupportive of lesbian athletes According to Krane lesbian women athletes often perform
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