In today’s society, men dominate the world of sports. Because of the heterosexual matrix, women have a hard time gaining acceptance and popularity in this world. The definition for heterosexual matrix is “public ordering of masculinity and femininity through meanings of practices and sexuality.” Many people believe telling gender is simple. If a man is masculine and a woman is feminine, they are heterosexual. No questions asked. This poses a major problem in the world of sports because good female athletes are considered to be masculine, which raises a question about all female athlete’s sexuality. According to the heterosexual matrix, society has a hard time accepting homosexuality in sports.
In older times, sports were looked at as a way to turn women into lesbians. If a woman has muscles and acts tough, she is assumed to be homosexual. Our society believes that if a woman plays a sport with masculine ideologies, she herself, must be masculine. Women have a hard time gaining popularity in the world of sports, because our society views women to be “lesser” than men or they are “too masculine” to be a woman. There is really no way for women to win in the eye’s of our cruel society. You are either too feminine or too masculine for sports.
Women have always been fighting off stereotypes that they “cannot keep up with men.” “Anything you can do, I can do better.” It is only socially acceptable to play sports that do not require major masculine traits, for feminine women. For instance, women sports that gain the most attention are volleyball, figure skating, and dance. These sports do not display major athletic skills that are required for men to play football or basketball.
Also as we discussed in class, the beach volleyball team from the Olympics goes along with the heterosexual matrix because they are looked at as being feminine because of their revealing uniforms. They are assumed to be more feminine and this is acceptable in society.It is demeaning to women that the only way to gain popularity in sport is for women to wear bikinis. On the other hand, if a woman chooses to play a sport where more skill and muscle is required, she is automatically looked at as masculine. This is looked at as negative in the world of sport because homosexuality in sports is looked at as a set back from the heterosexual matrix. It is constantly putting pressure on athletes that they need to form themselves to fit society’s ideologies in order to gain acceptance and popularity.