Sport is an important element of British culture, and is one of the most popular leisure activities of British people. Sportsmen today are heroised when they break physical barriers, endure adverse conditions, overcome impossible obstacles and drive their bodies to limits. On the other hand heroines are defined differently – caring, kindness, motherliness and morality. According to these feminine characteristics, there is discrepancy in becoming a sporting heroine. Throughout the history of sport there have always been a small number of adventures women who have challenged gender roles, taken up “manly sports” and broken up records equal to those of male sporting heroes. ...view middle of the document...
This essay is supposed to analyse the difference between men and women throughout different spheres and examine how British sport sees women as part of this male dominated culture. The essay analyses the changes that have occurred in women`s sports and how we can make sense of what has happened in past and what is happening today in British sport and sport in general.
Gender and empowerment of women in sport
Gender is a social concept that represents the rules, behaviour, activities and attributes that a particular society believes are appropriate for men and women. The assignment of these roles and acknowledgement of these features can create gender injustice — differences between men and women that systematically favour one group to the disadvantage of the other.
However, globally, women are particularly disadvantaged by gender constructs which prevent them from fully realizing their rights and using their opportunities. Empowerment in this sense refers to the process through which women gain the confidence, strength, and in some contexts the information and skills, needed to make important choices to improve their lives. Achieving gender justice and empowerment of women requires systematic and steady attention in all areas so also in sports. Sport is an integral part of the culture of almost every nation. However, its use to promote gender rights and empower girls and women are often disregarded because sport is not universally recognized as a desirable amusement for girls and women. Existing social concepts of masculinity and femininity, or socially accepted ways of expressing what it means to be a man or woman in a particular socio-cultural context, play a key role in determining approach, levels of participation, and benefits from sport.
Females should not have their femininity questioned just because they want to do something that is out of their gender norm. Nor should for example a male cheerleader have to declare their masculinity because society views male cheerleaders as effeminate or gay. It is true in all countries that girls and women are less likely than boys and men to participate in sport, and sport continues to be dominated by males. I think that it is a mistake, however, to assume that this is because girls and women do not wish to participate. Poverty, heavy domestic demands, safety concerns, inadequate sport and recreation abilities, and few opportunities for physical education frequently prevent women’s participation in physical activity and sport. As well, socio-cultural norms and pressure preventing girls and women from being physically active, leaving home unaccompanied, or being seen by men outside their family, are additional barriers which are preventing girls and women from becoming involved in sport and physical activity. Athletes are hardly tolerating criticism based on cultural norms as well as the social affects on their own personal lives. Female body builders, boxers, and football players to...