Friday, March 27, 2009

Steroid Media and the Workplace

Posted on behalf of Tony Majersky:

Gender plays a large role in all aspects of media. Through movies, television, music and more we are shown and almost taught the roles that men and women should play their part in daily life. One place this stands out the most is in sports. Baseball is a great example of this and is brought out more and more every day, especially now that we are in the steroid era. We have seen that steroids make you bigger, stronger, faster and will heal you from injury faster than anything else. In a Sports Illustrated article titled "Steroids in America: The Real DopeCulture of enhancement extends far beyond sports" and located here Jack McCallum starts out by writing "Athletes who take performance-improving drugs make all the headlines. But the culture of personal physical enhancement has pushed the use of steroids and HGH everywhere -- from Hollywood to the music industry to your next-door neighbor who doesn't want to grow old. Don't blame only the jocks. We are a juiced nation." (McCallum pg. 1) Not only do men take these steroids, but women do too for anti-aging effects and that one third of rappers take steroids like HGH to look huge because thats what people want to see. Consumers want to see rappers that are built with lean strong muscle and no body fat. They do not want to see an overweight rapper or a skin and bones rapper. Do you want to see rapper like that, what about action heros in movies or tv? why or why not? is the same for women though? guys especially, do you want to see a built woman with 8 pack abs and lean cut shoulders or is a sexy look better for film and tv? why or why not? Are these looks reasonable and real to you and others?

Back to baseball, the Trujillo reading states that "Media critics and scholars of gender ideology have at least described five features of hegemonic masculinity in American culture: 1. physical force and control 2. occupational achievement 3. familial patriarchy 4. frontiersmanship 5. and heterosexuality." (Trujillo pg. 2) With this he describes men of having the role of the dominant person, having a better job, head of the household, an outdoors strong man, and a straight man. With this he talks about Nolan Ryan and how he is an example of these things. He is called a "Force" or "power" pitcher from Texas and was categorized like a mythological god at the height of his career. His outside life from off the baseball mound is categorized by the five factors given of being straight and dominant, from the country and having a good home life with a lot of money. Do you think things would have been the same or as easy for Nolan Ryan if he was gay? Also, there are very few women baseball players in the world, so they are stuck with softball which is more recognized as a female sport, but yet older men also play it. Does this mean to say that young women are only on par with men when they are in their 40's and 50's? Why do you think baseball hasn't invited women to play and why do you think that our "National Past Time" is a strongly male dominated sport? I

f we look at gender more in the background of a baseball game, off of the field,who owns/manages/controls the teams? There have been very few women in offices and high position until fairly recently, but before that it was out of place for a woman in the work place to have a high paying job with people under her she could order around. This is even seen as one of the five categories above, occupational achievement. Van Zoonen brings a situation like this up on page 56 of B&D saying "She or he is participating in a profoundly social process, in the sense that social relations are reflected definitions of reality as well as definitions of reality influencing social relations." (B&D pg. 56) This is thinking about the social acceptance of a female in what is generally a males role. Do you think that this idea is still true today in many areas of society and the work place? Can you think of any big business with a female CEO or do mostly men come to mind?


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