Erica Hateley, from “Keywords for Children’s Literature,” defines gender as being, “a tool of negotiation between our understandings of bodies, and meanings derived from and attributed to them (pg. 86). Specifically, genders in sports have been an ongoing topic in the United States and the many stereotypes put on different sexes.
Looking at the latest news on People Magazine, I found a recent article titled, “Simone Biles shows off her killer body (and Flexibility!) in New Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photos.” The article explained how this Olympian gymnastic star along with her teammate Ally Raisman are modeling for the new upcoming magazine. Raisman comments, “. . . When I was younger, I used to get made fun of by the boys in the class. They told me that I was too strong, that I looked too manly and that I was anorexic and looked like I was on steroids.” Personally, it seems as though different stereotypes are placed on females at such a young age. Girls are not seen as looking or being really muscular. I feel like many people in the world believe women should only fit into the girl stereotype of being “weak.” These stereotypes can alter a child’s views on what a “normal” girl should be like, preventing her from attaining her dreams.
This can also go along with the story we read in class Mountain Wolf Women because it showed the different gender roles that were played. Both Mountain Wolf Women and also the article embodies the keyword “gender” due to their similar ideas on how females are limited to certain activities, or practices that males get to participate in according to their specific sex.
Gender roles depicted in the story Mountain Wolf Women show that there is a difference between the girls and boys when it came to helping the family. For example, in the book on page 42 it states, “Hunting was considered men’s work, so only the men and boys hunted.” Mountain Wolf Women could only do the female specific jobs such as cooking and cleaning. This is similar to the article because it is placing specific labels on what a males and females are able to do. In the articles case it showed that some people think women should only look a certain way to please others. The keyword “gender” is depicted just like this as well because it highlights the components on how people understand gender. Erica Hateley even states in books it is shown in many cases, “male bodies should exhibit masculine traits and female bodies feminine traits” (pg 88). These stories/articles are very similar even though they were written in two different time periods. It is my hope that we can move past these different stereotypes that are placed on women so that girls will be able to be accepted and participate in whatever they wish.