Our group focused on how and why female athletes are being sexualized in advertisements. In general, the advertisements display female athletes who are successful in male dominated sports in a feminine, yet independent way. The Carty article focused on how these advertisements were viewed by different feminist perspectives. Radical feminists believe that showing female athletes as feminine and vulnerable stems from a society's patriarchal institutions and adds to the social constructions surrounding females. Postfeminists believe that female athletes are expressing their femininity and agency in their own way to tackle gender differences, which is empowering. As a group, we also discussed how race plays into these advertisements. The amount of traditional masculine and feminine features shown in the advertisements vary among different races. Carty thinks that this is due to the historical background and stereotypes surrounding each race. The McKay and Johnson article focuses on African American female athletes, and discusses how the media depicts their bodies in a deviant and sexually grotesque way. Advertisements displaying black, athletic female bodies tend to focus more on the buttocks and the muscles, while advertisements displaying white, athletic female bodies focus more on the hair and face. It seems as though successful African American female athletes must first prove that they are athletic and can then prove that they are feminine. Overall, it is clear that there is a correlation between the way we define female athletes and the way we depict them. By depicting female athletes to be more feminine and vulnerable, we are looking past who the real person is: an athlete. These depictions play into society's view of female athletes and to truly reach gender equality, female athletes should be displayed in the same way as male athletes: empowered and athletic. Our group really enjoyed engaging in the readings through the blog and thought it was a good way to get everybody involved in the discussion. It was also nice that everyone could comment on their own time and that others in the class could add their comments.
Diablog Collective Summary--Section 2, Group 6
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