Language and Culture
In a cultural sense, these articles all had a really kind of frightening message that we are still stuck in an under-educated, media-dependent and homophobic/transgender-phobic culture in which our language and mainstream culture has many systems that seem to be a bit backwards. In Hartmann's article about "The Sanctity of Sunday Football," it is clear that in the mainstream popular culture following of sports, gender roles are constructed in a certain way that are closely connected to what are considered to be "normal"in American society. It is interesting to think about how children raised without any sports-related activities being imposed on them would turn out to be like, because it seems as though these gender-role trends develop as soon as children are able to be aware of their own gender. Once children can identify themselves as being male or female, there is an immediacy of the parents to impose the "right" kind of activities for their children to participate in that match their gender, because if they don't, there is that fear of their child being confused about their gender, and not being able to distinguish their gender based on the activities they need to be doing. There is a connection with boys and sports and the need for boys to want to play sports and be good at sports, to perpetuate the mainstream masculine popularity of atheltic strength and hetero-dominance- not to be confused at all with any males going the alternate route, and being less interested in sports and being "sissy" or more feminine, according to mainstream society. This exemplifies the idea that there is a fear of homosexual tendencies if young boys don't show interest in sports or if they can't perform in sports as well as otheres; because it doesn't fit the mainstream popular theme of society.
In terms of language, it is interesting to look at the derivatives of words and tphrases that we still use today in Ore, that are connotated with black being bad and white being good. We have to see how the construction of our culture has set itself up to make it a very delicate space for language and word usage, especially in such a euro-centric place. As Ore puts it, a lot of the time, our society and media especially, throws around words like the "minority" and "under-developed" in the sense of culture, economics, and other aspects when we really don't realize that when we are using these words, we are actually very inaccurate in their usage. There is a lot loaded onto using these words, especially when we use them without awareness to what they really mean and the context in which we are using them. It brings up the conversation about being oversensitive or under sensitive, which is better? And in this case, I think it is just better to be educated about the state of the world and our own position in it before we throw around language that has this kind of weight to it. I think it is better to know what you are talking about, and have an educated conversation with someone, then just to make assumptions based on what is commonly said on the news, in newspapers, etc. for our own knowledge and mentality as citizens.
1. Do you think that there is a parallel issue with athletic women and homophobic tendencies (i.e. women who are very athletic are homosexual) and do you think this is tied to popular culture's mainstream sport's construction of extreme masculinity through sports and the set up of stereotypical gender roles?
2. When we ask ourselves, is it better to be over-sensitive or under-sensitive, in language usage, when is it okay to be under-sensitive, if ever? And who, is it okay to be under-sensitive around? What has caused our society to actually have to think about this kind of censorship before we talk to someone or choose to use a certain kind of langauge?