In 2003, I began a photography project called “Fearless,” documenting high school and collegiate athletes who openly self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and are “out” to their predominantly straight teammates and coaches. Since then, I’ve photographed over 100 athletes across the United States and Canada for this series.
his other stuff is also really cool!
So, first, we had the whole Caster Semenya saga: a female athlete who is really good… so good indeed that it is suspicious. Is she really a woman? Let’s test. Ok, she is. But she is not feminine enough, so, let’s pump of her full of hormone to increase her femininity and lower her performance because she is getting way to close to men’s performance levels and that is just wrong.
And now, we have the Chinese Superwoman, as Le Monde calls her. We are talking about Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen who’s killing it at the Olympic Games in London. She’s good. Too good. Well, she’s obviously a woman so her men-level performances can only be explained by doping (Chinese, y’know).
“The world of swimming may have spent 36 hours in a ferocious debate over the means by which she could achieve such astonishing feats, but the 16-year-old had other things on her mind. As the electronic beep sounded to mark the start of the race, she leapt from the blocks, put her head down, and swam.
On Saturday, Ye had stunned a crowd that thought it had already seen the shock of the evening 40 minutes before, when the great Michael Phelps failed to win a medal in the men’s 400m individual medley.
In the women’s race of the same event, Ye swam a final freestyle leg of such jawdropping acceleration that she overhauled the race leader, finishing almost three metres ahead in a time which shattered the world record. On Monday, in qualifying for Tuesday night’s event, she had gone on to break the Olympic record for the longer distance.
It was awesome, astonishing, unbelievable. And it didn’t take too long for a leading US coach to say what many had been muttering.”
And the real issue is this:
“La Chinoise Ye Shiwen, 16 ans, médaillée d’or sur 400m 4 nages samedi, a battu le record du monde de cette éprouvante discipline (4 m 28’ s 43 centièmes), mais elle a surtout crawlé les cent derniers mètres de sa course presque aussi vite queRyan Lochte (58 s 68 contre 58 s 65), sacré la veille chez les garçons, au terme du deuxième 400m 4 nages le plus rapide de l’Histoire (4 m 05 s 18 centièmes).”
She swam almost as fast as the male winner in the same category. Something is wrong. Except not:
It is interesting that when women performance improve and get closer in line with male performance, then, that is an issue. The same thing happens with scholarly achievement. How many books have been (and continue to be) written about the relative greater success of girls in school and women in universities? All of them deploring the loss of gender supremacy for boys and men. And sometimes calling not so subtly for a restoration of such supremacy through intervention (all couched in terms of making school less ‘feminine environments’ and more attuned to alleged masculine needs).
The case of these women athletes getting closer to men performance levels generates the same kind of anxieties, if not direct intervention, as in the case of Caster Semenya.
- Reblogged from globalsociology
Steve Schapiro–courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery
On his 70th birthday, TIME presents 70 iconic images (and one for good luck!) of the boxing legend and Civil Rights activist, as athletes, celebrities and photographers recall their favorite memories of The Greatest. See more here.
- Reblogged from timelightbox
I don’t know anything about soccer or any other sport for that matter - but I really like what thesociologyofsoccer is doing here. I’ve been working on the idea of fangirls, but looking more about how it fits in with the construction of female heterosexuality (more posts on this a little down the track). This is a nice analysis with respect to sport.
(photo from google images)
Let’s talk about sex.
Now that I’ve got your attention, I am actually going to talk about sex and why we’re all a collective case study in the repression of sexual impulses. Ever wonder why Carles Puyol doesn’t get nearly as many adoring fans as Sergio…
- Reblogged from thesociologyofsoccer
Basketball manager Jason McElwain scores 20 points in his first a basketball game and helps his team win the game. McElwain has autism and his love for his team and basketball show that people living with autism can achieve so much when given an opportunity to shine. This had me crying with delight - and I hate sports.
I love this so much.
Jason McElwain, Autistic basketball manager’s 20 point game
This made me all tingly. What an absolute dude.
Sociological Images put out a commentary on blogs that mock digital stock photography, such as Stocking is the New Planking. This is my favourite shot. Love the quote and the re-worked image. It shows up the ridiculous pose from the original and it makes a great comment on women’s bodies, beauty ideals and notions of health found in marketing and popular culture. Fab!
Healthy and fit female boxer happily puts big carrot in mouth.
- Reblogged from stockingisthenewplanking