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Yes, Margaret Court, lesbians can rise to the top in tennis. Other sports, too | Kate O’Halloran

It goes without saying that women who play male-dominated sports at an elite level have defied a whole range of stereotypes

Margaret Court is right, tennis is full of lesbians. So is AFLW, soccer, cricket, you name any women’s sport and the same (mostly) applies. It’s an open secret that anyone who has played these sports or has momentarily observed them is aware of. And it’s not a fact to be ashamed of. It goes without saying that women who play male-dominated, traditionally “masculine” sports, particularly at an elite level, have defied a whole range of stereotypes about gender to make it to where they are.

It follows, I would argue, that some of these same women might question the presumption of the righteousness of heterosexuality at the heart of Margaret Court’s worldview. Gender normativity – or the belief in restrictive gender norms – and compulsory heterosexuality go hand in hand: to be assigned female at birth is to identify as a woman, is to be feminine, is to be attracted to men, who identify as male, who are masculine. Or is it not? Disrupting this ideological logic is exactly what those who agree with Court are afraid of.

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Yes, Margaret Court, lesbians can rise to the top in tennis. Other sports, too | Kate O’Halloran

It goes without saying that women who play male-dominated sports at an elite level have defied a whole range of stereotypes

Margaret Court is right, tennis is full of lesbians. So is AFLW, soccer, cricket, you name any women’s sport and the same (mostly) applies. It’s an open secret that anyone who has played these sports or has momentarily observed them is aware of. And it’s not a fact to be ashamed of. It goes without saying that women who play male-dominated, traditionally “masculine” sports, particularly at an elite level, have defied a whole range of stereotypes about gender to make it to where they are.

It follows, I would argue, that some of these same women might question the presumption of the righteousness of heterosexuality at the heart of Margaret Court’s worldview. Gender normativity – or the belief in restrictive gender norms – and compulsory heterosexuality go hand in hand: to be assigned female at birth is to identify as a woman, is to be feminine, is to be attracted to men, who identify as male, who are masculine. Or is it not? Disrupting this ideological logic is exactly what those who agree with Court are afraid of.

Continue reading...

About the Author

Comments are closed.