Weightlifting Ethical Issues

1493 Words 6 Pages
Looking particularly at how the gender ideology around femininity is currently being played out in women’s weightlifting raises many ethical questions and speaks loudly to the difficult “bodywork” issues that women are facing. First, it is important to understand that gender is culturally constructed through different forms of emphasized femininity and masculinity in culture. Sex is the actual biological make up of men and women. What is masculine is not feminine, and what is feminine is not masculine according to our cultural norms. Our society has deemed it appropriate that gender should reflect sex; masculinity is aggressive and strong, while femininity is nurturing and poised. In this essay I will discuss how emphasized femininity, specific …show more content…
Through my research, the best way to answer that question would be to say that most women who get into weightlifting start out with the mentality of resisting to feminine norms, but almost always find themselves wanting to conform to some degree in the long run to feminine norms. Scrutiny about bodywork seems to be more commonplace for women as they seem to have a longer checklist of how their body should look than men do. Also, men don’t seem to have to worry about getting ‘too big’ as opposed to women weightlifters who have to train with that worry in the back of their minds. I feel that women are more frightened by what society thinks because even being a little bit overweight leaves the possibility of them getting outcaste by the skinny women of society. It is sad that we live in a world where others ridicule both women’s weightlifting and non-weightlifters immensely for either being too muscular, too skinny, or too fat. Being too muscular as a woman is not acceptable according to norms and society will usually act accordingly and scrutinize that person tremendously for it. In women’s weightlifting/bodybuilding, a form of traditional femininity is reproduced and negotiated during the “beach girl” part of their competitions, where the women who were surveyed felt that their athleticism was taken away (Miller & Penz, 1991, p. 158) and their bodies were left available for critical judgment from the audience (Brace-Govan, 2002). I believe that traditional femininity is reproduced through weightlifting competitions given the fact that some competitive weightlifting women still get cosmetic surgeries in order to feel more attractive, worry about how their hair looks, the shade of their tan, the fit of their clothing, and many other presentation related things that a lot of men would not think twice about. According to

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