What I Learned In The Locker Room Analysis

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A Critique of “What I Learned in the Locker Room” In this article from 2015 “What I Learned in the Locker Room” sports reporter Steve Almond of the New York Times argues that sports are a way we define the world, and that sports is the main influencer of being masculine. Almond also discusses conventional ways we see men such as athletic, aggressive, dominant and fearless. According to Almond, these are all key qualities of being a man in the sports world. He then moves on to his assumption that men watch sports because it is a way for them to hide their feminine qualities. Steve Almond is correct about sports being a way we define masculinity, however, his opinion of men using sports as “camouflage” to hide their feminine qualities is …show more content…
In society, it’s rather unusual to find a man who doesn’t like some form of a sport. It’s naturally assumed that all men like sports. Take sponsors for example. The majority of the NFL’s viewership is men, so many of the sponsors are of masculine origin with companies such as Ford, Gillette, and Old Spice. Sponsors know men like sports, for that, is the manly thing to do, watch sports. But disliking sports doesn't make you any less of a man. Men also use sports as a way to “measure up” another’s masculinity. In sports, there is always a clear-cut winner, and one team has asserted itself as the alpha-male. Depending on what team you like, it sets a metaphorical bar of where the level of your manliness should be, by the choice of which team you cheer for. For example the Steelers are more of an aggressive dominant team than the Saints, and by you associating yourself with that dominant team, it could assert your level of manliness in the sports world. It signifies the way you think, and affirms the masculinity you possess by the choices you make. Almond clarifies this point by stating “Men, as defined by our vast athletic industrial complex, are aggressive, dominant, fearless, and straight. That's the uncompromising standard of manhood we worship every time we sit in the thrall of SportsCenter.” These are all qualities present in the sports community. Qualities that are the embodiment of what we define a man by, or at least the way we think they should

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