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Call Us “Dykes on Spikes”

Rachel Nugent

Femininity + Homosexuality? IMPOSSIBLE

Femininity + Homosexuality? IMPOSSIBLE • Homosexuality was originally thought of as the reversal or inversion of

Homosexuality was originally thought of as the reversal or inversion of the two accepted genders. So lesbians were masculine women.

The idea of a woman being attracted to another woman went against the accepted social norms and so they understood it as a woman expressing masculinity.

This idea extended into the early 1900s and similar thoughts exist even today (for example, the “Butch Lesbian” stereotype).

Women in sports? Why would we want that?

The first Olympics were held in 776 BC and there were no women allowed.

In 1900, women compete in the Paris Olympics but only in golf, tennis and croquet.

1924: Figure skating is the only sport available to women in the first Winter Olympic Games.

1928: Women finally compete in track and field events in the Olympics.

Women and men compete together in equestrian events at the 1952 Olympics.

In 1984, the first women’s Olympic marathon is held.

The U.S. sends more female athletes than male for the first time in Olympic history in 2012.

Women in sports? Why would we want that? • The first Olympics were held in 776

Some Stereotypes

Girls who play sports are “tomboys” A lesbian is just like “one of the guys” Girls who play sports are only interested in/good at sports. Female athletes are all gay…or at least most of them.

So, why?

It’s my goal to find out why these stereotypes exist today.

Some of my preliminary research has lead to being able to somewhat see how they originally formed, but with such an open- minded generation, it’s odd to see that these stereotypes are still so prominent.

People say that stereotypes exist because they’re based in truth but a study concluded that the estimated number of gay people in sports mirrors that of the entire population (so, between 2 and



The idea of connecting female homosexuality and female athletes with the link of masculinity seems to be an attempt to say that if women are successful in sports, it’s because they are more masculine.

Because women can’t just be good at something without men. That wouldn’t make any sense at all.

What about “forced femininity”?

So I made that term up.

Basically, I’m thinking of forced femininity as the idea that because people think of these women as masculine, there is a desire to try to force femininity upon them through the media.

Most female athletes on the covers of magazines are not actively participating in their field.

They look more like this…

How does this affect student female athletes?

This is the ultimate goal of my research. I would like to see how student female athletes feel about the stereotypes that they are part of (are they offended, amused, indifferent?) and how the media’s image of professional female athletes can influence their own personal image of themselves.


Gather statistics on professional female athletes

Research more thoroughly the link between female homosexuality, sports and masculinity

Draw conclusions about why these stereotypes are still so present today

Look into the media’s portrayal of female athletes

Talk to female student athletes about how they feel about the image that female athletes have in the media and create some sort of presentation that represents the information they’ve given me.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?


Queer people in sports (larger population)

Comparing small proportion of men who come out with the female athletes

It sounds too broad, maybe focus on specific sports like basketball or whatnot

Stereotypes of men in traditionally feminine sports

Look at teams and practices and see if there’s anything that supports the stereotypes