Lorber, Martin, Morris

Carly Ozarowski

When reading these chapters and passages I took most interest in Lorber’s “Believing is Seeing”. The reason I was most intrigued by this reading is because Lorber spoke a lot about athletes and the differences between men’s and women’s athletics. Since I am a female athlete it is very interesting to see what Lorber speaks about just on the college level. Men’s athletics, on the professional level, are marketed and viewed very differently than women’s athletics. As Lorber also explains, men’s athletics are viewed as macho men showing off their physical ability. Men’s athletics are also hugely economically based and ran. Based on current societal norms women’s athletics are viewed as lesser and not at impressive, which in term makes sense why there are far fewer opportunities for female athletes in the professional realm. All the major sporting events are men’s athletics. On the college level this is expressed in the way the athletics teams are viewed and also how they handle themselves, on this campus. With, despite common belief, some men’s teams receiving more field time and also feeling entitled to receive more field times than some women’s teams.


Something that I took away most from SOC 103 and reading Martin’s “Becoming a Gendered Body” is the idea of doing or performing gender (495). The line: “[Girls] are generally tentative when using their bodies”, stood out to me the most in this reading (Martin, 494). This line, for me, correlates to women’s sexuality. Often times some women are tentative and almost tabooed when it comes to their bodies and sex, something they are socialized to do at a young age before sex is even introduced.


Martin states on 495, “Connell (1995) suggests that masculine gender is partly a feel to one’s body and that bodies are often a source of power for men. Young (1990), however, argues that bodies serve the opposite purpose for women-women’s bodies are often sources of anxiety and tentativeness.” This relates back to men and women’s athletics in Lorber’s. Athletics, for men, are a chance to show off their strength and power, while women’s athletics can be seen and scrutinized in a different way depending the sport. Some sports sway to women’s version being daintier and more artistic (like gymnastics) while others can sway to the ideas that the women participating are “too butch” or “man like”.


In Morris’ “Tuck in that Shirt!” something I found very interesting was the way the teachers were socialized to view their students. While the teachers did want better for the students and wanted to teach them, there was a theme of having strong gender and racial stereotypes for many students and groups. For example multiple teachers spoke about the correlation between gangs and the Hispanic students, well their assumed correlation at least (36). I found this very weird that these teachers who are supposed to help students almost wrote some of them off because of their preconceived notions. Morris’ also explains how many of the girls had their bodies directed (40). While the teachers were doing this in hopes of helping the girls and teach them how to be more proper this is just another way young girls are socialized and taught to be made uncomfortable by their own bodies, a theme seen in Martin’s work. 


3 thoughts on “Lorber, Martin, Morris

  1. I think it is really interesting that sports for guys according, to Lorbers’ article Believing is Seeing, is a way to prove their masculinity while for females it can’t be a way to show their femininity. Lorber states that for women playing sports becomes a “secondary status” because femininity can’t be showing your strength, determination, and competitiveness according to society. Meanwhile, all of those things could be feminine attributes if society allowed for them to be seen that way. Instead when playing a sport as a female you’re showing a “secondary status,” and not a status you can hold 24/7 like males are capable of.
    -Sophie Furman

  2. Gina Pol

    It is very upsetting to realize that competitive sports are mainly dominated by men instead of an equal share of both men and women. Men are often seen in sports through their physical strength, while women are seen in a much more sexual way. As Lorber mentions in gymnastics, the equipment for men’s gymnastics are for “muscular, mature men” in comparison to the equipment for women that are for “slim, wiry, prepubescent girls.” These differences in equipment enforces the idea that male gymnasts remain consistent with their masculine identity and female gymnasts remain consistent with the female identity as well. Females must struggle with having to prove their physical capabilities, while males are much more privileged due to their sex.

  3. Sophie Sharps

    Lorber’s discussion of the differences between men’s and women’s sports also grabbed my attention as a female athlete, and made me reflect on my own experiences, especially here at Conn. Lorber’s discussion of playing time and the glorification of men athletes is not surprising in such a gendered society where men hold the hegemonic power to control the media and decide what the public has access to. You are right that we see the glorification of men’s teams on campus, which can be proven through an assessment of the crowds that show up for men’s games versus women’s games, as well as much more access and opportunity for men to play sports on campus. As you said, men’s athletics economic events that bring in enormous quantities of money, which is why it is no surprise that our school heavily invests in and supports popular men’s teams, just like we see in the larger scope of men’s sports in the U.S. This concept can be applied to the gendered practices Martin observes in schools, because at a very young age, boys are encouraged to be active while girls are very much encouraged to sit quietly.

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