Hardness, men and sports

“Society wants masculinity to be hard, from its cock to its biceps to its steely, impenetrable self-assurance.”

Who defines what it means to be a man? In Amanda Phillips’ reading, the author points out a fascinating observation with regards to masculinity in our society and how it relates to the term hardness. From a man’s penis to his muscles, everything has to be hard. Having a soft penis or small muscles shows a sign of weakness, and it undermines who men are. In the game that Phillips is talking about, “Death in gaming is a loss of this illusory control: the entire body becomes as useless as a floppy dick.” Men are tough, strong, and most importantly they are manly. This is what men what everyone to think, but is all this nonsense actually true?

In sports, the idea of hardness and manliness is even more blatantly obvious when discussing gender inequality. For example, in football guys are the players and girls are the cheerleaders, which is how it has always been. In high school there was an event called powderpuff football where the girls were the football players and the guys were the cheerleaders. Why can’t this be a normal sport? Why can’t all sports be open to all genders? It should be the rights of these individuals to play the sport that they want no matter who is playing with them and who is playing against them. The male culture probably will never accept women in their sports due to a lack of hardness or manliness. Maybe the coaches will simply be afraid that their star male athletes “will start playing like little girls.”

Hardness is even felt in the sports broadcasting industry, as there are few female figures who take the lead on game coverage and sports television. What I mean by this is simply that we see women all the time as the hosts of shows or maybe as the play-by-play analysts during a game, but why not have a women being the one answering the questions instead of always asking them. Are companies like ESPN worried that their audience will not respect the opinion of a former female professional basketball player versus a former male professional basketball player? These women in sports must not have the hardness that these media networks are looking for. The sad part about all of this is that it is 100% true.