Project Title

Acting Like A Woman: Patriarchy and the Performance of the Female Athlete

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

COTA - Theatre and Performance Studies

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Angela Farr Schiller, Phd.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency sports play a major role in American life. More than three-fifths of U.S. adults, approximately 162 million people, claim some relationship to sports-related activities, including 25% who are actively engaged in sports as participants, parents of children in sports, coaches, or volunteers. Although women are breaking barriers, shattering records and winning titles across a multitude of sports, they are still seen as inferior, incompetent and expected to perform within the patriarchal boundaries of gender. Meryl Streep argues, “We're viewed as equals — but we're still not there yet. […] The challenge for our girls, I think, is dealing with that resistance." While much progress for gender equality has been achieved the continued existence of patriarchy show that women are still fighting to be seen as equals to their male counterparts. Using Erving Goffman’s theory of the "performance of the everyday", Acting Like A Woman: Patriarchy and the Performance of The Female Athlete examines gender inequality by analyzing the social responses towards professional American athletes Ronda Rousey and Serena Williams. This project takes up Rousey and Williams as a way of understanding the intersectional dynamics of gender, race, and sexuality. In conclusion, this project exposes the overwhelming ways that patriarchy normalizes the cultural thinking that women are not allowed to BE more, SAY more, or PLAY more outside of gender expectations

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Acting Like A Woman: Patriarchy and the Performance of the Female Athlete

According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency sports play a major role in American life. More than three-fifths of U.S. adults, approximately 162 million people, claim some relationship to sports-related activities, including 25% who are actively engaged in sports as participants, parents of children in sports, coaches, or volunteers. Although women are breaking barriers, shattering records and winning titles across a multitude of sports, they are still seen as inferior, incompetent and expected to perform within the patriarchal boundaries of gender. Meryl Streep argues, “We're viewed as equals — but we're still not there yet. […] The challenge for our girls, I think, is dealing with that resistance." While much progress for gender equality has been achieved the continued existence of patriarchy show that women are still fighting to be seen as equals to their male counterparts. Using Erving Goffman’s theory of the "performance of the everyday", Acting Like A Woman: Patriarchy and the Performance of The Female Athlete examines gender inequality by analyzing the social responses towards professional American athletes Ronda Rousey and Serena Williams. This project takes up Rousey and Williams as a way of understanding the intersectional dynamics of gender, race, and sexuality. In conclusion, this project exposes the overwhelming ways that patriarchy normalizes the cultural thinking that women are not allowed to BE more, SAY more, or PLAY more outside of gender expectations