Posted by: malechallengemedia | June 8, 2010

FIFA World Cup, South africa: Combatting Unhealthy Masculinities in Sport:

Its FIFA time – I’ve been a professional PE/Outdoor Ed teacher.much of my life Soccer is  great game and one of the least offensive for promoting unhealthy masculinities. Nevertheless, this extract from my book ‘Kicking a Goal for Masculinity’  is still relevant to soccer….

In today’s fast moving society, there are many confusing and mixed messages about what is a “real man.” This is magnified in sport, be it played at school, community or national level. Many pressures cause some men to conform to unhealthy models of masculinity. This is heightened amongst sportsmen, especially in the contact sports.

Such pressures ask men to override their wise inner voice—as this becomes habitual—some essential part of their humanity dies. This can also be a precursor to later emotional and psychological disturbances, even physical illness.

Ironically, whilst the unspoken rules for sportsmen require them to constantly prove and reprove their manliness on and off the field, many of the off-field activities find them behaving like boys rather than men. This is especially evident in attitudes and activities concerning women and drinking; indeed it is often called “the boy’s club.”

Admittedly modern professional sportsmen are under great pressures; today it’s a demanding full time career. While acknowledging the benefits of some pressure-releasing activities and important off-field bonding, let’s encourage players to choose activities that don’t harm their health, or hurt or demean others. – especially women.

It’s a stupid idea –  bonding by demeaning women – we were born inside women – have the guts to call your mates on any behaviour like that.

While we are at it, once and for all, let’s also debunk the myth that big drinking, big stud, big macho, big stoic  equals ‘big men.’ That is a cancer that will, as cancer does, destroy the host. That’s us guys!


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