Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sporting Masculinity, I think

Excessive performances of one-upsmanship that pervade athletics are more blatant in sports such as basketball, football, and MMA. To be fair, one-upping competitors/colleagues is part of capitalist culture. It's even part of the woodwork in the academe - think about some ways that academicians get rewarded in grad school, promoted as faculty, and promoted in think tanks.

Back to sport, this happens in ping pong too? Check out the moves this guy makes to emasculate his opponent.

For sure, humor has a function in our lives.

Academics Business Directory - BTS Local


  1. Tsk tsk... it's not ping pong, it's table tennis... and it's not even a great rally. I've seen way more spectacular in my 15 years or so of competitive playing. :-)

    And it's mostly bad dancing and very feminine yelps (but then, Bruce Lee had those too).

  2. Doh! The "ping pong" reference definitely reflects my athletics ignorance in that area (the folks at Yahoo! messed it up too). My bad.

    As for the yelps, despite the high pitch, I still think they're at least intended to be hegemonically masculine (demeaning and combative). Maybe the high pitch is just another manifestation of gender's odd way to be socially constructed, kind of like guys wearing all kinds of bling (I used to wear ear-rings on both ears to try and look tough), or the popularity of being metrosexual; what's considered masculine can take on qualities previously considered feminine.

    The dancing quality, yeah, not so great but entertaining in its own way.

  3. Actually, I was surprised that the referee let the dance go on for so long. Time between rallies is supposed to be, well, timed.

    And yeah, these kinds of "taunting dances" are very much performances of hegemonic masculinity. They are as much a "rubbing it in" for the opponent as they are "look at me" for the audience.

    Very Goffmanian... and risky though, especially if one gets defeasted after doing something like that. McEnroe could get away with his antics because he was great. :-)