It is very common for people to associate being an athlete with being masculine and strong. There are ideal traits such as being tough and aggressive with being successful in the sporting world. However, with this there tends to be dominance correlated with males being superior to females.
Catherine MacKinnon views sexuality as being shaped by male dominance where they have control over women. Where behaviors in male dominated societies are related to gender dynamics and expresses either women’s resistance or men’s dominance.
Many people who watch wrestling can agree that this dominance and aggressiveness is embodied in the sport. Not only does the WWE perpetuate a gender hierarchy between males and females but the women are also very sexualized and treated with great disrespect. The women’s bodies are seen as icons and are looked at for observer’s own pleasure. When women are incorporated in the WWE they are typically eye candy wearing little to none clothing. It is common for the crowd to egg the fighting women on to kiss each other for the male fulfillment of desire. The men mistreat the women on WWE as they are used as props on the show for many of the men. One women was even forced to get on the ground and bark like a dog. This degrades women of their agency and power. Watching WWE helps normalize gender violence where women are mistreated and sometimes hit by the men.
Not only are women degraded and seen as inferior to male dominance but there is also a homoerotic undercurrent where men must prove they are not gay. It is seen as an insult for a straight man to treat his fighting partner gay. This creates the idea that if it is an insult than being gay is considered non-normative.
Are fans able to see past these allusions or does this engrain messages into people’s minds about what is normal and acceptable to see and act like in society? Does watching sporting events like this on television help perpetuate how women are viewed in society?