For this weeks readings, I focused on the Chapter on Wrestling in the Sporting World of the Modern South book and Katie Taylors, ‘Here’s the football heroine’: female American football players, 1890–1912. For wrestling and football in the South, they are two of the top sports that many have tuned into each and every night. These sports have caught the eyes of many for generations and will continue to grow each and every year. When we look at wrestling and football, we see it being a masculine sport, full of big men who are larger than life. When we look at wrestling, we don’t see it as the wrestling that we see in the Olympics but, wrestling that has larger than life personalities that entertain us. Wrestlers like the Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena have blown the minds of many, even myself as we see the battle between good and bad guy. But it didn’t always be this way. The chapter, gives us a timeline of wrestling’s start in the South after World War Two. Wrestlers like Frank Gotch and George Hackenschmidt would lead the way for the bigger than life stars that became Killer Kowalski and Bruno Sammartino. These giants would show their brute strength for the new tv broadcast. This trend would continue until other wrestlers would challenge that with homoerotic antics like “Gorgeous George” and his bleached blonde hair. Wrestling itself would appeal to the common man with people like Dusty Rhoades, or push the envelope and cross the so called “line” with his son Goldust, who would cross that homoerotic “line” that would become widely accepted. Wrestling itself has changed greatly but still has mass appeal in the South, even as Women have begun to become the featured act. While it is still seen as male dominated, the line of what is “normal” has shifted greatly. For the Taylor piece, her focus is on Women’s football leagues that would go on throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. These women pushed the gender norms that were established during those times. Many wouldn’t except women to go out and play what was considered a masculine game. The crazy thing for the time was, that the media seem to enjoy the games. Taylor points out how in many cases, the media praised and encouraged these women to play. Not only did theses games push genders norms, they pushed social norms as upper and middle class women were participating as well. Eventually, the men and women would play and the women would come out on top! Women seemed like they were being held back a lot, but they were able to show how they could stand their own with the best.

2 Thoughts on “Week 11

  1. Hello Riley! I Agree with you that wrestling definitely has shifted and has given women wrestlers more of a voice and more respect. I remember when only as far back as 2010 they would have women wrestle in these awkward bikini matches and just embarrassingly raunchy matches, but now times have changed and they are making women wrestle in a more dignified way and they are now even are getting chances at main eventing PPV’s.

  2. Hi Riley,
    I also agree with Evana and how women’s wrestling has become more and more of a platform for women to speak from rather than “eye candy” for the men of the world. I like how you summarized the articles to display how women’s wrestling changed over time and how they are now knocking on the door of main events on PPV’s

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