Essay about Influence on Gender

Submitted By mlbchampion44
Words: 1316
Pages: 6

Influence on Gender Gender is always criticized for whether it is something instinctive or discovered by one’s development through childhood. From an early age, our youth explores the meaning of what it actually means to be a boy or a girl. The meaning of gender is explored in many ways in Little Giants, a move which portrays a girl who struggles to find her gender role as a girl due to the pressures put on by her father, an opposing coach, and her peers. She is inclined by the influence of her parents, peers, and instructors who compel her to follow the generalization of gender by limiting them to explore who she wants to be. These standards consist of males acting masculine and females acting feminine by restraining children to determine what lifestyle they enjoy and what lifestyle they dislike. Little Giants is a story about two brothers, Kevin and Danny O’Shea, who live in a small town called Urbania, Ohio. Kevin is a former college football star and is currently the coach of the best town “pee wee” football team. Danny’s daughter, Becky was cut from the team just because she was a girl. This caused Danny to create his own team and allow other children who have also never been given a chance to play football. Becky develops a crush for her the team’s quarterback, Junior, which causes her to struggle with with her new found feelings as a girl. Her Uncle Kevin convinces her to become a cheerleader because Junior would only date a real girl, not a cheerleader. Becky takes his advice and decides to become a cheerleader instead of playing for the team. The two teams play a game to see who should represent the town pee wee football team. During the game, Junior gets injured, which causes Becky to decide to play in the game to help her team win. In the end, Danny decides to combine the two teams to represent the town, and Becky ends up Junior. Throughout the film, Becky is constantly reminded of how football is usually a sport for males. The reason she is cut by Kevin O’Shea’s football team has nothing to do with her football skills, but because of the sole fact that she is a female. A lot of male coaches today constantly undermine a female’s athletic ability because they do not think females are capable of competing with males. Michael Messner notes an aspect of this perspective in “Barbie Girls Versus Sea Monsters: Children Constructing Gender” by nothing that “it was also evident that when the coach was having trouble getting the boys to act together, as a group, his strategic and humorous invocation of the dreaded Barbie Girls once again served symbolically to affirm their group status” (p.399). By not letting Becky play on his team, Kevin is sending a message to her that girls should not be on the football field because they are incapable of competing with the opposite gender in physical activities. This is an attempt to limit Becky from trying to pursue what she wants in her life, which is to able to play football and not be distinguished because of her gender. Another way Kevin has an influence on Becky’s gender role is when she is confused as to why she is not receiving any attention from her crush, Junior. When Becky tells her uncle that there is a lot more than football going on in her life, he gives her advice by saying “If you want to find a boy, you got to figure out how boys think. And if this boy is a quarterback, he’s probably going to want some cute girl, not some teammate.” By telling Becky that boys are not interested in girls that play sports, Kevin is teaching Becky that she should try to avoid sports in order to get boys to like her because boys believe that athletics are only a place where masculinity should be present. This is similar to the argument made by Ellen Jordan and Angela Cowan from “Warrior Narratives in the Kindergarten Classroom” where they state “…we have been looking at a “cycle of practice” where, in classroom after classroom, generation after generation, the mode of masculinity…