Stanley Thangaraj on Sport, Masculinity, and Violence
Check out AASA Member Stanley Thangarj’s blog post “Boys Being Boys: Can we Think Otherwise?” featured on Neighborhoods and Nations: The Blog of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. Short excerpt below:
Last night, the Super Bowl, as expected, ran a gamut of creative, hilarious, and shamelessly sexist ads. Alongside the Victoria’s Secret ads that depict women as objects on display and items to be had, there was also an emerging genre of “good father” ads, and there was one notable spot on domestic violence, based on a phone call that was actually received by a 911 dispatcher.
It was no accident that the PSA ran during the pinnacle of American sports events. Multiple cases of intimate partner violence and sexual assault come out of both collegiate and professional sports leagues every year. Sadly, the PSAs aired last night don’t come close to opening up legible discourse on the corruption within high school, college, and professional sports. It is time to, as in the words of black feminist scholars like Angela Davis, bell hooks, and Audre Lorde, speak truth to power.
Stanley Thangaraj is an assistant professor of Anthropology with interests in sport, citizenship, immigration, and justice. His book Desi Hoop Dreams: Pickup Basketball (June 2015, New York University Press), examines the intricacies of everyday sporting cultures and the problematic exclusions by performing a heterosexual, aggressive, and violent masculinity.