men, masculinities and gender politics


Greg Marston

More than just a game


Sport plays a major part in shaping the nature of Australian men, aided and abetted by the way the media reports it. Greg Marston has the story.

Australian sport is an institution of enormous significance, particularly in relation to the construction and maintenance of gender patterns. The culture of Australian sport perpetuates ideologies which systematically oppress women and certain groups of men. This process is not always immediately obvious. For instance, the mass media 'naturalises' domination as an inevitable consequence of the male athlete's superiority, skill and strength.

The mass media's treatment of sport has contributed to idealising and institutionalising competition, domination, toughness and aggression as unquestionable and sacred masculine values. The combination of media and sport represents a powerful ideological and cultural force which deserves immediate and critical attention.