When Net skeptic meets sports-and-gender philistine

Evgeny Morozov Tweeted the other day that:

True story: Harvard’s library subscribes to “Journal of the Philosophy of Sport” but not to “Journal of the Philosophy of History”

The author of “The Net Delusion” is embarking on a Ph.D. in Harvard’s lauded history of science program, so this must have been an odd discovery. But not nearly as odd as what he included his next Tweet, a link to an abstract of a paper published in a sociological journal:

‘Dressage Is Full of Queens!’ Masculinity, Sexuality and Equestrian Sport”

The author is Leeds Metropolitan University professor Katherine Dashper, and here’s her forever obsession:

“Attitudes towards sexuality are changing and levels of cultural homophobia decreasing, yet there remain very few openly gay men within sport. As a proving ground for heteromasculinity, sport has traditionally been a hostile environment for gay men. This article is based on an ethnographic study within a sporting subworld in which gay men do appear to be accepted: equestrian sport. Drawing on inclusive masculinity theory, equestrian sport is shown to offer an unusually tolerant environment for gay men in which heterosexual men of all ages demonstrate low levels of homophobia. Inclusive masculinity theory is a useful framework for exploring the changing nature of masculinities and this study demonstrates that gay men are becoming increasingly visible and accepted within once unreceptive locales, such as sport and rural communities. However, this more tolerant attitude is purchased at the expense of a subordinated feminine Other, perpetuating the dominance of men within competitive sport.”

Hell, she got her doctorate by completing “an ethnographic study of the subworld of competitive equestrian sport, focusing specifically on gender within a sport in which men and women compete against each other on equal terms.”

Given Morozov’s demolition of gibberish-spouting Internet guru Jeff Jarvis, I’d love to see him take on this kind of nonsense, which is at the core of my “Beyond Title IX.” But this would be no challenge to Morozov, who seems to be amused by Dashper’s verbiage and the ascension of her field, and that’s about it.

I no longer shake my head, especially when even SB Nation gave Dashper some uncritical mention about gender-blending among equestrian riders during the London Olympics.

Yes, SB Nation.


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