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Sports in the Chicano/a Community Essay

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Sports are a major contributing factor in the Chicano/a community. It constructs ones gender by oppressing women due to their exclusion in partaking in sporting events as well as by providing an outlet for men to vent and regain their manhood. Delgado's article, “Golden But Not Brown” refers to Oscar de la Hoya and how some in the Chicano/a community view him as lacking masculinity; comparing him to “El Lion”, Julio Cesar Chavez. “El lion” evokes a more traditional and manly way of boxing which is an aggressive one while Oscar de la Hoyas involves more strategy and movement. He is often described as a pretty boy for this by the machistas in the Chicano/a community. De la Hoya's particular style of boxing earned him a gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics and have ranked him as one of the best boxers as well as one of the most successful. Now predominantly a promoter, running his company “Golden Boy Productions” he is a success story in the neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. Yet, even with all this fame and fortune he is often ridiculed for his ”winning and sunny demeanor” outside the ring, challenging his manhood. Hombres are supposed to be “silent, brooding, and aggressive” all the qualities that de la Hoya does not pertain to. This shows that even though one can be in a highly masculine and male gendered sport it does not necessarily mean that one has the characteristics of a machista according to the Mexican American community.
Another article that emphasizes sports and the importance of gender within them is Alamillo's “Baseball and Sports Clubs”, Alamillo states how sports was an example of social construction. Transnational sports like baseball shaped the demeanor and gender of men in both the United States and Mexico....


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...ial networking outside the household which gained little support from men.
In a similar way to the youth discussed in Alamillo's lecture, Baseball for me also prevented delinquency and negative activities that many young teens were associating themselves with. During middle school and throughout high school a lot of the kids would smoke pot after school and loiter around until they thought of something to do which often ended either in graffiti or doing other drugs. Many of those kids ended up in gangs or in juvenile hall. So for me it was a benefit that I was in a positive environment which as a result taught me how to act like a “typical” masculine male in the Chicano/a community. The game fostered certain aspects of what was understood to be masculine which many men in the Mexican American community take on in order to find their place in Chicano/a society.


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