Homophobic and Sexist yet Uncontested: Examining Football Fan Postings on Internet Message Boards
Sport has been described as a cultural institution that assists in the shaping and defining of acceptable forms of masculinity in Western cultures (Connell, 1990; Hargreaves, 1994). Accordingly, over the past 20 years, a common theme in sport-based academic research is that hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1995; 2005) permeates all levels and types of both organized and unorganized sport (Adler & Adler, 1998; Messner, 2002). Hegemonic masculinity reinforces androcentric privilege, subjugating women, while also discriminating against gay men, who by their sexual orientation alone fail to exhibit the most desirable masculine trait, heterosexuality. Donaldson (1993) surmised, “. . . heterosexuality and homophobia are the bedrock of hegemonic masculinity” (p. 645). Anderson (2005b) described the behavioral characteristics of men who exhibit these attitudes as adhering to “orthodox,” tenants of hegemonic masculinity, meaning “they attempt to approximate the hegemonic form of hegemonic masculinity by devaluing women and gay men” (p. 338).