Leaving it on the pitch: Hope Solo's negotiation of conflicting gender roles on Dancing with the Stars

Sim Butler, Richard Mocarski, Betsy Emmons, Rachael Smallwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although star athletes have been extremely successful on the American Broadcasting Company's (ABC) reality television dance competition Dancing with the Stars, the participation of U.S. National Soccer Team goalkeeper Hope Solo created a gender performance conundrum. Embodying both athleticism; a ‘traditionally masculine’ marker and the graceful ‘femininity’ associated with ballroom dancing, Solo's emersion into competitive ballroom dancing created a notable intersection of multiple gender performances. Referring to the work of Judith Butler and Judith Halberstam on gender and masculinity, this article examines ABC's mediated construction of a tomboy narrative in order to reshape Solo's athleticism as a sign of immaturity. Through the shows' mediated portrayal of Solo's gender roles, clear lessons of the construction of gender and its narrations and performance were presented to the audience of one of America's most watched television shows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-375
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014

Keywords

  • Butler
  • Hope Solo
  • female athletes
  • gender performance
  • reality television
  • tomboy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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