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Those Two-Way Stereotypes People Play

The world sees in binary. Everything is in twos. Good and evil. Rich and poor. Strong and weak. Gay and straight. Black and white. Male and female. Even the animals in the ark came in twos.

Binary stereotypes in mainstream public perceptions of gender can often be felt in popular culture, through movies, music and the media as well as in sports.

For instance, it is largely assumed that preference for hip hop and rap music is indicative of tough guys while jazz and R&B are somewhat emasculating and therefore associated with the fairer sex. The fairer sex itself is a condescending term, but it denotes the fact that whenever binary logic is applied, the first option must necessarily be superior or better, while the second is by default inferior or wrong.

Machismo and generalizations of gender apply commonly in sports, as seen in last week’s NBA finals.

Commenting on the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, an article in the online newspaper, Quartz mentioned that it was one of the most watched NBA finals in memory. At the center of it were LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

LeBron, arguably the greatest player of his generation, was described as “dunking, driving hard to the basket and at times just bullying his way to the score”. If that aggressive imagery is not suggestive in a sexually dominant way, I don’t know what is. To finish it off, the writer described LeBron, two-time champion and four-time most valuable player, as being about “relentless power”.

Meanwhile Curry, the other MVP, has been the best player while playing for the best team in the league this year. The paper describes him as a “sweet-shooting point guard, all elegance and polish”. This possession here, one of the few times that he has come face-to-face with LeBron in the series, is just “exquisite balance and panache.” If I didn’t know any better, I would think the writer was pulling a double-entendre with all that talk about “face-to-face”, followed by “exquisite… panache”. Is that French for “kiss”?

It doesn’t help that Stephen Curry is light-skinned and somewhat soft-looking in a flowery, cuddly, feminesque, sugar-spice-and-all-things-nice kind of way, while LeBron looks like an ugly grizzly bear roaring on an overdose of testosterone. If you doubt that not just the writer but the public is obsessed with LeBron’s masculinity, check out the GIFs of his exposed peewee that have been floating around the internet all week. That squeamish knob is hardly what you’d expect of a bullish MVP. I’ll pass.

The Quartz ends its orgasmic outpouring of literary lava by stating that the encounter between these two great players, with such contrasting styles, has been a “riveting battle thus far”.

I agree. Even if the writer seems like a thirsty ho with a crush on both men, who says watching them play together has been “one of the more rewarding elements of these finals”. Yeah, I can see her brain now and it’s a sordid porn channel. She’s probably receiving the ball from LeBron and passing it to Curry in bed.

Written by Lanre

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. I was reading the article and going “Uh huh, that’s right, Uh huh”. I’m told by doing that, I’ll be perceived as understanding all that I was reading.

    • Hahahahahaa! Anyibaba, you dey craze o. But you’re right though. The writer’s overral message was kinda vague. Unless this is one of those pieces that are written more for the humour factor than any real impact.

  2. Is there something here that I should be getting?

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