Monday, April 21, 2014
Men Were the First to Wear High-Heeled Shoes And The Sport of Cheerleading Started Out As A Boy's Club- Interesting Facts Related To Masculinity
I found this Huffington Post article titled "9 Facts that Traditional Definitions of Gender Roles are Bullsh*t" by Sara Boboltz. There were two very interesting historical facts that I though relate to theories of masculinity.
The first fact was that men were the first to wear high-heeled shoes. Persian soldiers originally wore high-heeled shoes in the name of necessity when riding horseback since shooting an arrow from a saddle was easier with a heel to secure the foot in its strap. The European elite men then adopted the high-heeled shoe look for over a century and at this time, high-heel shoes were seen as masculine. When women started to adopted the high-heeled shoes look as well, men's shoes became stockier and shorter while women's shoes became thinner and higher. This is how high heel shoes are in modern times associated with femininity.
The second fact was that the sport of cheerleading started out as a boy's club because it was too masculine for girls. The reason why it was considered too masculine for girls was that it would develop powerful, unladylike voices for women. The first cheerleader was Johnny Campbell in 1898. There were three presidents that were also cheerleaders themselves- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. In the 1920s and 1930s, women were included in the sport of cheerleading and it was not until 1960s that the sport of cheerleading became female-dominated.
Here is the link to the article: