Chapter to show influencing the public’s mind eventually. 2.1

Chapter
2

Review
of Literature

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In the introduction to the study I analysed the
history of cricket and how gender biases are framed in the media in a very
patriarchal context. To portray the women differently than men the media   use a variety of frames like framing of
attributes, framing of actions, framing of issues and framing of
responsibility. As Kirk Hallahan (1999) suggests as a property of a message, a
frame limits or defames the message’s meaning by shaping the inferences that
individuals make about the message. Frames reflect judgments made by message
creators or framers. Some frames represent alternative valancing of information
(i.e., putting information in either a positive or negative light, or valence
framing). Other frames involve the simple alternative phrasing of terms which
means to understand certain facts shown by the media a person must have
adequate knowledge about it. (semantic framing). Hallahan (1999) also suggests
the importance to understand the valence frame as it portrays certain aspects
of the media in a positive or negative light in this particular case it is
gender in Indian cricket. The media is all about viewership and TRP rating. The
more viewership news channels get the more money it makes so the media will
only show programs what they want to show and how they want to show influencing
the public’s mind eventually.

2.1 Gendered politics

Feminist theory provides a lens for the study
of women’s experiences in society. Feminist theory forms the basis for the
study of the experiences of women in society and specifically for women’s
status and position within that society believes (Scraton & Flintoff ,2013)
According to Miriam. L Freeman (2006) Feminist thought assumes that women’s
interests and perspectives are valid in and of themselves. They are not inferior
or secondary to those of men’s, nor should they be defined only in relation to
or as deviation from men’s experiences. Several assumptions in traditional
sociological, psychological, historical and philosophical scholarship are one
of the criticisms which has emerged in feminist scholarship. Differences in
male and  female sports participation are
seen to be the result of socialization practices carried out by the basic
institutions in any person’s life  such
as the family, the media, and the school. According to Scraton, & Flintoff
(2013) they  suggest, girls are
socialized into feminine activities such as netball, gymnastics, or hockey and
into a female physicality, and boys are socialized into masculine sports such
as football, rugby, or cricket and into a male physicality as some girls still
do not receive the same kind of encouragement as their brothers to be socially
independent and physically active in play activities and sports.

This is particularly true in the Indian context
where sons and daughters are treated very differently. As Dr. Maneesha Kotekar
in the
essay “A study in Gender and Sports (2013) suggests,  As
infant’s girls are handled more gently and protectively than boys. Boys are
thrown into the air more often, given more toys requiring active play and the
use of motor skills, and allowed to explore more of their physical environments
before being cautioned and constrained by their parents. James Beal and David Coser
suggest
girls are watched over more closely, even
before they start to walk. This pattern of protectiveness and constraint
continues through childhood, and limits girls participation in sport activities
(1986).

Marxist
feminism identi?es gender inequalities as deriving from capitalism, class, and
economic exploitation. The sexual division of labour is fundamental to this
approach and focuses on how capital bene?ts from women’ s unpaid domestic labour,
maintenance of the future labour force (childcare), and the day-to-day care of
male laborers (Scraton, & Flintoff, 2013). According to Graceanne Killoran
sports generally is considered a male dominated field and receives more
attention from males it is well documented that women receive less coverage as
compared to men in the world of sports media (2017).  Killioran (2017) further adds not only do
females receive less coverage in the world of media but female athletes are
portrayed in a manner that creates the image of the woman first and the athlete
second which means the media is looking for attractiveness in the female
athlete rather than performance. 

2.2
The Cult of the Indian Male Cricketer

According
to Karen Ayres Sports play a key role in creating and maintaining conceptions
of hegemonic masculinity. Boys and men have long used sports as a way to
achieve a hetero-masculine identity (2008). An important aspect of hegemonic
masculinity is defining masculinity as “not feminine” (Gupta, 2013). According
to R.W. Connell & James Messerschmidt hegemonic masculinity means a
worldwide patriarchy of men over women (2005).   Hegemonic Masclunity stress the power of men
over women. In India, cricket grew in an inherently hegemonic manner wherein
people placed lower on the social scale followed those placed above them. The
introduction of cricket by the British to Indian masses also saw the concurrent
introduction of a hegemonic masculinity. British rulers often exhibited a
virulent hegemonic masculinity involving them defining themselves against the
“effeminate” colonial other. Only men were allowed to play cricket and Indian
men were prohibited from playing with or against British.

 As Valerie Hanson suggests, Indian cricket has
always displayed hegemonic male masculinity right from the time India got
patriation in 1947 (2002). Later, this hyper masculinity became embodied in
cricketing figures such as Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar) who were paid enormous
amounts to be the spokespersons for various commercial brands. Take for
example, the advertisements for Palmolive shaving products featuring Kapil Dev.
Take for example the advertisements of Palmolive of Kapil Dev where he is
framed as strong man who is shaving and all set to take on the world. He is
also seen with a beautiful woman at the end of the advertisement. Another
advertisement features Kapil Dev in the boost advertisement where he is seen
running and looking very strong fit and muscular at the end of the
advertisement he drinks boost looking very strong. Emily Crick says players
like Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar were the pioneers of
Indian cricket in the 2000’s and they were the main players who portrayed a
strong form of hegemonic masculinity on and of the field to shape the public
opinion of people in India (2007). 

2.3 Framing of the Indian women cricketers by
the Indian Media

As Nicely (2007) states media framing involves
the selection and salience given to various pieces of information, allowing
certain attributes to be highlighted and others to be excluded in a
communications context. The Indian media is very devaluing to woman just like
Indian society. It always frames women in a negative or dependent role why are
woman given less coverage of sporting news programs than men? why is the Indian
media so biased towards Woman these are some deep rooted problems etched deep
into our society. As Louise North (2012) suggests Along with the sexualising
and feminising of women in the sports media, women athletes are also regularly
infantilised Infantilization occurs when women are referred to as ‘girls’ and
their first names are used, whereas for male athletes, the term ‘men’ and
surnames are usually used in sports coverage. As Maley (2012) says gender
marking is also prevalent in sports coverage and occurs when the media
identifies a sporting competition as a ‘women’s’ sporting competition, or an
athlete as a ‘woman’ athlete, in order to designate the event/athlete as
inferior to a men’s competition or male athlete. As Hallahan (1999) interprets
“to frame is to select some aspects of perceived reality and make them more
salient in the communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular
problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment
recommendation for the item descend Privileging gender appropriate sport is evident
in media coverage of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.” Women who most featured
competed in the physically attractive sports of diving, swimming and
gymnastics, rather than hard contact sports and sports involving strength and
power. In contrast, men’s sporting events are often not gender marked and
classified as ‘the/an event’ and male athletes are simply designated as
athletes and not gender marked (Killoran, 2017).

The way the media frames an Indian cricketer
will be influenced by a person’s   friends,
relatives or even family because people talk and remember what the media has
broadcast If the athlete has been portrayed negatively it will be remembered by
the viewer for a long time. Indian media has always been harsh towards Indian
woman cricketers. According to the ICC
website out of 31 games in the ICC women’s cricket world cup 2017 only 10 games
where aired on live tv in India the rest was only broadcast on the channels
website and on Hotstar. Due to less
coverage given to women cricketers in India less audience tend to be aware
about the happenings in the cricketing world of women. Due to this Woman
cricket is not so popular in India as compare to Men’s cricket.  The audience may see this under-representation
of female athletes as a sign that women’s sports are not as significant or
exciting as men’s sports (Nicely, 2007). 
This imbalance portrays the idea that female athletes and women’s sports
are inferior when compared to men’s sports and male athletes (Nicely,
2007). 

Overall Indian women receive a lot of negative
coverage in the Indian media. According to Jfranetti (2006) despite the huge
number of female athletes present in the sporting arena today the mass media is
yet to catch up. For the last decade there has been a surge of female athletes
taking part in sporting events all over the world. But the mass media just does
not seem to be giving enough coverage to the female athletes. As Christopher. J
Maley (2012) states that the type of quantity and quality given to female
athletes is very poor in todays media. When female athletes receive negative
coverage, it creates stereotypes among the people that females are not good
athletes as compared to their male counterparts.   

2.4 Stereotyping of the Indian Women in Sport

The Nike commercial
which was an advertisement made by Nike corporation
which was released on December 13,
2016 was an all-women commercial and just gave coverage time of 8 seconds to
Indian woman’s cricket, the rest of the time given in the commercial
advertisement was to other sports. Whereas male cricketers have full 2 minutes
of time and more length of time given to them more than 15 ads have been made
by Nike for the male cricketers. It
is no mystery that advertising uses gender roles as a means of promoting
products. Advertising does impact the way society perceives gender biases
towards women athletes. As Fountaine, & McGregor (2001) suggest more and
more ads are being made in the 21st century showing women
empowerment and women in dominating roles of society. Additionally Louisa North
(2012) says various studies, typically using content analysis, have found that
women’s sports advertisements are under-represented in the sports media and
largely framed as less exciting and less newsworthy than men’s sports  Previous literature notes that advertising may
be moving away from stereotypical portrayals of men and women while other
studies suggest role portrayals as getting worse says (Espisona, 2010)

            As Hanson (2012) suggests even though
it is possible that advertisements mirror societal ideals, gender role
portrayals can still have consequential notions of reinforcement of social and
gender stereotypes on society. Additionally Hanson (2012)  says men are portrayed as bigger, faster,
stronger, and overall superior to women in college sports as well as
professional, projecting men as the stereotypical images of athletic icons.
Conversely, stereotypical femininity, like the feminine caretaker, represents
the image of the female athlete.  Indian
society in particular reinforces stereotypes against woman in many aspects of
Indian society. In many developing countries all over the world women do face
many hurdles to participate in sports. One of these is the persistence of
strictly enforced gender roles and legal and cultural restrictions on movement
from home to school or from home to the workplace. In India, for example, where
although women like wrestler Sonika Kaliraman and tennis star Sania Mirza are
paving the way for women in sports, girls do not participate widely in
athletics (Kotekar, 2013). As Sardana (2014) points out Equality in salaries
and allowances with their men counterparts continues to elude women’s cricket.
In Sri Lanka, which hosted the ICC T20 World Cup in 2012, the per diem of women
players was € 37 compared to the men players who were being paid € 62. The
prize money for the match championship offered by ICC was just € 37,000 for
women  whereas  the Men’s event would have been for €
6,19,000. The disparity in salaries coupled with the time and physical effort
required for sport might de motivate young women from taking up sport not to
forget societal norms.

2.5 Is the Cricketing Board of India Supporting
Women Cricketers

India has seen great male cricketer’s like
Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid just to name a few.
All of them carry themselves with a lot of confidence but the women cricketers
are hardly seen in media or advertisement’s points out (Scraton, & Flintoff
2013). This is due to the lack of confidence support and even money given to
Indian woman be it by parents or themselves. According to an article on espncricketinfo.com,  Just before the ICC Women’s cricket world cup
in July 2017 the women’s team squad was not announced to the media or the
public and prior to this the women’s team had played three one day series and
had not received their due payment. Espncricketinfo.com
article further suggests that Internal reasons resulting in the comparatively
slack interest in promoting women’s cricket can be attributed to the mindset of
those who control the affairs of the sport i.e. BCCI in India and ICC
internationally. BCCI’s

response to a Sports Ministry’s suggestion to
give at least 10 per cent of its total membership to women in the decision-making
bodies in the Board goes on to express that it is not possible to have women
sitting in judgment of the men’s team. Notably 24-member working committee, its
decision making arm, does not have any woman on it as MMK Sardan (2014) points
out in his paper Economic Potential of
Women Cricket Waiting to be Exploited Sardana (2014) points out in his
paper the BCCI has not set up an anti-sexual harassment committee for its women
cricketer’s the BCCI believes no  sexual
harassment happens to women cricketers in India. Sardana (2014) also points out
that there is no BCCI there is no woman member on the board as yet  as several politicians and lawmakers of the
country are present in the BCCI but none of the take women’s cricket that
seriously compare to men’s cricket.  

            Even at a time when performance of
men’s cricket team was disgraced in the world cup in the Caribbean’s in 2007,
an eminent socialite and adman Prahlad Kakar ridiculed women cricketers stating
that they even do not know how to play cricket and he could not watch them play
even two hours (Sardana, 2014). Due to people making comments like this women’s
cricket has not received that much attention as compare to their male
counterparts.  Women cricketers in India
usually come from lower middle-class economic backgrounds, and join cricket for
their livelihood due to lack of other alternatives.68 As Gupta (2013) points
out, the current social and economic environment contributes to the relegation
of women to a subordinate position in Indian cricket. As Gupta (2013) suggests
the lack of opportunities created by the BCCI for women to take up cricket as a
career is only becoming more and more in spite of the women reaching the final
of the ICC Women’s cricket world cup in 2017. Training has to begin at the
grassroot level for real progress to take place at the moment the situation
remains bleak for women cricketers in India.