One for the Masculinity Is An Immutable Thing Placed In Us By The Almighty God And/Or Evolution And Definitely Has Nothing To Do With Social Construction or Anything people: Cheerleading was originally considered a manly sport. 1911:
…the reputation of having been a valiant “cheer-leader” is one of the most valuable things a boy can take away from college. As a title to promotion in professional or public life, it ranks hardly second to that of having been a quarterback.
Dude, you cheerlead? Fag.
It’s kind of fascinating how, as cheerleading went from being a male thing to a female thing, the traits associated with cheerleading changed. Originally, cheerleaders were brave, likely to become successful, in possession of loud and raucous voices, athletic, and leaders. As cheerleaders became more female, the ideal cheerleader came to be described as cute, smiling, and dressed in a revealing outfit. That is, the ideal cheerleader stopped being considered a success object and started to be a sex object. The narratives around what a man is supposed to be, it seems, are a bit more durable than the behaviors that make him such.
I think one of the most important lessons that one can learn about gender roles is that they are not a constant. True, hormones and chromosomes may affect the brain in addition to the body; however, the behaviors that we view as gendered– from waving pompoms to fighting in wars– are to a very large degree socially constructed. And if they’re socially constructed… we can change them.