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Today, there are women athletes who are media celebrities and a source of inspiration for many. But not long ago, being serious about sport was considered appropriate only for men and boys. Throughout the twentieth century, women's increasing participation in sport has challenged our conception of womanhood. Some celebrated the female athlete as the embodiment of modern womanhood, but others branded her "mannish" or lesbian. Ultimately, she altered the perception of sport as an exclusively male domain.
Susan Cahn's story of how sport has changed women's lives and women have transformed sport is an important chapter in the wider history of women's struggles to define their role in the twentieth century. For the women who dared to compete, participation in sport enabled them to expand the boundaries of women's activities and to claim that strength, skill, physicality, and competitiveness could be authentic attributes of womanhood. This is the legacy they passed on to the new generation of women for whom athleticism is becoming a way of life.
Drawing on historical records and contemporary interviews, Cahn chronicles the remarkable transformation made by women's sports in the the 20th century, revealing the struggles faced by women to overcome social constraints and behavior codes, and how sport has changes their lives. Photos.
|1||The New Type of Athletic Girl||7|
|2||Grass-roots Growth and Sexual Sensation in the Flapper Era||31|
|3||Games of Strife: The Battle over Women's Competitive Sport||55|
|4||Order on the Court: The Campaign to Suppress Women's Basketball||83|
|5||"Cinderellas" of Sport: Black Women in Track and Field||110|
|6||No Freaks, No Amazons, No Boyish Bobs: The All-American Girls Baseball League||140|
|7||Beauty and the Butch: The "Mannish" Athlete and the Lesbian Threat||164|
|8||"Play It, Don't Say It": Lesbian Identity and Community in Women's Sport||185|
|9||Women Competing/Gender Contested||207|
|10||You've Come a Long Way, Maybe: A "Revolution" in Women's Sport?||246|
Posted July 30, 2009
No text was provided for this review.