Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports

Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports

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by Eileen McDonagh, Laura Pappano
     
 

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Athletic contests help define what we mean in America by "success." By keeping women from "playing with the boys" on the false assumption that they are inherently inferior, society relegates them to second-class citizens. In this forcefully argued book, Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano show in vivid detail how women have been unfairly excluded from participating…  See more details below

Overview


Athletic contests help define what we mean in America by "success." By keeping women from "playing with the boys" on the false assumption that they are inherently inferior, society relegates them to second-class citizens. In this forcefully argued book, Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano show in vivid detail how women have been unfairly excluded from participating in sports on an equal footing with men. Using dozens of powerful examples--girls and women breaking through in football, ice hockey, wrestling, and baseball, to name just a few--the authors show that sex differences are not sufficient to warrant exclusion in most sports, that success entails more than brute strength, and that sex segregation in sports does not simply reflect sex differences, but actively constructs and reinforces stereotypes about sex differences. For instance, women's bodies give them a physiological advantage in endurance sports, yet many Olympic events have shorter races for women than men, thereby camouflaging rather than revealing women's strengths.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A serious examination of the role of gender politics in sports."--The Nation

"Convincingly argue[s] the notion that sports, like politics, higher education, and employment generally, should provide equal opportunity for women... Marshaling facts, research, and opinions from biology, history, sociology, law, media, and psychology, the authors make their feminist argument more plausibly than does Colette Dowling in The Frailty Myth... Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"Playing with the Boys dismantles the common assumption that women must be inferior to men when it comes to sports. McDonagh and Pappano impressively show how this deep stereotype has no grounds and why it's so important we get rid of it."--Donna Brazile, author of Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics

"This is one of those rare gems of a book that makes you entirely reassess what you thought you knew. Provocative, absorbing and meticulously argued, Playing with the Boys questions the received wisdom about Title IX and women's sports from the most unexpected perspective. Read the book."--Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies, Cornell University and author of Faithful and Fearless: Moving Feminist Protest inside the Church and Military

"McDonagh and Pappano hit a home-run! This book shows that coerced sex segregation in sports does not benefit women, and in fact holds back women who are fully capable of competing with men--and that flies in the face of U.S. ideals of equality. Readers will never think of Title IX in the same way again."--Kim Gandy, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)

"This is a wonderful work! It offers novel evidence from biology, history, and the law that makes us realize that women's sports are not only intrinsically interesting as a topic of study, but also a key part of larger debates about who we are as a society and a nation."--Kristin Goss, Assistant Professor of Public Policy Studies and Political Science, Duke University and author of Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America

"In this informative, well-written book, [McDonagh and Pappano]...offer relevant information critical to understanding the role of gender in sport. The authors not only define the specifics of the problem but also probe questions associated with the formulation of gender roles... Offering conceptual frameworks, case studies, and practical applications, this book will be valuable both as a textbook and in libraries supporting the study of sports and gender, including sociological aspects... Highly recommended."--CHOICE

"A strong case history about the inequalities that existed for female athletes not only in the 1800s and 1900s, but also today."--The Chicago Sun-Times

"Makes a dynamic case for reshuffling our gendered assumptions about sports."--Bust Magazine

"Start thinking about the issues they raise and you may never stop."--The New York Times

"This exhaustively researched, historically informed book represents an important step in the debate surrounding gender equity in sport." --Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195386776
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/08/2009
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,390,465
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Eileen McDonagh is Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. She is the author of Breaking the Abortion Deadlock and The Motherless State.

Laura Pappano is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and The Washington Post. She is the author of The Connection Gap and is currently a writer-in-residence at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.

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Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
taylorfischer32 More than 1 year ago
This book reviews every possible question you could have on differences between males and females physically along with differences in many sports, it is a real eye opener.