Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates

Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates

by Katie Barnes
Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates

Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates

by Katie Barnes


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“[An] electrifying debut…Through in-depth and compassionate reporting, Barnes breaks down the misunderstood science surrounding sex and gender that has been used to keep cisgender women out of sports and has fueled debate over trans athletes participation in women’s sports.”—Shannon Carlin, TIME
magazine, “100 Must-Read Books of 2023”

For decades women have been playing competitive sports, thanks in large part to the protective cover of Title IX. Since the passage of that law, the number of women participating in sports and the level of competition in high school and college and professionally, has risen dramatically. In Fair Play, award-winning journalist Katie Barnes traces the evolution of women’s sports as a pastime and a political arena where equality and fairness have been fought over for generations.

As attitudes toward gender have shifted to embrace more fluidity in recent decades, sex continues to be viewed as a static binary that is easily determined: male or female. It is on the very idea of static sex that we have built an entire sporting apparatus. Now that foundation is being hotly debated as a result of intense culture wars. Many transgender and intersex athletes, including a South African runner, a wrestler in Texas, a Connecticut track star, and a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, have captured the attention of law and policymakers who want to decide how and when they compete. Women’s sports, since their inception, have been seen as a separate class of competition that requires protection and rules for entry. But what are those rules and who gets to make them? Fair Play looks at all sides of the issue and presents a reasoned and much-needed solution that seeks to preserve opportunities for all going forward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250276629
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/19/2023
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 82,380
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

KATIE BARNES (they/them) is an award-winning journalist covering the intersection of sports and gender for ESPN. Barnes is a three-time GLAAD nominee and they were named the 2017 Journalist of the Year by NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. They were an executive producer on “Mack Wrestles,” a 30 for 30 short documentary produced in conjunction with ESPN Films that premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and was shortlisted for awards by Critic’s Choice, NY DOCS and the International Documentary Association. Fair Play is their first book.
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