Black Female Athletes as Space Invaders

Authored by: L. Anima Adjepong , Ben Carrington

Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender and Sexuality

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415522533
eBook ISBN: 9780203121375
Adobe ISBN: 9781136326967

10.4324/9780203121375.ch18

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Abstract

Despite recent advances in women’s sport participation, extensive coverage of women’s sports at the Olympics, and the continuing popularity of women’s football (soccer) especially in the United States of America, sport remains a terrain for the reproduction of dominant forms of white masculinity (Ferber, 2007; Long and Hylton, 2002; Walton and Butryn, 2006). In many cases, sportswomen are only noticed insofar as they are portrayed as sexually attractive to an assumed heterosexual and male audience (Bernstein, 2002; Lafferty and McKay, 2004; Mennesson, 2000). The sexualization of women athletes illustrates the anxieties many men have regarding the idea that the gender order (Connell, 2001) is in a state of flux. Within this context the very presence of female athletes challenges the idea of sport as a male preserve.

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