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Suffragettes in satin shorts ? gender and competitive boxing.

Lafferty, Y. and McKay, J. (2004) 'Suffragettes in satin shorts ? gender and competitive boxing.', Qualitative sociology., 27 (3). pp. 249-276.


This study is an empirical and theoretical contribution to the burgeoning literature on gender and competitive boxing. By using Connell's concepts of labor, power, cathexis, and representation and a combination of content and semiotic analysis, interviews, and observations, we argue that competitive boxing can be studied productively as a paradoxical gender regime that simultaneously enables and constrains how women ldquodordquo gender. On one hand, the sport encourages individual women to display physical aggression when such behavior traditionally has been deemed the antithesis of femininity. Some feminists argue that this form of physical feminism enables women to transcend essentialist discourses that restrict their corporeal power. On the other hand, women boxers in general also encounter resistance to their aspirations. For example, they are still positioned by essentialist discourses about both their bodies and capacity to develop the requisite form of controlled aggression. Strongly gendered links between bodily labor and bodily capital also mean that women have less access to resources than do men and, consequently, fewer opportunities to develop their pugilistic capital. We also maintain that competitive women boxers are implicated in a body project that tends to replicate sporting practices that some feminists and pro-feminists argue are damaging to both men and women.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Boxing, Gender, Bodies.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Record Created:29 Mar 2007
Last Modified:12 Feb 2010 13:03

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