“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: 249-276. doi:10.1023/B:QUAS.0000037618.57141.53

Author Lafferty, Y.
Mckay, J.
Title “Suffragettes in Satin Shorts”? Gender and Competitive Boxing
Journal name Qualitative Sociology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0162-0436
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1023/B:QUAS.0000037618.57141.53
Volume 27
Issue 3
Start page 249
End page 276
Total pages 28
Place of publication New York, USA
Publisher Human Sciences Press
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
379901 Gender Specific Studies
750203 Organised sports
1608 Sociology
Abstract 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 do 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.
Keyword Boxing
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Publications
2005 Higher Education Research Data Collection
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 30 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 03:57:50 EST