Cover image for Built to win : the female athlete as cultural icon
Title:
Built to win : the female athlete as cultural icon
Author:
Heywood, Leslie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xxix, 217 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780816636235

9780816636242
Format :
Book

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GV709.18.U6 H49 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

The sculpted speed of Marion Jones. The grit and agility of Mia Hamm. The slam-dunk style of Lisa Leslie. The skill and finesse of these sports figures are widely admired, no longer causing the puzzlement and discomfort directed toward earlier generations of athletic women. Built to Win explores this relatively recent phenomenon--the confident, empowered female athletes found everywhere in American popular culture. Leslie Heywood and Shari L., Dworkin examine the role of female athletes through interviews with elementary- and high school-age girls and boys; careful readings of ad campaigns by Nike, Reebok, and others; discussions of movies like Fight Club and Girlfight; and explorations of their own sports experiences. They ask: what, if any, dissonance is there between popular images and the actual experiences of these athletes? Do these images really "redefine femininity" and contribute to a greater inclusion of all women in sport? Are sexualized images of these women damaging their quest to betaken seriously? Do they inspire young boys to respect and admire female athletes, and will this ultimately make a difference in the ways gender and power are constructed and perceived? Proposing a paradigm shift from second- to third-wave feminism, Heywood and Dworkin argue that, in the years since the passage of Title IX, gender stereotypes have been destabilized in profound ways, and they assert that female athletes and their imagery are doing important cultural work to that end. Important, refreshing, and engrossing, Built to Win examines sport in all its complexity.


Summary

Proposing a paradigm shift from second- to third-wave feminism, the authors argue that, in the years since the passage of Title IX, gender stereotypes have been destabilized in profound ways and assert that female athletes and their imagery are doing important cultural work to that end.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

In this well researched book, Heywood (English, Binghampton Univ.) and Dworkin (sociology, Columbia Univ.) trace the new acceptance of women athletes, especially the increased coverage by the media. Along with many experts, the authors agree that the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta were named the "Games of the Women" because of the female athletes' excellent achievements, which were covered by the press more than anytime in the past. Women won gold medals in basketball, soccer, softball, synchronized swimming, gymnastics, and track. Yet, as the authors compare this performance to the implementation of Title IX, they find that women athletes have a long way to go; only seven women of the 106 members of the IOC are women. Twenty-four pictures demonstrate the new image portrayed by the advertisers and the media, an image focusing on physical skills rather than femininity. An appendix, "Youth Attitudes about Female Athletes," describes reactions of test groups, including such information as name, sports played, favorite female athlete, and so forth. Twenty-seven pages of an annotated bibliography enhance the text. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. Davenport emerita, Auburn University


Choice Review

In this well researched book, Heywood (English, Binghampton Univ.) and Dworkin (sociology, Columbia Univ.) trace the new acceptance of women athletes, especially the increased coverage by the media. Along with many experts, the authors agree that the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta were named the "Games of the Women" because of the female athletes' excellent achievements, which were covered by the press more than anytime in the past. Women won gold medals in basketball, soccer, softball, synchronized swimming, gymnastics, and track. Yet, as the authors compare this performance to the implementation of Title IX, they find that women athletes have a long way to go; only seven women of the 106 members of the IOC are women. Twenty-four pictures demonstrate the new image portrayed by the advertisers and the media, an image focusing on physical skills rather than femininity. An appendix, "Youth Attitudes about Female Athletes," describes reactions of test groups, including such information as name, sports played, favorite female athlete, and so forth. Twenty-seven pages of an annotated bibliography enhance the text. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. Davenport emerita, Auburn University


Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologue:Women We Love Who Kick Buttp. xv
Chapter 1 Powered Up or Dreaming?p. 1
Chapter 2 Sport as the Stealth Feminism of the Third Wavep. 25
Chapter 3 A New Look at Female Athletes and Masculinityp. 55
Chapter 4 Bodies, Babes, and the Wnbap. 76
Chapter 5 Body Panic Parityp. 100
Chapter 6 She Will Beat You Up, and Your Papa, Toop. 131
Epilogue: It's an Imagep. 160
Appendix: Focus-Group Research on Youth Attitudes About Female Athletesp. 167
Notesp. 177
Indexp. 205
Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologue:Women We Love Who Kick Buttp. xv
Chapter 1 Powered Up or Dreaming?p. 1
Chapter 2 Sport as the Stealth Feminism of the Third Wavep. 25
Chapter 3 A New Look at Female Athletes and Masculinityp. 55
Chapter 4 Bodies, Babes, and the Wnbap. 76
Chapter 5 Body Panic Parityp. 100
Chapter 6 She Will Beat You Up, and Your Papa, Toop. 131
Epilogue: It's an Imagep. 160
Appendix: Focus-Group Research on Youth Attitudes About Female Athletesp. 167
Notesp. 177
Indexp. 205