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"Kicking Ass AND Looking Good": Reinforcing Sexism Through Women's Rugby

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Abstract:

Players on a collegiate women's rugby team sought to live up to the masculine ideals associated with athletics. To the extent that they were successful they risked others positioning them as lesbians. The managed their identity as "women in rugby" in ways that allowed them to reap the benefits of being thought of as tough while asserting themselves as unquestionably heterosexual and attractive, especially to the male rugby players on campus. Participant observation and in-depth interviews with players and coaches reveal that the women constructed and performed a "sexy-fit" identity. They disidentified from other women, distancing themselves from other female athletes, and claimed their differences from female rugby players. Establishing themselves as exceptional women served to "other" women as a class and retained the superiority of men. The players were successful as athletes, as hetero-sexualized objects, and challenged notions of women’s passivity. But they did not ultimately challenge sex inequality.

Author's Keywords:

sport, reproducing inequality, race/class/gender
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Association:
Name: American Sociological Association
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http://www.asanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Ezzell, Matthew. ""Kicking Ass AND Looking Good": Reinforcing Sexism Through Women's Rugby" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 12, 2005 <Not Available>. 2013-07-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p21058_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ezzell, M. B. , 2005-08-12 ""Kicking Ass AND Looking Good": Reinforcing Sexism Through Women's Rugby" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2013-07-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p21058_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Players on a collegiate women's rugby team sought to live up to the masculine ideals associated with athletics. To the extent that they were successful they risked others positioning them as lesbians. The managed their identity as "women in rugby" in ways that allowed them to reap the benefits of being thought of as tough while asserting themselves as unquestionably heterosexual and attractive, especially to the male rugby players on campus. Participant observation and in-depth interviews with players and coaches reveal that the women constructed and performed a "sexy-fit" identity. They disidentified from other women, distancing themselves from other female athletes, and claimed their differences from female rugby players. Establishing themselves as exceptional women served to "other" women as a class and retained the superiority of men. The players were successful as athletes, as hetero-sexualized objects, and challenged notions of women’s passivity. But they did not ultimately challenge sex inequality.

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