Serena and Venus Play for the Male Gaze

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that Serena and Venus Williams were on the cover (left) of The New York Times Magazine last week. Sure, I might have been happier if either of them were wearing a shirt, but with Serena’s 24-pack on display in its full muscular glory, I can see the shirtless argument. […]

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: A Final Feminist Olympic Roundup

Olympic Highlights Roundup

 American women cleaned up pretty well at the 2012 London Olympics. Thirty percent of American woman athletes took home medals, while only 15 percent of their male counterparts could boast the same. Even more impressive, U.S. women Olympians took home more medals than all but four countries. That’s what sports equity will do for you […]

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: A Feminist Look at the Olympics, Part 2

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Thumbs Up for Kayla Harrison, who won the first women’s gold medal for the U.S. in judo on August 2 and who overcame great personal challenges to triumph at these London Games. Even though American Rusty Kanokogi, who fought for years to make women’s judo an Olympic sport, didn’t live to see Harrison make history […]

U.S. Swim Coach McKeever Shows Doubters the Gold

Teri McKeever

Teri McKeever has long suspected the timing of her vanguard promotion as the first woman coach for the U.S. Olympic women’s swim team in December of 2010 might have been questionned by some. That’s because 2010 marked a sad year in the history of the swimming world–one fraught with sexual abuse scandals involving male coaches […]

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: A Feminist Look at the Olympics (So Far)

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With all of the TV coverage, print and digital news, Facebook updates, Twitter hashtags and blog posts about what’s happening in London, we’ve gathered our favorite (and not so favorite) feminist moments and commentaries from the 2012 Summer Games. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!  for British weightlifter Zoe Smith, who spoke out in […]

Olympics’ New Hormone Regulations: Judged by How You Look

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This post was coauthored by Hida Viloria. The International Olympic Committee recently released a new sex-testing policy that could prevent women athletes with hyperandrogenism, determined by natural testosterone level, from competing in London on the basis that they have an unfair advantage over their competitors. (The I.O.C. claims the test is not intended to determine sex but “to identify […]

Is There to Be No Grunting in Women’s Tennis?

Maria Sharapova Indian Wells 2005

Tennis is not a silent sport. Anyone who tells you otherwise has never witnessed tense moments in a game between, say, top-ranked player Maria Sharapova and champion Serena Williams. Or listened to Victoria Azarenka or Michelle Larcher de Brito play. Sharapova’s hallmark screams have been clocked at 102.7 decibels. The loudest women’s tennis grunt on […]

The Olympics Are Coming! So Let Us Play!

London Olympics

As the 2012 Olympic swimming trials in Omaha came to a close Monday night and a new round of female Olympians were born, first-time Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin reminded us that each generation of women athletes stands on the shoulders of the last. Moments after beating out 29-year-old veteran Olympian Natalie Coughlin on Wednesday in […]

Top Women Athletes Are Just Lucky?

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Men are skilled and committed, but women are only good-looking and lucky? According to a study conducted by the University of Delaware regarding NBC’s commentary at past Olympic Games, sexist statements dominate the feedback that fans are exposed to. Researcher James Angelini published the study this month in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. As he explained, […]

Curious Tension: Feminism and the Sporting Woman

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As a former athlete and a graduate student in sports studies, I embraced feminism in the 1970s. It seemed to be a natural alliance because I had experienced sports as personally liberating and felt that it offered females the possibility to become accomplished athletes, develop strong and healthy bodies and defy societal views of females […]