This book provides an in-depth examination of gender, sport and sexualities, an analysis of the limitations of liberal feminist responses, and an exploration of radical feminist alternatives.
Dr. Lenskyj presents illuminating case studies from Canada, the United States and Australia, which exposes coaches' and administrators' complicity in perpetuating the chilly climate for female athletes in general, and for lesbians in particular. It includes a content analysis of the mass media treatment of sportswomen, and a discussion of how lesbian characters are portrayed in mainstream and lesbian fiction.
Drawing on historical and contemporary examples, Dr. Lenskyj contextualizes the homophobia and sexual harassment present in the everyday experiences of significant numbers of women involved in sport and physical activity. She shows that despite three decades of feminist and lesbian activism, and despite the apparent liberalization of attitudes since the 1960s, lesbian sexuality remains largely in the closet while heterosexuality continues to be exploited in the name of selling sport.
Dr. Helen Jefferson Lenskyj is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.