Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity

By Erik N. Jensen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Conclusion
Body beyond Weimar: Germany’s Athletic Legacy

In a 1928 essay, the commentator Willy Meisl imagined himself looking back on contemporary German society from the vantage point of the year 4000. “It was sports that cleared the way for the emancipation of the woman,” Meisl wrote, in mock retrospection. “It made her more similar to man and also enabled her to make man more similar to her, until ultimately they met on that middle ground where humankind truly becomes one.”1 More than any other single group in German society, Meisl argued, athletes had done the work of bringing the sexes closer together in the 1920s. By appropriating the tactics, competitiveness, and training habits of the men’s sports, female athletes had gone beyond simply promoting a new feminine ideal. They had claimed masculine ideals for women and thereby sparked a fundamental reassessment of the similarities and differences between the two sexes.

Meisl gave the female athlete a great deal of credit for having created a new man, too, arguing that sports “enabled her to make man more similar to her.” Indeed, male athletes—whether prompted by female counterparts, by the demands of a new society, or by their own individual initiative—reshaped what it meant to be a man after the First World War. The Wilhelmine gender order, after all, had applied to men and women alike. Although only those men who openly displayed non-normative behavior received the crushing sanctions of their peers, all men felt the constraints of society’s physical and emotional expectations. Male athletes in the 1920s challenged some of these constraints. They emancipated men from many of the cultural conventions that had circumscribed male behavior for generations just as surely as female athletes had emancipated women. When the male tennis player cultivated an aesthetic game rather than an aggressive one, or when the male boxer consciously marketed himself as an erotic object, he blurred the distinction between male characteristics and female ones to the same degree as the female tennis player who attacked the net or the female boxer who sent her opponent to the canvas.

-134-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 184

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.