Academic journal article Resources for Feminist Research

THE GIRL AND THE GAME: A History of Women's Sport in Canada

Academic journal article Resources for Feminist Research

THE GIRL AND THE GAME: A History of Women's Sport in Canada

Article excerpt

THE GIRL AND THE GAME: A History of Women's Sport in Canada M. Ann Hall Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2002; 284 pp.

The intent of The Girl and the Game is to trace how male hegemonic values have contributed to the development of women's sport participation in Canada. M. Ann Hall, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, is a leading feminist sport historian and advocate whose interests in gender relations and sport have spanned 20 years of research and writing to produce a comprehensive overview of women's accomplishments in sport. A chronology of women's struggles for athletic acceptance and organizational power, the book provides vivid accounts of the challenges women encountered within twentieth century sport development.

Influenced by feminist historiography, Hall crafts an insightful narrative advancing women's sport history and gender relations. Like other Canadian feminist sport historians, Helen Lenskyj, Bruce Kidd, Vicki Paraschuk, and Patricia Vertinsky, Hall's meticulous description of women's struggles within institutions of sport and physical activity are contextualized by pivotal moments in Canadian women's history: prohibition and the right to vote, women's participation in the workforce, and second wave feminism. Indeed, Hall's contribution is of great significance given its comprehensive, encyclopedic coverage of women's accomplishments.

Hall acknowledges and promises what other feminist sport historians Catronia Parratt and Jennifer Hargreaves remind us of: the need to uncover the hidden narratives of women of colour and minority groups in sport. Though Hall sought out female athletes and administrators and included information from personal communications with living pioneers, there appears to be a lack of commitment to representing the histories of women in minority groups. For example, while the life histories of women like Barbara Howard, the first visible minority woman to compete for Canada, and Rosella Thorne, the most accomplished Black athlete of this decade, are recognized they remain marginal within the text itself. …

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