A Tough-Girl Story about Fight Club from the Doctor's Perspective

By Faktorovich, Anna | Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Spring 2018 | Go to article overview

A Tough-Girl Story about Fight Club from the Doctor's Perspective


Faktorovich, Anna, Pennsylvania Literary Journal


A Tough-Girl Story About Fight Club from the Doctor's Perspective Linda D. Dahl. Tooth and Nail: The Making of a Female Fight Doctor. Ontario: Harlequin Enterprises Limited: Hanover Square Press, July 24, 2018. $26.99. ISBN: 978-1-335-01747-5. 304pp.

Once again, the back cover summary for this book sounds like it would be a highbrow non-fiction, but it just isn't what I thought it would be. The premise is that this is a memoir for the first female ringside boxing doctor in New York City, Linda D. Dahl, who also has an otolaryngologist private practice there. She felt isolated as a Middle Eastern-origin individual in the Bronx, so she started attending boxing matches with her husband. Since she became a huge fan of the game, she was invited to become a fight doctor by the New York State Athletic Commission. I wanted to determine (with help from this book) how and why she was invited to take on this role while no other female doctor received such an honor. But the explanation is that she was the biggest fan of them all. This isn't believable for me. Usually, women who attain these types of roles before others work harder and longer in a given field than others. But she just receives a phone call with the invitation as if by miracle. This kind of serendipity does not help me, as a researcher, to learn from her experience to understand how women have succeeded in male-dominated fields. Instead of zooming in on important moments like this one, this book stresses conversations she had with famous boxers like Mike Tyson, Wladimir Klitschko and Miguel Cotto. These chats are casual and only touch the surface, so they don't really help explain the grand issues of feminism, and medical intervention in a sport that is intentionally violent and harmful toward opponents. …

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