When Women Stood: The Untold History of Females Who Changed Sports and the World

Rowman & Littlefield. Feb. 2023. 360p. ISBN 9781538171349. $36. SPORTS
History is full of examples of women being excluded from activities and of their subsequent fight to participate. Allred’s (kinesiology, Tarleton State Univ.; Atta Girl!: A Celebration of Women in Sport) is a former professional athlete who won the first U.S. Women’s Bobsled Championship when she was more than four months pregnant. Her book focuses mainly on campaigns for equal opportunity in sports, but she also weaves in many of the other equality battles women fought at the same time. The book starts with the first recorded woman Olympian in 396 BC; she competed against men and won but was not allowed to participate in the trophy ceremony. The book covers many sports and the stories throughout the centuries of women who fought for the chance to compete. Allred includes discussions of the media’s sexualized depiction of women athletes, the male-centric focus of sports medicine and nutrition, the creation and evolution of Title IX, and the additional barriers faced by Black, Latina, Indigenous, lesbian, and transgender athletes.
VERDICT A fascinating and thorough history of the fight for women’s rights told through the lens of sports. Will likely appeal to readers interested in sports history and gender studies.
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