Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


The goal of this essay is to examine American sports through the lens of feminist philosophy. I am particularly interested in the questions of what the American attitude is toward women’s sports and the involvement of women in men’s sports, does that attitude reflect a cultural limit that Americans have reached regarding women’s sports (I intend to argue that it does), and does that limit reveal essentializing notions about sex which still haunt American society. In answering these questions, I will be using Wendy Williams’ article, “The Equality Crisis,” specifically her sections on the culture of men and women as aggressors and nurturers respectively, for her definition and recognition of the concept of the cultural limit, and the Joan W. Scott piece, “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference” in conducting a post-structuralist examination of women’s sports in the U.S. as well as the work of various scientists and philosophers in examining the genealogy of women in sports. My primary focus will be the sports of basketball, baseball, and American football, along with what appears to be its female equivalent in cheerleading. Each of these sports, perhaps, apart from basketball, are traditionally associated with essential masculinity and each have a female equivalent, which seems to be less popular in mainstream entertainment.

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