Book Review: Qualifying Times – Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport

9780252079740_lgTo follow up on reading Sarah Shephard’s book about women in sport, I decided I wanted to keep going on the topic, so I went ahead and picked up Jaime Schultz’s 2014 title, “Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport.”

Having read both, I can’t help but be happy that I picked both of them up. While the topic seems the same, and certainly both books do touch on some of the same issues and both historic and current situations, they’re from two different perspectives. Shephard’s book focuses largely (but not exclusively) on women in sport¬†in the UK. She does make reference to several points of US women’s sports, but by and large, a lot of what she’s focused on is overseas. Thus, in comes Schultz’s book, which focuses almost exclusively on the American side of things. Read one after the other, they seem to nicely fit together, fill in some gaps and have given me a better overarching perspective on women’s sports.

Alright – back to Schultz’s book.

I was hooked from the introduction of this book, which is literally titled:¬†The Politics of the Ponytail. Have I ever thought of the ponytail in terms of sports? Not particularly, at least until now. Showcasing how this hairstyle ties into discussions about gender, age, sexuality, sexualization and femininity, Schultz does a phenomenal job of capturing the reader’s attention from the get-go. Boom. Let’s go.

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Book Review – “Kicking Off: How Women In Sport Are Changing the Game”

crnbn6yw8aaxzwxI just finished reading Sarah Shephard’s June 2016 release entitled “Kicking Off: How women in sport are changing the game.” As someone whose interest in women’s sports has been piqued lately, I went searching for books about the topic. There aren’t necessarily a ton out there, but this was the first I decided to pick up! My local library didn’t have a copy, but I requested it via interlibrary loan and got one from Waubonsee Community College out in Sugar Grove, IL, and dove right in.

Overall, I found this book to be informative and educational. It was a well-rounded read, in that it looked at a variety of components of women in sports and the challenges and stereotypes they face. From girls & women actually being allowed to play, to looking at media coverage and financial support of women’s sports, to delving into deeper issues regarding girls and sports and body issues – this book covered A LOT of ground. In the end, I think it’s an incredibly important read. I learned a lot from it and it certainly opened my eyes to some issues that even I didn’t really think of beforehand.

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