To 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.