Item description for PUNCH! Why Women Participate in Violent Sports by Jennifer Lawler...
Over the past year, a startling development has occurred in the mainstream press: sportswriters have started taking note of women who participate in violent sports. Such women include Tonya Butler, who wants to be the first woman to play in a Division I football game; Laila Ali, a professional boxer with a winning record, who wants to follow in her father's footsteps; and Margaret McGregor, the first woman to fight a man in a professional boxing bout (she won). But there have always been women who participated in contact sports. Think of the women's hockey team who competed in the 1998 Olympics - they've been playing the game for years. Or consider the Golden Gloves Boxing Championships, which allowed female competitors since 1995. Or consider the case of Susan Booth, nobody famous, a gym owner, mother of two and fifth-degree (master) black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She's been fighting for fifteen years.
That women have participated in violent sports for some years doesn't mean women in contact sports is accepted or considered acceptable by most people. The Title IX regulation, which is supposed to guarantee equal opportunity for female college athletes, specifically excludes contact sports from its gender equity statement - women who wished to participate in contact sports at a college and are not allowed to do so can have claim against the school; legally they are not being discriminated against. Sportswriter Leigh Montville has attacked women's boxing as "a sick athletic cartoon." He claims that women participating in contact sports are being exploited. But the women involved don't seem to think so. "This is a dream of mine," says Freeda Foreman (daughter of George Foreman). "I want to let women know there are no limitations." Laila Ali says, "I just love how it feels."
As female participation in violent sports such as boxing, hockey and martial arts grows, so do the questions. It can no longer be called a "novelty" or a "gimmick," as it has been in the past. So, why do women participate in violent sports and what does it mean? Including the author's personal experience as an athlete and the experiences and thoughts of other women in violent sports, some well-known, some not, all of them defying traditional gender roles. Through interviews and questionnaires with athletes, coaches and observers as well as trained mental health professionals interested in the phenomenon, the reasons why women participate in contact sports - and what they get out of them - are examined.
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Jennifer Lawler pursues the ancient ideal of combining the pen and the sword. She has a Ph.D in medieval literature from the University of Kansas and continues to write on medieval history; she also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and explores aspects of the martial arts in her writing. As an author, she has published nearly thirty books of non-fiction, including Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire, and numerous articles in popular magazines such as Family Circle, Self, and Oxygen. As a teacher and speaker, she encourages women to learn to protect themselves and to persevere through tough times. In addition, she teaches research methods, editing and publishing courses online in the Biomedical Writing Program at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Best known among her work is the "Dojo Wisdom" series published by Penguin Compass. The first in the series, Dojo Wisdom: 100 Simple Ways to Become a Stronger, Calmer, More Courageous Person won an outstanding book award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors in 2004. Lawler edits the quarterly magazine of the American Taekwondo Association, ATA World. Then Will Come Night and Darkness is her first novel. She lives in Kansas with her daughter.
Jennifer Lawler currently resides in Lawrence, in the state of Kansas. Jennifer Lawler was born in 1965.
Reviews - What do customers think about PUNCH! Why Women Participate in Violent Sports?
A serious and informative look at a widespread phenomenon Apr 9, 2002
Punch! Why Women Participate In Violent Sports by Jennifer Lawler is a candid, thoughtful look at women in violent, competitive sports such as boxing, hockey, and martial arts. But what type of women choose to become involved in such pastimes? Why do people have such concern over it? These questions and more are addressed in-depth in Punch!, which is a serious and informative look at a widespread phenomenon reflecting changing gender roles with the progression of a few decades. A fascinating, informative, seminal, ground breaking, thought-provoking study, Punch! is a strongly recommended addition to Women's Sports and Feminist Studies supplemental reading lists and academic reference collections.
You're not the exception if you play a contact sport Feb 14, 2002
As a woman who has been interested in contact sports for most of my life, this book definitely caught my attention. The introduction immediately captured my interest, even brought tears to my eyes in recognition of the struggle women have had to face to play a contact sport. I found the book especially uplifting because, as a woman with a desire to participate in violent sports, it shows that I'm the norm rather than the exception. The many interviews with women from all walks of life make the book objective and unbiased. The book definitely brings insight into what it means to be a woman which, curiously enough, is something many women have failed to identify in themselves. Rather than suppressing their desire to participate in violent sports, women should embrace who they are and draw strength from it. If I could give this book six stars, I would. It speaks the truth. Read it!
Book Delivers a Punch! of a Message Feb 2, 2002
My seventeen-year old daughter's current dream is to be an ice hockey goalie. I must admit that I feel a certain amount of trepidation when I encounter her enthusiasm for what I have always felt to be a violent sport. My daughter is very slightly built and has never played hockey in her life, although she does take ice hockey lessons at a local rink. Why on Earth, I have often wondered, would she even WANT to expose herself to all the dangers inherent in the game? The other day I picked up Lawler's book, and began reading. FINALLY, I found some answers to my question. PUNCH! is a highly entertaining, exceptionally well-written treatise, combining interviews with women athletes and painstaking scholarly research, on why women today participate in contact sports that traditionally were the realm of "rugged ultra-he-man types." I was extremely impressed by Lawler's background as the holder of a black belt in martial arts. She definitely practices what she preaches. The women that she interviewed for her book are STRONG women, and not just in the physical sense. These women have a strong sense of self and an awareness of their own power, and this certainly comes through in all the interviews. I came away from my reading of this book with a new appreciation of my young daughter's budding "warrior spirit," and have resolved not to thwart her in the attainment of her dream. (I may even let her borrow this book!)