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Ellexis Boyle, Brad Millington and Patricia Vertinsky

Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby won five Academy Awards but also came under attack from female boxers and disability activists. Ostensibly a drama about a tenacious woman’s quest to become a professional fighter and the male coach who assists her, Million Dollar Baby appears to insert a radical portrayal of femininity, female athleticism, and power into the male-dominated genre of boxing films and, more generally, a media that has been largely hostile to female boxing. We explore the extent to which the female lead can be viewed as a transgressive figure along with the discourses of containment that reduce her threat to longstanding cultural myths about boxing as a male preserve. Our analyses of the film’s racial, gender, class, and disability politics contend that its focus is not women’s boxing, disability, or the right to die; rather, like boxing, this film is about the male struggle to protect masculinity in a sporting world deeply shaken by the increasing presence of women.

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Cindy H.P. Sit, Caren H.L. Lau and Patricia Vertinsky

This study investigated the association between physical activity and self-perceptions such as body image, physical self-concept, and self-esteem among persons with an acquired physical disability in a non-Western population. Other personal variables such as gender and time of onset of disability were also examined. A convenience sample of 66 Hong Kong Chinese adults with an acquired physical disability were asked to complete a battery of questionnaires about their levels of physical activity and self-perceptions. Over 70% of the participants were not physically active enough to obtain health benefits. Contrary to studies focused on Western populations, the relationships between physical activity and self-perceptions were weak. The time of onset of disability, rather than activity level and gender, was more related to self-perceptions. The present study provides some evidence to advance our knowledge of self-perceptions in a non-Western population and highlights the importance of considering culture and social location in studying physical activity levels of those with an acquired physical disability.