This investigation, framed in feminist and social identity perspectives, examined female athletes’ interpretations and reactions to the stereotypes ascribed to women in sport. Interviews with 15 female collegiate athletes revealed that the primary stereotypes directed at them were that they were lesbian and masculine. These stereotypes seemed to emanate from the athletes’ lack of conformity to hegemonic femininity (Choi, 1998; Krane, 2001a). Initially, the athletes responded to being typecast with anger and they used social mobility strategies (e.g., distancing from an athletic identity, performing femininity) to avoid negative perceptions. Both heterosexual and lesbian/bisexual athletes coped with being stereotyped and grew more comfortable with their own sexual identities and those of their teammates. This led to the development of inclusive team environments, collective esteem, and empowerment, with athletes speaking out against homonegative comments in other settings.
Kerrie J. Kauer and Vikki Krane
Edited by Lavon Williams
Tan Leng Goh and Kerrie J. Kauer
This article is a feminist cultural-studies analysis of Singapore’s first all-female mountaineering team to successfully summit Mount Everest. A feminist cultural-studies approach was used to explore the highly male hegemonic domain of mountaineering and the ways in which the Singapore Women’s Everest Team (SWET) was situated within the sport and their local Singapore culture. Qualitative, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with six elite-level Singaporean female mountaineers (ages 25 to 39) were conducted by the first author in January 2009, before their attempt to summit Mount Everest. Using inductive analysis and feminist deconstruction, several salient themes emerged from the data: (a) disrupting norms, (b) sexism in extreme sports, and (c) women-centered spaces. The interviewees demonstrated unity as an all-women team as they overcame challenges in their pursuit of climbing Mount Everest. This study attempts to expand the sport studies literature with multicultural and gendered perspectives of female mountaineers.