Book Alert: Playing With The Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal

I was sent a link to this last year, but I overlooked it. My apologies. Gender and sports needs more examination. An interview with one of the authors from the American Oxford University Press blog:

Laura Pappano, co-author with Eileen McDonagh of Playing With The Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal, is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and The Washington Post. Pappano and McDonagh’s book is about how women have been unfairly excluded from participating in sports on an equal footing with men. The book calls for sex-sensible policies in sports as a crucial step towards achieving equality for men and women in our society. Pappano was kind enough to answer some questions for OUP.

It’s an interesting interview which raises many questions. The comments on the blog tend to fall in well-worn grooves of objection, more to what they think Pappano is saying than what she actually said.

Has anybody read the book? Like to give us a report?


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2 comments on “Book Alert: Playing With The Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal

  1. I think all sports should be open to women, but in certain sports like rugby, it’s often not appropriate to have men and women playing in mixed teams. I certainly don’t think women should be excluded from such sports, and if there’s a woman who had the physical capability, skill and desire to play on a professional level, I’d have no qualms with it, but I don’t think teams should have to have a quota of women. That could be to the detriment of the sport as a whole, as (speaking very generally here), such very physical sports are often better played by men. I’m sure there are exceptions and I’d welcome them with open arms, but teams are going to go for the best players, regardless of sex.

    Equal doesn’t mean the same.

    Oh and btw… tag.

    The 123 Rules:

    1. Pick up the book nearest you with at least 123 pages. (No cheating!)
    2. Turn to page 123.
    3. Count the first five sentences.
    4. Post the next three sentences.
    5. Tag five other bloggers.

  2. This sounds potentially interesting. I am hoping that she points out that professional sports -at least futball, american football, baseball, basketball etc – actually have no restrictions against women competing.

    It is definately unfortunate that currently most women’s restricted sports play at levels comparable to a male highschool team. While physical differences can be said to play a role, how much of a role does the initial segregated training play? Impossible to say with any certainty. The NHL did have a female goalie for a little bit.

    At least in chess there are champions such as Judit Polgar and her sister Susan. They so distanced themselves above all other female chess players as to make those playing in the protected female-only leagues like Einstein to a bunch of preschoolers. Judit especially, made it to #8 in the world, which is hundreds of ranks above any woman other than her sister.

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