There are all sorts of cool opportunities that Sam and I are privileged to have come our way as feminist philosophers. Back in January 2015, we posted a CFP (call for papers) here for a special issue of The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics that we are guest editing. The theme of our issue is: See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness.
What better theme could there be for us, considering that every day, on this very blog, we and our amazing group of guest bloggers are finding ways to rethink fitness along feminist lines.
We’ve been working on it for what seems like ages. And slowly, slowly, we’ve seen it come together. On Tuesday, the editorial office sent us the Table of Contents. Shortly after that I got an email from Sam from Austria: “This makes me happy,” she said.
In the hopes that it might also make you happy, here’s the table of contents of our special issue, due out (I don’t even know when it’s due out…in the fall I think. We will announce that too).
See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness
Tracy Isaacs and Samantha Brennan
Exercising Moral Authority: The Power of Guilt in Health and Fitness Discourses
Core Workout: A Feminist Critique of Definitions, Hyperfeminity, and the Medicalization of Fitness
Charlene Weaving, Pamela R. Sailors, and Sarah Teetzel
Trampled Autonomy: Women, Athleticism, and Health
(Hip) Throwing Like a Girl: Martial Arts and Norms of Feminine Body Comportment
Fitness, Well-Being, and Preparation for Death
Choose Your Battles: Agonism and Identity in Narratives of Feminist Fitnesses
Should Feminists Defend Self-Defense?
Ann J. Cahill and Grayson Hunt
Gender Identity, Gendered Spaces, and Figuring Out What You Love
Doctor’s Orders: Menopause, Weight Change, and Feminism
Beyond the Fishnets: Female Empowerment through Roller Derby
Pick It Up: Older Women Show Us How It’s Done
What Makes Olga Run? The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us about Living Longer, Happier Lives, by Bruce Grierson. New York: Henry Holt, 2014
Older Faster Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer, by Margaret Webb. New York: Rodale, 2014.
Harriet Brown, Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight—and What We Can Do about It (Da Capo Press, 2015)
Kristin Zeiler and Lisa Folkmarson Käll, eds. Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine.(State University of New York Press, 2014)
We’re proud of this project. You will recognize many of the authors as guest bloggers right here at Fit Is a Feminist Issue. The blog gives us a venue for thinking about topis that interest us, but for obvious reasons blog posts aren’t the right place for more scholarly engagement with these issues. At the same time, we’ve brought a bit of the blog into the scholarly journal, making sure to include personal narratives as well as essays, commentary, and reviews.
When we were sitting down to write the introduction, Sam and I tried our best to articulate why we think fitness is a feminist issue, mapping out four major themes that all of the pieces in the special issue engage with: equality, inclusivity, empowerment, and the aesthetics of feminine embodiment. Feminist approaches to fitness culture, practice, and discourse provide a rich set of alternatives to dominant understandings.
As we say in the intro:
We have no desire to claim that feminist issues in fitness are the only feminist issues worth discussing. It would be absurd to deny that other pressing feminist issues exist. Nevertheless, to the extent that a feminist consideration of fitness takes up issues of equality, inclusivity, empowerment, and the feminine aesthetic and embodiment, we can see that the impact on women’s lives of dominant discourses, practices, assumptions and attitudes is not trivial. Consider “See How She Runs” and the contributions in it as an invitation to think seriously and critically about fitness as a feminist issue.
Meanwhile, huge thanks to the editorial team at IJFAB–Mary, Kate, and PJ–, to all of the referees who read and provided comments on submissions, and of course to all the authors. It’s been amazing to see the issue evolve from an idea into an exciting collection.
We’ll let you know when it’s available.