This article discusses women and gender relations under communism, beginning in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, continuing through the Cold War era in Eastern Europe, and including Cuba and China today. It addresses communist gender theory, ideology, and discourse. Women’s role in politics and government is discussed. The article covers employment and education, the peasant and urban family, social policies, and socialist consumption. Under communism, the article argues, women, especially married mothers, broke through traditional resistance to women’s participation in paid, including skilled, labour. Their levels of education and employment increased dramatically in most communist states. Yet women did not attain economic equality with men in any communist society and their share of political power remained stunningly low.
Feminist sport historians have worked hard to bring women in from the accumulated (and imagined) histories of sport. This chapter outlines the various ways in which feminist sport historians have approached the institution of sport as a key site for the development of a critical feminist scholarship on gender. It traces the development over time of gender-sensitive sport histories alert to new forms of gender and to multiple forms of historical expression with attention to the precarious performance of gender and the ever-shifting politics of the sporting body in time and space. It also suggests avenues for future research in for sport historians of gender.
In 1939, an Ojibwe woman named Naynaabeak was involved in a conflict that shows some of the complexities that American Indians experienced throughout the history of settler colonialism in the United States. Her family did not live on a reservation, but they were Ojibwe people and tribal citizens and her home and fishing spot were historically Ojibwe places. The complex legal world defined by borders disrupted Naynaabeak’s ability to make a living, and her conflict was simply part of everyday existence for many Ojibwe women. This chapter considers the hurdles that Naynaabeak’s generation overcame in their determination to make a living, and how their efforts to remain on their lands, fishing grounds, forests, hills, and mountains—and especially their sacred places—enabled their descendants to maintain indigenous communities which still exist. The chapter reviews the literature about gender and labor in American Indian history to illuminate its major themes.
Erik N. Jensen
This chapter explores the intersection between athletic practices and sexual expression, primarily in the Western world, beginning with the same-sex eroticism of gymnasia in ancient Greece and the charged atmosphere of gladiatorial contests in Rome. After brief mentions of jousting and the Renaissance celebration of chiseled torsos, the chapter focuses on sports’ nineteenth-century reemergence as a chaste antidote to sexual desire, particularly in the movement known as “muscular Christianity.” Already by the early 1900s, however, athletes had begun to cultivate highly sexualized images. The heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, in particular, epitomized white fears of the athletically indomitable and sexually insatiable black athlete. Even as heterosexual behavior in sports became headline news in the twentieth century, homosexuality remained hidden in the shadows until the first female tennis players began coming out in the 1980s. The chapter concludes with the rise of the athlete as sex symbol over the past three decades.