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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The story of women’s participation in popular culture is more complex than the struggle to be included. Feminist activists have fought for legislation to end discrimination in leisure, sports, and popular culture. At the same time, advertisers have coopted feminism to sell a variety of products as symbols of emancipation for women, substituting purchasing power for political power. Gaining visibility in the media and as target audiences, and breaking into male spheres have not been the end of these feminist struggles; rather, women who gained opportunities in sport and leisure were often stereotyped as “mannish” or cast in reassuring feminine roles—beauty icons or heterosexual romantic heroines. It is important to trace women’s pathbreaking roles as spectators, fans, performers, and athletes as well as show how sport and popular culture are fundamentally gendered.

Keywords: fan, “girl power, ” commercial leisure, Title IX, advertising, beauty pageant, sports, television, vaudeville, feminism

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