As a quarterly contributor the Feminism and Religion Blog, I chose this time around to use one of the abiding questions from my chapter on gender, “Man Up,” in Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports (Cascade Book, 2014).
Here is an excerpt from the blog: (To go straight to the FAR website to read the whole post click here.)
“Do sports depend on gender stereotypes that prop up particular expressions of masculinity?”
This question is just one of the defining quandaries of my new book, Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports, just released from Cascade Books (an imprint of Wipf & Stock) a few days ago. The quote above comes from my chapter on gender entitled “Man Up.”
My proximity to the world of football as the wife of a coach, who has coached for well over twenty years in both the National Football League (NFL) and Division I College, has long been a curiosity, and sometimes a demerit against me, among my feminist friends and colleagues. In fact, as I share in the introduction of the book, one of my professors in Divinity school (a prominent feminist theologian who shall remain nameless) expressed her disappointment in no uncertain terms when I shared the news that John and I were engaged while I was one of her students. She said, to my great consternation, that she was “very disappointed.” Her next sentence was something to the effect of what a waste this was—she had thought I was headed toward great things, and now, instead, my life was going to be consumed by football.
At the time her comment cut deep. I was determined to prove her wrong. My life would not be consumed by football, I vowed. And I could and would achieve the unthinkable: I would be a responsible and productive feminist theologian married to a football coach. Now, twenty years later, I have written my second book and it is about football (and other big-time sports as well). Was my professor right? Has my professional identity been highjacked by football? Has my feminist street cred been diminished beyond repair? (Read complete post)