A soft gynocentric critique of the practice of modern sport

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 1 (3):346 – 366 (2007)
In this article we propose a philosophical critique of two general, but not exhaustive, approaches to gender studies in sport, namely gynocentric feminism and humanist feminism. We argue that both approaches are problematic because they fail clearly to distinguish or articulate their epistemological and ideological commitments. In particular, humanist feminists articulate the human condition using the sex/gender dichotomy, which fails to account adequately for gendered subjectivity. For them gender difference is a contingent feature of humanity developed through socialisation. As a result, it seems that what humanist feminists regard as women in their natural ?state? is in itself ideological. The generic ?human? condition is by no means a neutral condition but rather an idea tarnished by gender history characterised by the masculine. Consequently, humanist feminists uncritically argue for inclusion in sport, with access to an equal share of the human goods available, without carefully problematising the ideological nature of the practice. Gynocentric feminists also subscribe to the sex/gender dichotomy, suggesting however, that gender subjectivity is the result of a biological imperative. For gynocentric feminists, sexual difference provides authority for adjudicating between a separate and different male and female epistemology. Accordingly, gynocentric feminists commit the genetic fallacy by condemning sport to a masculine activity and therefore incompatible with feminine value in light of its male ancestry. ?Soft? gynocentrism does not fully sanction a conception of sport which allows only traditionally female values to flourish, or at least the reason for celebrating such sports would focus upon the goods and values therein. In other words, the value of the practice for either men or women is to be found, following MacIntyre (1985), in the internal goods that characterise the particular practice. Such internal goods are, as MacIntyre argues, goods of the practice and do not belong to any particular gender or group
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/17511320701676981
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,479
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Michael Burke (2014). Women's Standpoints and Internalism in Sport. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 41 (1):39-52.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

15 ( #296,524 of 1,925,795 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,704 of 1,925,795 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.