"The first woman football coach...": a media study of female American football coaches, 1888-1946

Taylor, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-9611-3020, 2022. "The first woman football coach...": a media study of female American football coaches, 1888-1946. Feminist Media Studies. ISSN 1468-0777

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Media reports of female American football coaches frequently laud them as being the “first,” a demonstrable indication of the lack of awareness of the long history of women in this role. This paper utilises feminist media theory to examine the language of newspaper coverage of female American football coaches from 1908 to 1960. The article identifies 26 female coaches; newspapers stated that eight of these women were the first-ever, and one was the state’s first. In all cases, the newspapers were inaccurate. The analysis demonstrates that newspaper reports sometimes emphasised women’s domestic roles and their desirable femininity and heterosexuality. While some journalists were horrified, most were not; many women found widespread support for their role, especially when schools employed them due to the absence of men during wartime. The lack of outrage about women’s involvement in a sport (and role) strongly aligned with masculinity is significant and demonstrates that women have found acceptance in the sport for far longer than academics have previously explored.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Feminist Media Studies
Creators: Taylor, K.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 13 February 2022
ISSN: 1468-0777
Rights: Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 13 Feb 2022, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14680777.2022.2027492
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Feb 2022 12:23
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2023 03:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45729

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