Radio Free Women: Learning to Fly, Sports II
August 1, 1974
Thoughts on athletics as they exist in America, and the pressure to develop oneself physically. In this radio show there is a reclamation of the “physical you.” There is also a discussion of how sports have become controlled by big business interests, they are now a plaything of the rich. This dehumanizes athletes, causing them to strive for only what can make them rich. Women's sports don't get much spectatorship and consequently don't get promotion or funding. The guests discuss how sports have also become a masculinity rite, and how winning is associated with proving one’s virility. On the other end, women athletes are pressured to prove their femininity in a masculine field. The emphasis on winning destroys athletes' bodies and spirits. Coaching forces athletes to be disciplined and to accept commands unquestioningly. The upward social mobility of sports is an illusion, and can only benefit a small portion of women and POC. The athletic system in this country is elitist, and little encouragement is given to amateurs and women. Black and women athletes have been challenging institutional sports in America.