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ISBN: 9781552770214

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Immodest and Sensational

150 Years of Canadian Women in Sports

With the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team and other high-profile female athletes in recent years drawing a healthy share of the sports media limelight, there is a perception that Canadian women are finally getting into sport in a big way. Not true. Canadian women have been playing and competing since the latter part of the nineteenth century, eager to participate and partake of the benefits that sports and physical exertion bring.

From the beginning, social obstacles have made the playing field uneven for women. The resistance has used everything from arguments about unladylike dress and deportment and the dangers of exercise for Canada’s future mothers, to barriers to sports facilities and overt harassment. Yet schoolgirls, society women and working-class women have relished sport and fought for their right to play and compete, with grit and dignity. Often their efforts have been honoured by city and provincial sports halls of fame, but their achievements are still little known.

This book, illustrated throughout, tells the story of pioneering women athletes, and of the early sports media — some of Canada’s first women sportswriters –who championed them every step of the way.


M. Ann Hall

M. ANN HALL is a Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, where she taught for over thirty years. Her most recent publication is The Girl and the Game: A History of Women's Sport in Canada.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


1860s-1870s. Outlines early physical activities and sports that women engaged in in Canada, outlines availability to European women and what Indigenous women participated in as part of their … 7 $0.70


1880-1899. Examines the history of cycling in Canada and how a woman riding a bicycle in the 1890s became the epitome of the New Woman 9 $0.90


1890-1920. Looks at the media take on women playing sports in the 1890s. Looks at the development of more prevalent women athletes and women’s team sports in Canadian including tennis, … 14 $1.40


The 1920s had brought significant change to Canadian women’s sport with the growth of teams and leagues, especially those sponsored by industrial concerns, the beginning of international … 14 $1.40


Looks at an analysis of women’s sports columnists in the 1930s and the women writers who defeneded women’s sports and female athletes 10 $1.00


1940-1955. Examines the effect of the war on women’s sports and how the immidiate post-war period was characterized by a remarkable emphasis on beauty, grace, femininity and, for some … 10 $1.00


Examines some of the most accomplished female athletes of the 1950s 12 $1.20


Examines the shift in media coverage of women’s sport in the 1960s and 70s. Outlines those who did not receive media attention and showcases a shift in reporting to one taking female … 12 $1.20


Examines feminist activism in women’s sports in canada from 1970 to 2008 10 $1.00


Notes the problems with comparison of women’s sports to men’s sports and profiling the few to ignore the thousands of other athletes 4 $0.40