Cover for VERTINSKY: The Eternally Wounded Woman: Women, Doctors, and Exercise in the Late Nineteenth Century. Click for larger image

The Eternally Wounded Woman

Women, Doctors, and Exercise in the Late Nineteenth Century

The effects of nineteenth-century medical ideologies on women

Late nineteenth-century medical beliefs and values had a lasting influence on the perceived benefits of physical activity for women. Scientific knowledge, medical practice, and social perception interacted to shape views concerning what kinds of amounts of physical activity, including sport and healthful exercise, might be most appropriate for girls and women at different points in their life course. The Eternally Wounded Woman argues we must review thinking in the field of sociohistorical analysis regarding attitudes toward the female body and attempts to regulate female physical activity. As Patricia A. Vertinsky shows, such analyses may generate new insights into the questions of both social control and the unevenness of progress in women's real or perceived opportunities for participating freely and fully in sports and exercise.


"Vertinsky shows how pervasive was the notion that the male is the standard, the normal, and the female, deviant or inadequate. She is convincing when she musters the evidence, using exercise as her focus, to debunk the idea of the ‘eternally wounded female' who cannot measure up to men."--Victorian Review

"Shows convincingly that middle-class women in the late nineteenth century were seriously inhibited by medical ideologies and that those [ideologies] pertaining to exercise for females actually became powerful forms of social control over women's lives. An excellent piece of historical research."--British Medical Journal

"An important addition to the rapidly expanding history of middle-class women. The arguments are balanced, reasoned, and free of the diatribes that sometimes attend this subject."--Social History of Medicine


Patricia A. Vertinsky is a professor of kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/46rsm4bt9780252063725.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Figure Skating in the Formative Years - Cover
Figure Skating in the Formative Years

Singles, Pairs, and the Expanding Role of Women

James R. Hines

The Sport Marriage - Cover
The Sport Marriage

Women Who Make It Work

Steven M. Ortiz

Football and Manliness - Cover
Football and Manliness

An Unauthorized Feminist Account of the NFL

Thomas P. Oates

Passing the Baton - Cover
Passing the Baton

Black Women Track Stars and American Identity

Cat M. Ariail

Fighting Visibility - Cover
Fighting Visibility

Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC

Jennifer McClearen

From Football to Soccer - Cover
From Football to Soccer

The Early History of the Beautiful Game in the United States

Brian D. Bunk

Sex Testing - Cover
Sex Testing

Gender Policing in Women's Sports

Lindsay Parks Pieper

Bloomer Girls - Cover
Bloomer Girls

Women Baseball Pioneers

Debra A. Shattuck

Journal of Sport History - Cover
Journal of Sport History

Edited by Maureen Smith

Coming On Strong - Cover
Coming On Strong

Gender and Sexuality in Women's Sport

Susan K. Cahn