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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 11, Issue 1, Summer 2004

Feminist Apporoaches to the Body

Michael Burke
Pages 35-43
DOI: 10.5840/pcw20041115

What would happen if a ‘Woman’ outpaced the Winner of the Gold Medal in the ‘Men’s’ One Hundred Meters?
Female Sport, Drugs and the Transgressive Cyborg Body

The separation of men’s and women’s competitions in the sporting world has been suggested as a necessary protection for female athletes against the superior athletic performances of male athletes. The comparison of the most elite performers in these two categories maintains the historical pattern of viewing male sport and the male athlete as the standard, and female sport and the female athlete as the inferior ‘other’. This paper argues for a transformative utilization of the separation of men’s and women’s sports by female athletes and sporting organizations. Female sporting organizations may creatively change the rules and practices of the male standard, so as to challenge the historical patterning of sport. This paper will use the image of the cyborg, and the motivation behind cyborg politics, to call for creativity in dealing with the ban on drugs in sport.