Who is the first female athlete you admired? Were male and female athletes treated differently in your high school? Is there a natural limit to women's athletic ability? How has Title IX opened up opportunities for women athletes?
Every semester since 1996, Bonnie Morris has encouraged students to confront questions like these in one of the most provocative college courses in America: Athletics and Gender, A History of Women's Sports. What's the Score?, Morris's energetic teaching memoir, is a peek inside that class and features a decades-long dialogue with student athletes about the greater opportunities for women—on the playing field, as coaches, and in sports media. From corsets to segregated schoolyards to the WNBA, we find women athletes the world over conquering unique barriers to success.
What's the Score? is not only an insider's look at sports education but also an engaging guide to turning points in women's sports history that everyone should know.
Timeline: 101 Turning Points in Women's Sports History
Prologue: The Bus Ride before the Game
Introduction: Nothing Better to Do on a Friday Night?
1. The Strength of Our Foremothers: Engaging Student Athletes with the Past
2. How Female Athletes Disappear: Headlines, Publicity, and Media Activism
3. Tomboy Identities, Muscular Ideals: Discussing Gender Roles and Homophobia in Sports
4. From Half-Court to Federal Court: Title IX and the American Playing Field
5. Global Encounters with Women's Sports: Teaching Students at Sea
6. Challenges for a Women's Sports Professor: Evaluating 25 Years of Class
Conclusion: When the Scoreboard Went Dark in 2020
Critical Thinking Resources
"This unique book truly holds delights for every reader. Skillfully combining information and inspiration, Morris—teacher, historian, and fan—offers a comprehensive, candid, and compelling overview of women's sports. Packed with resources, yet always lively, What's the Score? is both a major contribution to women's studies and a downright great read."~Shane Snowdon, Former Editor, Sojourner
"What do gender and sports fandom have to do with the American and global social and political landscape? As historian Bonnie J. Morris (The Disappearing L) writes, despite progress with women's rights, we still 'don't expect women to initiate, share, participate in, or pass along sports literacy. In other words, except on a few annual occasions, we don't expect women to know the score.' In response to this gendered cultural gap and the lack of a conversation around it, Morris created a course called Athletics and Gender, which she taught for 25 years at several universities, including George Washington University and UC Berkeley. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, and What's the Score? takes readers into Morris's classroom, reflecting on the social and cultural changes that shaped discussions with students and stakeholders over the years. Morris describes her book not as a 'complete or formal history of women's sports' but a 'memoir of teaching and a template for teaching, drawing from remembered and successful best practices to pass on.' She shares how the course was created and developed over time, along with insights from her students and how the conversation around sports and gender is pertinent to a large variety of undergraduate fields. This invaluable resource for sports fans also includes three versions of the syllabus and a wealth of additional information, including reading materials, documentaries and various legal and sports timelines."~Michelle Anya Anjirbag, Shelf Awareness
Indiana University Today: New book from IU Press celebrates Title IX anniversary.
Author Guild: Member Spotlight: Bonnie Jean Morris
UC Berkeley ibrary Event: UC Berkeley Library event celebrates 50 years of Title IX, a game-changer for women in sports