Italian Fascism and the Female Body: Sport, Submissive Women and Strong Mothers

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Psychology Press, 2004 - Social Science - 237 pages
This is the first text to examine women and sport in Italy during the period 1861-1945. To qualify and quantify the impact of fascism on Italian Women's sport, the author first of all examines the pre-fascist period in terms of female physical culture. The text then describes how during the fascist era, women moved strictly within a framework designed by medicine and eugenics, religious and traditional education. The country aspired to emancipation, as promised by the fascist revolution but emancipation was hard to advance under the fascist regime because of male hegemonic trends in the country. This book shows how the engagement of women in some sporting activity did promote and support some gender emancipation. The conclusion of the book demonstrates how, in the post-war period, women found it hard to advance further on, for a number of reasons.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
Fascism as a cult of virility and the Duce as its political
9
Model women and physical training before the Fascist era
34
Fascist models of femininity
54
Sports medicine and female athleticism under the Fascist regime
75
The education system and the Fascist youth organisations
92
Girls and young women at health resorts
115
The Accademia Nazionale Femminile di Educazione Fisica
127
Sparetime activities in the Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro
140
Sportswomens contests and displays
147
Fashion aesthetics and the true woman
167
Cremona Prize 1941
179
biographies
182
Womens emancipation through sport under Fascism
203
Index
230
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