Letting Down the Team?: Individualism, Selfishness and Kinship in Women’s Boxing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the debates and ambiguities surrounding the recent professionalisation of women’s boxing (2012-2022). I focus on the performances and public persona of controversial Australian boxer Ebanie ‘Blonde Bomber’ Bridges, arguing that her contribution to women’s boxing complicates the contradictory and convoluted binaries that underpin popular definitions of female boxers. I utilise Lisa Downing’s notion of the ‘double binds’ that limit the possibilities of female expression, to develop a nuanced reading of media attention paid to female boxers. As discussions regarding if women should be allowed to box, shift post-2012 Olympics towards questions of how female boxing identities are constructed and received in popular discourse, it is essential to consider both individuated and shared experiences. Existing scholarship denotes both the positive cultural impact and the socio-economic failures of the London 2012 Olympics for women’s sport broadly. This chapter builds on that research, focusing on how Ebanie Bridges both upsets dominate ideas about female boxing bodies, and how her work outside of the ring creates alternative forms of kinship and support between women both within and outside of boxing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBoxing, Narrative and Culture Critical Perspectives
EditorsSarah Crews, P. Solomon Lennox
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003312635
ISBN (Print)9781032320564
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2023


  • women’s boxing
  • female bodies
  • femininity


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