‘We are coming for the future’

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

‘We’re learning to fight so we can come for the future’

Walking into a boxercise class over 10 years ago, I had no idea how much my mind, body and life – both professionally and personally – would be transformed. Pre-Olympics 2012, my knowledge of women’s boxing was non-existent – female boxers were, at the time, the stuff of myth and legend as male athletes dominated the sport and names like Lucia Rijker and Christy Martin remained in the shadows. Fast forward to 2018 and women’s boxing is, in both professional and amateur worlds, a force to be reckoned with, regardless of the overwhelming sense of limitation within the sport when compared with men’s boxing. Female boxers experience rules, restrictions and even time in boxing in a completely different way to their male counterparts. But why? One possible reason might be because women boxing inevitably poses a threat to the bulk of the values and believes that we hold to be true about female behaviour within our public consciousness. Deb Chachra believes that ‘becoming a strong woman is an act of resistance because it undermines the entire premise of patriarchy […] Lifting or boxing isn’t just about breaking gender norms or getting stronger as an individual – it’s a subversion that reveals the moral bankruptcy at the heart of the entire system of patriarchal power’. Boxing, then, confronts directly the limits placed on female ability and behaviour, despite there still being restrictions and gendered contradictions evident in the sport. But can boxing – particularly the rich and complex history of women’s boxing – challenge the ever-imposing threats to the freedom of female expression and engender a more realistic view of women for the future? As part of my ongoing practice and research in performance, gender studies and boxing, I aim to explore these questions along with a cast of female dancers who have never experienced boxing training before. My key aims are to investigate what dance and boxing combined might say about contemporary ideas of femininity and female bodies in the intersections between sport, creative exploration and art.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
EventSport / Spectacle: Performing, Labouring, Circulating Bodies Across Sport, Theatre, Dance, and Live Art - Kings College, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sep 201815 Sep 2018

Conference

ConferenceSport / Spectacle: Performing, Labouring, Circulating Bodies Across Sport, Theatre, Dance, and Live Art
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period14/09/1815/09/18

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