How can women reclaim their bodies and combat daily inequality whilst having fun? According to the author of Eat Sweat Play Anna Kessel: through sport.
For too long women have been told to stay off the pitch, but in her new book, Anna Kessel calls on women across the world to create a sporting role for themselves – to join the games that they have been left out of. The change starts now.
Eat Sweat Play provides a fresh insight into the implications of women’s exclusion from the sporting arena. At last we have a book that will encourage progressive conversations about how and why equality on the pitch can assist with equality in the wider world.
The renowned sports journalist Anna Kessel is the perfect guide for considering the reinvention of women and sport. Having spent her teenage years bunking games, she grew to establish a career in the sporting world and saw the value in getting active. As she explains, in order to get women involved in sport, they need to be made aware of how fun it can be. Women, for too long, have been mis-marketed make-up and handbags as a means of amusement, and it is time that they were told of the benefits and enjoyment, as opposed to the thigh-gap goals, that can be gained from panting alongside your best-friend.
If we enjoy something, we are more likely to feel confident and excel at it. Kessel explores how striving to excel at a sport can develop a great work ethic, as it requires an ability to accept and build on criticism, and, therefore, a desire to consistently progress. Learning to hit a ball across a court, she argues, can actually increase your chances of climbing the career ladder. What’s more, bringing sport into the workplace and encouraging the playing of sport between male and female colleagues, will help to generate an unprecedented degree of inter-gender respect and cohesion.
While the book unpacks the benefits of women participating in sport, Kessel also considers the array of obstacles that still exist; be it the often crude reactions to women in the sporting world, the male-gaze media representation of women exercising, or the general lack of scientific knowledge concerning the female body and physical activity.
An enlightening read for all, Kessel employs humour to address the very real struggles that women in sport face on a daily basis. The world is progressing, and allowing women to help pioneer this progression will benefit everyone.
Read Eat Sweat Play here
This blog was written by our intern Becca Stacey