Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates (Hardcover)

Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates By Katie Barnes Cover Image
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Description


“[An] electrifying debut…Through in-depth and compassionate reporting, Barnes breaks down the misunderstood science surrounding sex and gender that has been used to keep cisgender women out of sports and has fueled debate over trans athletes participation in women’s sports.”—Shannon Carlin, TIME
magazine, “100 Must-Read Books of 2023”

For decades women have been playing competitive sports, thanks in large part to the protective cover of Title IX. Since the passage of that law, the number of women participating in sports and the level of competition in high school and college and professionally, has risen dramatically. In Fair Play, award-winning journalist Katie Barnes traces the evolution of women’s sports as a pastime and a political arena where equality and fairness have been fought over for generations.

As attitudes toward gender have shifted to embrace more fluidity in recent decades, sex continues to be viewed as a static binary that is easily determined: male or female. It is on the very idea of static sex that we have built an entire sporting apparatus. Now that foundation is being hotly debated as a result of intense culture wars. Many transgender and intersex athletes, including a South African runner, a wrestler in Texas, a Connecticut track star, and a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, have captured the attention of law and policymakers who want to decide how and when they compete. Women’s sports, since their inception, have been seen as a separate class of competition that requires protection and rules for entry. But what are those rules and who gets to make them? Fair Play looks at all sides of the issue and presents a reasoned and much-needed solution that seeks to preserve opportunities for all going forward.

About the Author


KATIE BARNES (they/them) is an award-winning journalist covering the intersection of sports and gender for ESPN. Barnes is a three-time GLAAD nominee and they were named the 2017 Journalist of the Year by NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. They were an executive producer on “Mack Wrestles,” a 30 for 30 short documentary produced in conjunction with ESPN Films that premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and was shortlisted for awards by Critic’s Choice, NY DOCS and the International Documentary Association. Fair Play is their first book.

Praise For…


“[An] electrifying debut…Through in-depth and compassionate reporting, Barnes breaks down the misunderstood science surrounding sex and gender that has been used to keep cisgender women out of sports and has fueled debate over trans athletes participation in women’s sports.”—Shannon Carlin, TIME
magazine, “100 Must-Read Books of 2023”

"[An] excellent and much-needed examination of current debates about transgender and intersex athletes. …Barnes brings nuanced, in-depth analysis to complex issues that have been oversimplified, misunderstood and sometimes distorted.”—Heather Hewett, The Washington Post

"A powerful treatise on what current outrage, particularly about transgender girl and women athletes, says about how we think about sports as a whole. Enlightened and empathetic—required reading for anyone weighing in on gender and sports."Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

"Through interviews, deep research, and thoughtful observations, Barnes provides much-needed clarification on a topic that too often leads to confusion and discomfort. An important study on the policing of gender."
Booklist (Starred)

“This book will help you better understand this very important topic of our time. It really is a must read given how divisive this issue has become.”
—Julie Foudy, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, and current ESPN broadcaster

Fair Play is thoughtful, timely, and incredibly accessible. Building on previous reporting with new interviews and insight, this book presents a history of trans participation in sport and a contemplation of what the future could hold for all athletes—all while holding the humanity of everyone who simply wants to play.”
—Meg Linehan, Senior Writer, The Athletic

“Weaving their own personal journey with razor sharp political arguments backed by the actual experiences of trans athletes across the sports world, Katie Barnes has written a lionhearted volume that contains more courage than any book I’ve read in some time. All the people who have been anxiously hoping for a book like this, will breathe a sigh of relief on the first page. All the people who are utterly confused and conflicted about how trans athletes "fit" in the sports world, who really need it, will love it. All the people who hate it would’ve hated it anyways. That makes it a total triumph.”
Dave Zirin, Sports Editor of The Nation, author of The Kaepernick Effect



Product Details
ISBN: 9781250276629
ISBN-10: 1250276624
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 19th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English