Football Book Review: Women in Boots – Football and Feminism in the 1970s

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Marion Stell and Heather Reid shares how hard it was for women to pursue their love for football but what they did to make sure they could play the sport.

Women in Boots – Football and Feminism in the 1970s

By Marion Stell and Heather Reid.

Women in Boots follows the stories of Australian and New Zealand national players who – since they were little girls wanting to play football – had to work harder than males, find ways to fund their trips, and been exposed to harsh treatment including sexual harassment.

The book begins by introducing each of the women who the reader will follow throughout the story, and that remains the structure for the entirety.

Stell and Reid uncover the truth on how each of the national players funded their trips: through lamington drives, walkathons, holding events in the club facilities, but also in ways where men abused their strength over a woman.

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Despite being confronted with the way the athletes were treated during this era, the book finishes with sharing the results of the games the women played and sharing the feelings each had on the field.

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Women in Boots can be described as two powerful authors who wanted women during the 1970s to share their stories about how hard it was to want to be a part of a career heavily dominated by male.

If you are a feminist, a women sports lover, or someone who just simply like the history surrounding the inequality in sport – this is the book for you.

The book executes a way of capturing the readers emotions, you are made to feel the anger and aggression that these women would have felt but you also share a sense of pride and celebration when the women fulfil their dreams.

Stell and Reid ensure that each of the women’s stories are highlighted from their early childhood all the way up to playing the national games.

However, it is also this very style that sees a potential flaw in the structure of the book.

If you struggle to keep up with multiple characters of a story and the chopping and changing between them to depict a story, this book will deem a little confusing for you.  This book requires undivided concentration when reading so you don’t confuse the different individuals stories of the women, that then are formulated together to tell the bigger story.

Regardless, this book shares the importance of learning about the difficulties women have had to endure not too long ago in the hope that they could pursue their dreams, and women in the future could also play their favourite sport.

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The insights are real and honest and show a vulnerable side of the women who stood up for their rights.

My rating: three penalties out of five.

You can purchase this book right now at Australian Scholarly Publishing by clicking here.

To view all book reviews on The Football Sack, please click here.

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.