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Derby Girls’ Parodic Self-Sexualizations: Autonomy, Articulacy and Ambiguity

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-06, 16:49 authored by Paul Davis, Lisa Edwards
When behaviours or character traits match sociocultural expectation, heteronomy is a natural suspicion. A further natural suspicion is that the behaviours or character traits are unhealthy for the agent or for objectives of social justice and liberation. Second Wave feminism therefore includes a robust narrative of unease about female self-sexualisation. Third Wave feminism has more upbeat narratives of the latter, in terms of confidence and empowerment. The preceding tension is refracted through cases such as Ronda Rousey and ‘derby girls’, as well as those of many less ostentatious women. It is argued that such self-sexualisation can be autonomous as opposed to heteronomous. It is argued, furthermore, that it is not a priori unhealthy for the agent and that autonomous female self-sexualisation admits of degrees of self-consciousness and articulacy. At the same time, such self-sexualisation takes place within gendered social structures, with consequences that legitimate the reinvocation of Second Wave motifs such as the commodification of female sexuality and the privileging of precise images of female sexuality.


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Sport, Ethics and Philosophy


Taylor & Francis

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Davis, P. and Edwards, L. (2021) 'Derby Girls’ Parodic Self-Sexualizations: Autonomy, Articulacy and Ambiguity', Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, pp.1-18. doi: 10.1080/17511321.2021.1965199

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Lisa Edwards

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Philosophy and Ethics in Sport

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  • © The Authors


  • en

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