Towards a feminist theory of fitness

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Towards a Feminist Theory of Fitness, builds on the momentum of a well-established and widely read blog, Fit Is a Feminist Issue, to engage feminist scholars, the general public, and public policy in conversations designed to promote a more inclusive attitude toward fitness than what is represented in today’s popular media and scholarly research about fitness.


  • Samantha Brennan, Professor, Department of Philosophy; Dean, College of Arts, University of Guelph

  • Tracy Isaacs, Professor – Associate Dean, Academic, Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Participation in physical fitness and sport yields tremendous benefits for individual and social well-being. Yet media surrounding sport and the fitness industry presents both domains as almost exclusively for young people who already appear to be “fit” (i.e. muscular men, slender women) rather than as pursuits for all. Feminist scholars have long argued that social inequality is the result of exclusive social practices that systemically shut out members of oppressed social groups and privilege members of dominant social groups. We argue that similar exclusions in fitness and sport exist and offer an alternative way of representing these pursuits to a broader audience.

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