Italian Fascism and the Female Body: Sport, Submissive Women and Strong Mothers

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This is the first text to examine women and sport in Italy during the period 1861-1945. To qualify and quantify the impact of fascism on Italian Women's sport, the author first of all examines the pre-fascist period in terms of female physical culture. The text then describes how during the fascist era, women moved strictly within a framework designed by medicine and eugenics, religious and traditional education. The country aspired to emancipation, as promised by the fascist revolution but emancipation was hard to advance under the fascist regime because of male hegemonic trends in the country. This book shows how the engagement of women in some sporting activity did promote and support some gender emancipation. The conclusion of the book demonstrates how, in the post-war period, women found it hard to advance further on, for a number of reasons.