Abstract

Feminist sports histories have sought to give voice to the experiences and subjectivities of female athletes and increasingly of female sports fans. Yet the passions of female sports fans have been neglected. This paper traces the affects and subjectivities of female followers of Australian Rules football by way of indepth interviews along with the writings of, and about, female fans. More specifically, it contrasts the relatively inclusive passions fostered by the spectator culture of Australian Rules football with the gendered limits around the possible dreams this sport provokes, before turning to the supposedly “feminine” fantasies of female fans, and concluding with a coda on the problematic intersections of football and sex. Writing the passions of female sports fans into feminist histories of sport allows for a richer understanding of the layered historical interplay of gender and sexuality with the intriguing pleasures and power at the center of popular sporting cultures.

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