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Active BodiesA History of Women’s Physical Education in Twentieth-Century America$
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Martha H. Verbrugge

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168792.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 October 2019

Gender, Race, and Equity

Gender, Race, and Equity

Howard University and the University of Nebraska

(p.77) 4 Gender, Race, and Equity
Active Bodies

Martha H. Verbrugge

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 contrasts two prominent physical educators: Mabel Lee (1886-1985), a white woman who spent much of her career at the University of Nebraska, and Maryrose Reeves Allen (1899-1992), a black woman who worked at Howard University. Physical activities were highly gendered at both institutions between the 1920s and 1950s: elite competition and the public display of masculinity for male students versus mass participation and the cultivation of inconspicuous heterosexual femininity among female students. This differentiation by sex suited Lee and Allen’s philosophy of separate programs of, by, and for women. Sex separation, however, also entailed modest budgets, second-rate facilities, and limited clout for women’s programs—disparities that offended both teachers. The chapter analyzes how Lee and Allen handled the “difference dilemma” by comparing their concepts of gender and race, instructional philosophies and programs, and efforts to attain fair treatment for their students and themselves at male-dominated coed institutions.

Keywords:   Mabel Lee, Maryrose Reeves Allen, University of Nebraska, Howard University, femininity, heterosexuality, sex differences, difference dilemma

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