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Body by WeimarAthletes, Gender, and German Modernity$
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Erik N. Jensen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395648.001.0001

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Disorder on the Court

Disorder on the Court

Soft Men, Hard Women, and Steamy Tennis

(p.15) 1 Disorder on the Court
Body by Weimar

Erik N. Jensen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Tennis players in the 1920s expressed an unabashed sexuality and visible pursuit of fine living that appeared liberating to many Germans after the years of wartime and postwar austerity. Male players lavished attention on their personal grooming, style, and romantic liaisons, in open defiance of the Prussian ideal of discipline and self‐control. Instead, they modelled an alternative masculinity around aesthetic sensibility and self‐indulgence. Female players, meanwhile, projected a new aggressivity in matters financial and sexual, as well as athletic. Some top players even flouted the sport's amateur imperative by turning professional, pioneering the use of sports as an avenue of upward mobility, and modelling the possibilities of the “self‐made woman.”

Keywords:   sexuality, masculinity, discipline, tennis, upward mobility, amateur, professional, self‐made, Prussian

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