"Transnationalizing Title IX: Neoliberal Formations of Women’s Sport" Paulette Stevenson PhD Defense
Committee: Maureen Daly Goggin, Chair; Heather Switzer, Committee Member; Keith Miller, Committee Member. :: ABSTRACT: Transnational feminist scholars have increasingly recognized the need to interrogate the dominance of the U.S. and the global north in transnational transactions. Chandra Mohanty argues that transnational feminist scholarship "address[es] fundamental questions of systemic power and inequities and to develop feminist, antiracist analyses of neoliberalism, militarism, and heterosexism as nation-state-building projects" (2013, p. 968). Following this call for analyzing power from feminist, anti-racist stances, this dissertation interrogates Title IX as a nationalist discourse with global reach. As a law created in the era of liberal feminism, Title IX still operates today in neoliberal times, and this dissertation makes sense of Title IX as an instrument of neoliberalized feminism in transnational sporting contexts. The following three case studies focus on Title IX as it travels across nation-state borders through 21st century ideas of equity, empowerment, and opportunity.
This dissertation begins by exploring at how international sporting policy regarding the participation standards of transgender and intersex athletes operates under the neoliberalized feminism of Title IX. It then moves to a discussion of a Sport for Development and Peace (SPD) project--Women Win's digital storytelling project. The analysis of this project for maps the cultural logics of Title IX's neoliberalized feminism in the context of training girls and women to record their stories sport participation. Finally, the dissertation connects the context of the first Saudi female Olympians to Oiselle's branding campaign of Sarah Attar, one of the first Saudi Olympians. It traces her image as an import-export product for the Olympic Committee and Oiselle through equity, opportunity, and empowerment.
Finally, these case studies are bridged by networking the discourses of investing in a girl (commidifying girls becoming autonomous actors through education and economics) to Title IX's focus on gender equity to show how these discourses simultaneously increase and negatively impact participation in sports by women from the global south. Moreover, it offers how future research in women's international sports can more ethically incorporate the standpoint of women from the global south in sport policy, SDP projects, and branding campaigns.