- スポーツとジェンダー研究 (ISSN:13482157)
- vol.12, pp.82-92, 2014 (Released:2017-04-28)
Through research on women professional wrestlers, I found that several wrestlers reinforce their confidence to counter male violence and/or attain physical and/or mental strength by participating sports in schools and engaging professional wrestling. Once they attain physical strength, they do experience “physical empowerment.” On the other hand, many women in contemporary Japan are not physically empowered because girls and women in Japan are not encouraged to develop physical strength and athletic abilities. In addition, they fear male violence. Some wrestlers I interviewed actually rescued some women who were frozen by groping inside trains. Therefore, physical
empowerment means a process that women in current Japan, who do not exercise their physical strengths thoroughly, take it back. To realize physical empowerment for women in contemporary Japan, I argue that theories and practices of “physical feminism” should be widely disseminated. What is physical feminism? I define it as practices and movements underpinned by thoughts of feminism that facilitate women to attain physical strength. Physical feminism has two goals at this time. One is encouraging girls and women to participate in physical activities from which girls and women attain various benefits. The other is encouraging girls and women to participate in self-defense programs, which let girls and women acknowledge their power to defend themselves from male violence and feel their own physical strength.