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The Question: Do competitive sports tend to make women less feminine?

Oct. 11, 1954
Oct. 11, 1954

Table of Contents
Oct. 11, 1954

Pat On The Back
  • Herewith a salute from the editors to men and women of all ages who have fairly earned the good opinion of the world of sport, regardless of whether they have yet earned its tallest headlines

Under 21
  • The good old game of touch, with rules or without, provides football fun for everyone without the spills and skills demanded by the regular game

The World Series
Soundtrack
Foxhounds
The Bands Play
  • Fancy-free and full of fanfare, football music fills the air with its magnificent manifestations of a martial mania as old as the game itself

  • The violent upsets shown on this and following pages are not the sort of action spectators at the National Horse Show next month are likely to see. To riders and horses preparing for the elegant precision which the arena requires, however, they are normal hazards—and they show that mastering the delicate art of jumping thoroughbreds is a sport which is anything but tame

Sunday Pilot
Sporting Look
  • For fifty years the opening day at Belmont Park has brought out the first fall fashions in the East. This year there was no doubt about the favorite for suits and coats: tweeds—win, place and show

Bowling
Baseball
Horse Racing
Sport In Art
Boxing
Eastern Football
Yesterday
  • Born in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 1859 and still living there, Putt Telfer has recorded village sport scenes for 75 years

Sailing
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

The Question: Do competitive sports tend to make women less feminine?

The Answers:

This is an article from the Oct. 11, 1954 issue

GINA LOLLOBRIGIDA
ROME, ITALY
MOVIE STAR

"Yes. A little sport is good. It makes a girl healthy and graceful. But hard sports are not good. They give women the big muscles. So they do not look feminine. No? The big muscles maybe are good in the kitchen. But they are maybe not good in the evening gown. No?"

LOUIS A. R. PIERI
PROVIDENCE, R.I.
SPORTS ARENA OWNER

"I think so. Femininity thrives on masculine protection. A woman who can trade strokes on the tennis court with most men, for instance, doesn't look like she needs protection—she can stand on her own feet. The one who can pin your ears back in a wrestling match isn't exactly a clinging vine."

MARILYN DIMAGGIO
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.
MOVIE STAR

"Well, these women champions are very strong. I've always envied them their nice muscles. My husband smiles when I express my admiration for these women. Then he adds: 'Would a man rather take a lovely bit of femininity in his arms or a bundle of muscles?' I'm perplexed. I don't know."

DAN FERRIS
SAYVILLE, N.Y.
A.A.U. SECRETARY

"Hardly. Most girls in track and field events are small and cute. They can cry as readily as the clinging vine, particularly when they lose. Years ago Eleanor Holm was disqualified by the Olympic Committee for drinking too much champagne. I did my best to comfort her while she cried."

JUNE BYERS
COLUMBUS, OHIO
WRESTLING CHAMPION

"What is femininity? I have a handsome 10-year-old son. I simply dote on him. I'm a loving wife and a good cook. I wear expensive clothes and luxurious furs. I own a $5,000 Lincoln Capri. Each day I wear diamonds valued at $30,000 because they always look so new. Am I feminine?"

JOE DIMAGGIO
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.
EX-BALLPLAYER

"No. I've seen many of the best women stars in competition. And I've talked with them at social functions. They are as feminine as most women. Babe Didrikson, the greatest all-around woman star, is one of the finest women I have ever met. She has great courage, a feminine quality."

MILLICENT McINTOSH
NEW YORK, N.Y.
EDUCATOR

"No. Most of the women athletes are as feminine as other women. Sports tend to give them poise, confidence and self-reliance, but that doesn't lessen their femininity. The few who may not be feminine lack those qualities by nature, not because of any undesirable athletic influence."

JIMMY YOENG
NEW YORK, N.Y.
RESTAURATEUR

"Yes. To be feminine, a woman must be soft and lovely. In old china, women had their feet bound. Feet remained small and the women did not get much exercise. So they remained soft and feminine. Feet are not bound any more. But big muscles are still for the women in the fields."

ESTELLE HOAGLAND
PALM BEACH
FORMER GOLF STAR

"No. You men are old-fashioned. You think that the clinging vine who stays at home is the true feminine type. Today American women compete with men in business, politics and sports. This doesn't lessen physical charm. It heightens women's zest for things, giving them more feminine appeal."

CLAUDE C. VICKREY
NEW YORK, N.Y.
INSURANCE BROKER

"It's true that the women champions are 'tournament tough.' But that doesn't apply to other women in sports. I play at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club. We have many fine women golfers. And they're appealingly feminine. It's the same in other clubs. Without them clubs would be dull."

DONNA HALL
VAN NUYS, CALIF.
RODEO TRICK RIDER

"Yes. Hard sports really make a woman self-reliant. I've taken top honors riding horses. In Hollywood I doubled for the biggest stars. There they call me the top stunt woman. When I want anything I get it without weeping or using feminine wiles, but I also get my share of wolf whistles."

ILLUSTRATIONELEVEN PHOTOSILLUSTRATION"I bought it from the catalogue...it's called a bathing suit."