Women, ‘madness’ and exercise

September 2018 Volume 44 Issue 3

“Exercise is not politically neutral,” writes Jennifer Jane Hardes. That is, “within what has been declared a ‘risk society’ exercise ought to be examined critically as a new potential mode of self-regulation.”

In what is both a concise and rich account “of knowledges about exercise and women’s mental health that emerged throughout the late 19th century and that continue into the present day,” Hardes summons an impressive array of clinicians, historians, philosophers and writers. Deeply thought provoking and somewhat troubling, “Women, ‘madness’ and exercise” calls for further deliberation around “the regulation of women’s movement through wider social-political and historical modes of governance, whereby women’s bodies remain both a subject and an object of power.”

In Hardes’ own words:

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