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Fair Play: How sports shape the gender debates

June 3 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

FREE but booking required - see entry for details
  • Date and time:Monday 3 June 2024, 6pm to 7pm
  • Location:Online only
  • Admission:Free admission, booking required

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Event details

Award-winning journalist Katie Barnes traces the evolution of women’s sports as a pastime and a political arena, where equality and fairness have been fought over for generations.

As attitudes toward gender have shifted to embrace more fluidity in recent decades, sex continues to be viewed as a static binary that is easily determined: male or female. It is on that very idea of static sex that we have built an entire sporting apparatus. Now that foundation is crumbling as a result of intense culture wars. Whether we are talking about bathrooms, gender affirming care for trans youth, or sports, the debate about who gets to decide gender is being litigated every day in every community. Many transgender and intersex athletes, from a South African runner, to a New Zealand power lifter, to a wrestler in Texas, to Connecticut track stars, have captured the attention of law and policy makers who want to decide how and when they compete.

Women’s sports, since their inception, have been seen as a separate class of competition that requires protection and rules for entry. But what are those rules and who gets to make them? Katie, author of Fair Play, will look at all sides of the issue, presenting a solution that seeks to preserve opportunities for all going forward.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.

Image credit: Author photo © Elizabeth Barnes

About the speaker

Katie Barnes is an award-winning journalist covering the intersection of sports and gender for American sports channel ESPN. Barnes is a three-time GLAAD nominee and they were named the 2017 Journalist of the Year by NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. They were an executive producer on “Mack Wrestles,” a 30 for 30 short documentary produced in conjunction with ESPN Films that premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and was shortlisted for awards by Critic’s Choice, NY DOCS and the International Documentary Association. Fair Play is their first book.


This event is part of York Festival of Ideas – for the full programme see https://yorkfestivalofideas.com/2024/calendar/


June 3
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
FREE but booking required - see entry for details


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