This post was written by a student in Susan Schuyler’s Narrative, Rhetoric, and Identity class at Stanford University. Each student in this class will complete a research-based argument related to the course topic.
My research topic is going to be “Battle of the Sexes,” an epic tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobbie Riggs. They are both former professional tennis players who were very successful at the heights of their careers. Bobby Riggs believed that women should not be competing in tennis and that it was only a sport for men. He challenged Billie Jean King to a match in 1973 to prove his theory on male dominance. However, the outcome to this match was not as he expected. Billie Jean King won. With this victory, she made a massive statement on female athletic capability, and the ability women have to compete at a high level. The question I will be addressing is if and how Billie Jean King changed the game of tennis for women and also how she impacted female participation in sports in general. I will analyze this match in a historical context. I will explore the implications of this tennis match and the consequences it had on future generations of female athletes.
Aiyi Ecker, Stanford University