Multiple margins: sport, gender and nationalism in Taiwan

This article aims to build contextualized and cross-cultural understandings of gender discourses on sport and nationalism. With its multi-colonized history and its multi-ethnic groups, modern Taiwan has a very different ‘national’ story from most western societies. The way that sport is articulated with Taiwanese nationalism is also unique. With the Taiwanese being desperate for every chance to prove their existence and worth, sport becomes an important field for constructing national honour and identity. When sportswomen succeed on the international stage, especially where their male counterparts fail, the discourse on women, sport and nationalism becomes unusual. In sum, the unique character of Taiwanese sport nationalism creates empowerment opportunities for female athletes. But we should bear in mind that men still take the dominant roles in Taiwan's sport field. Gendered disciplinary discourses, such as the beauty myth and compulsory heterosexuality, still dominate Taiwanese female athletes' media representation and further influence their practice and self-identity.