Fissures in gendered nationalism: the rise of women’s rugby in Fiji

Yoko Kanemasu

Rugby represents an intersection of gendered ethno-nationalism and anti-imperialist modern nationalism in Fiji. It wields immense symbolic power as an epitome of hegemonic indigenous masculinity and cultural ethos and a medium of resistance against postcolonial marginality. Against this backdrop, predominantly non-heteronormative indigenous women have actively pursued the game, despite limited institutional support and widespread heteropatriarchal sanctions. In 2021, they won bronze at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Fiji’s third Olympic medal, which was received with nationwide celebrations. This article examines a dramatic shift in their social standing and what it signifies for the hegemonic configuration of gendered rugby nationalism in Fiji.

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Research Type(s)
Journal Article
September 28, 2023
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