The first woman to swim the English Channel

Published December 6, 2017 This content is archived.


An article in Outside, a U.S. magazine focused on the outdoors, about Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 became the first woman to swim the English Channel, completing the feat nearly two hours faster than any of the five men before her who had conquered the channel, interviews Susan Cahn, professor of history and author of “Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Women’s Sport.” “That she broke a record that men had set was different and important,” she said. “There was a lot of popular enthusiasm, but it also made people nervous—people who wanted to protect the gender system as it was.”

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