Breaking bounds : Alice Profé, radical and emancipationist

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Grenzen überwinden : Alice Profé, radikal und emanzipatorisch
Author:Pfister, Gertrud
Published in:The international journal of the history of sport
Published:18 (2001), 1 , S. 98-118, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Print resource Electronic resource (online)
ISSN:0952-3367, 1743-9035
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Identification number:PU200203000797


Alice Profé was the first female sports physician in Germany and she influenced ideas on female bodies and female sport for more than forty years. Her dream to become a doctor could be realized only in Switzerland because women were not admitted to universities in Prussia before 1908. After her examination and her PhD she established herself as one of the first female doctors in Berlin in 1905 and she worked there until her death in 1946 as general practitioner and medical specialist in pediatrics and sports medicine. As an expert on the female body she was active in many committees and organizations. Alice Profé worked her whole life for the improvement of the situation of girls and women. The focus of her work was physical education and sport and she was always active in different types of sport herself. Her first article on this topic was published in 1906. In the following years over and over again she 'took the floor' criticizing traditional stereotypes of women and the female body, demanding resources for the education of girls and women. Her efforts also helped to reduce anxieties about women in sport and to encourage women to participate in sport. In her articles and in her lectures she encouraged women to decide for themselves about their involvement in sport. She rejected all attempts to patronize female athletes and refused to accept their exclusion from many sports. Profé propagated ideas which were not popular and she never swam with the tide. In one obituary it is stated: 'you never changed your ideas about life for material rewards or professional advancement. You stayed true to yourself.' Her ideas are relevant even today. Verf.-Referat