Today in Feminist History: Billie Jean King Shatters Stereotypes (September 20, 1973)

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Today in Feminist History is our daily recap of the major milestones and minor advancements that shaped women’s history in the U.S.—from suffrage to Shirley Chisholm and beyond. These posts were written by, and are presented in homage to, our late staff historian and archivist, David Dismore.


September 20, 1973: Game, set, match!

Billie Jean King’s entrance

Even with the carnival atmosphere, and hype more suited to professional wrestling than tennis, Billie Jean King’s 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 rout of Bobby Riggs tonight was a major triumph for women in sports, and for the revitalized feminist movement itself.

Though King was intently focused on giving Riggs some lessons in how the game is played, he wasn’t her only opponent and tonight wasn’t just about tennis. King was battling against all the traditional assumptions and ancient stereotypes about men and…

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