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Anonymous
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Anonymous said 5 days ago

Katelyn Tuohy

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/sports/katelyn-tuohy.html

Here's an interesting article with a statistic that surprised me.

".....And yet, since 1980, just one female winner of the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships has made an Olympic team, compared with seven male high school champions. Just four have won an individual N.C.A.A. championship."

So boys perhaps we should stop getting so excited about OFSA results and 15/16 year olds who do so well at the ACXC. It could be the kiss of death or perhaps a "curse".

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 days ago

    Quoting:
    "https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/sports/katelyn-tuohy.html

    Here's an interesting article with a statistic that surprised me.

    ".....And yet, since 1980, just one female winner of the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships has made an Olympic team, compared with seven male high school champions. Just four have won an individual N.C.A.A. championship."

    So boys perhaps we should stop getting so excited about OFSA results and 15/16 year olds who do so well at the ACXC. It could be the kiss of death or perhaps a "curse"."



    Good ratio for Boys though. If you win Foot Locker you have an ~20% chance of becoming a US Olympian...impressive!

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 days ago

    It's not rocket science. When girls mature physically and become women, their bodies often change; those changes, while good biologically for various reasons, are not so good for running / athletics.

    Genetics (looking at the parents) might give you an indication, but that's not always accurate, so with young women, you never know. Young men on the other hand, once they mature, they usually get stronger, so youth / junior performance is a much better predictor.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 days ago

    Interestingly, I looked at the past 25 years of Senior Girls Ofsaa cross country champions and found that there WAS a correlation to future success:

    G. Stafford - Olympics
    K Butler - Olympics
    T McKay - World Chamionships
    KVB - Commonwealth
    D Nikuri - Olympcs

    Maybe others as I didn't do an exhaustive review. On the men's side, 6 winners were Olympians (counting Ahmed twice), not including Knight and Flanagan who look to be on track.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "Good ratio for Boys though. If you win Foot Locker you have an ~20% chance of becoming a US Olympian...impressive!"


    Actually ratio is probably closer to 25% given that boys who won in the past 8-10 years still have a few potential Olympics in them.

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  • hannah-bennison User since:
    Dec 6th, 2018
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    Hannah Bennison said 3 days ago

    It sickens me to see people judging females, and not males, based on their body composition. This kind of discourse, which is in no way scientifically backed, risks putting females on the "outside" of the "running world", prohibiting females from creating their own identities in endurance sport. This is a classic gendered-construction of identity that prohibits females from being recognized for their sporting successes and not for how they look (or how their parents look). I am not posting this because I think trackie is the best place to discuss such a complex issue, but because this kind of ignorant discussion can lead to dire consequences for equality in sport and I cannot, in good conscience, let it go unnoticed.

    This post was edited by Hannah Bennison 3 days ago . 
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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Hannah Bennison
    "It sickens me to see people judging females, and not males, based on their body composition. This kind of discourse, which is in no way scientifically backed, risks putting females on the "outside" of the "running world", prohibiting females from creating their own identities in endurance sport. This is a classic gendered-construction of identity that prohibits females from being recognized for their sporting successes and not for how they look (or how their parents look). I am not posting this because I think trackie is the best place to discuss such a complex issue, but because this kind of ignorant discussion can lead to dire consequences for equality in sport and I cannot, in good conscience, let it go unnoticed."


    Amen to that!!! Thank you for speaking out. I have two daughters and both would appreciate you for doing so!!

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 3 days ago

    (not trying to be snide, just succinct. apologies if this comes off poorly)

    I don't think anyone is judging female body composition vs. males. Just pointing out biological differences. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support that men's and women's bodies are different. Hence the reason we have different categories for competition. Widening of the hips, hormones that increase / promote fat storage are just two examples of changes that can occur.

    To continue the line of thought, you can look at child birth as well. Some women will see a dramatic improvement after childbirth, while others do not. Men, well, they once again do not have to worry about the changes that occur after fathering a child (at least not changes to their bodies).

    These are pointed out not to belittle or marginalize women, but to recognize that women may face different challenges, that men (both biologically and sociologically) do not have to deal with.

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  • master2b User since:
    Jun 9th, 2011
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    Master2B said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "Interestingly, I looked at the past 25 years of Senior Girls Ofsaa cross country champions and found that there WAS a correlation to future success:

    G. Stafford - Olympics
    K Butler - Olympics
    T McKay - World Chamionships
    KVB - Commonwealth
    D Nikuri - Olympcs

    Maybe others as I didn't do an exhaustive review. On the men's side, 6 winners were Olympians (counting Ahmed twice), not including Knight and Flanagan who look to be on track."


    Here are a few more:

    Paula Schnurr - Olympics, Commonwealth Games Silver medalist
    Hilary Stellingwerff - Olympics
    Sheila Reid - Olympics
    Sylvia Ruegger - Olympics
    Nancy Rooks - Olympics

    BC HS Champs would be good to look at as well.

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  • hannah-bennison User since:
    Dec 6th, 2018
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    Hannah Bennison said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "(not trying to be snide, just succinct. apologies if this comes off poorly)

    I don't think anyone is judging female body composition vs. males. Just pointing out biological differences. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support that men's and women's bodies are different. Hence the reason we have different categories for competition. Widening of the hips, hormones that increase / promote fat storage are just two examples of changes that can occur.

    To continue the line of thought, you can look at child birth as well. Some women will see a dramatic improvement after childbirth, while others do not. Men, well, they once again do not have to worry about the changes that occur after fathering a child (at least not changes to their bodies).

    These are pointed out not to belittle or marginalize women, but to recognize that women may face different challenges, that men (both biologically and sociologically) do not have to deal with."


    By pointing out different challenges€¯ that females face that ARE dependant on what makes their bodies different than the male body, you implicitly point out that the female body sets barriers for participation in sport.
    I understand that you believe this will raise awareness for the challenges females face in sport, but in doing so, you do marginalize and belittle female athletes by using their bodies (specifically their fertility and hormonal health) to dialectically place them on the outside of the endurance sporting world (which you have fabricated as a world originally and sociologically/biologically male)
    Also, your claims are not backed by scientific evidence, but rather by mere aesthetic observation and acceptance of gender norms.

    This post was edited by Hannah Bennison 3 days ago . 
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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "(not trying to be snide, just succinct. apologies if this comes off poorly)

    I don't think anyone is judging female body composition vs. males. Just pointing out biological differences. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support that men's and women's bodies are different. Hence the reason we have different categories for competition. Widening of the hips, hormones that increase / promote fat storage are just two examples of changes that can occur.

    To continue the line of thought, you can look at child birth as well. Some women will see a dramatic improvement after childbirth, while others do not. Men, well, they once again do not have to worry about the changes that occur after fathering a child (at least not changes to their bodies).

    These are pointed out not to belittle or marginalize women, but to recognize that women may face different challenges, that men (both biologically and sociologically) do not have to deal with."



    Thank you for your even-handed commentary on what could and should be a more neutral discussion. Pent up rancor does little to advance any sport for any gender.

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  • billie User since:
    Jun 25th, 2017
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    Billie said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Hannah Bennison
    "By pointing out different challenges€¯ that females face that ARE dependant on what makes their bodies different than the male body, you implicitly point out that the female body sets barriers for participation in sport.
    I understand that you believe this will raise awareness for the challenges females face in sport, but in doing so, you do marginalize and belittle female athletes by using their bodies (specifically their fertility and hormonal health) to dialectically place them on the outside of the endurance sporting world (which you have fabricated as a world originally and sociologically/biologically male)
    Also, your claims are not backed by scientific evidence, but rather by mere aesthetic observation and acceptance of gender norms."


    If you don't mind me jumping in Hannah, I have some thoughts I would like to add (and a question or two at the end to mull over)

    In western society, the origin of sports can be traced back to, and seen as, an outgrowth of military training etc. in ancient society and on through the ages. In the modern age, sport was designated for men by men from its beginnings. Where space and sporting opportunities were created for women, it was (and in some ways still is) done in restrictive ways bolstered by contemporary ideas about the fragility of the female body using discourse that (as you point out) was often rooted in the "limitations" imposed by our reproductive biology.

    I would argue that the endurance sporting world is still gendered "male". And not just in the realm of discourse. When we still have different cross country distances for males and females, this constructs an endurance sporting world where "male" is the ideal. And this privileging of male athletic bodies occurs not just on the level of discourse, but also, on the ground in material ways that are detrimental to female endurance athletes individually (i.e. ACXC progression step is much steeper for Junior Women (6k) to Senior Women (10K) then it is for Junior Men (8k) to Senior Men (10K) ) and women's endurance sport in general. I do recognize that the sport of cross country is in a liminal moment as it relates to this issue that hopefully we will see resolved via full equalization sooner rather than later. But even when we do see endurance athletes competing over equal distances, the trend towards mixed sex races again reifies the male athletic body. When the top 1/4 (very rough estimate!) or so of most competitive road race fields are composed of male bodies that also inscribes the endurance sporting world ideal as "male" both discursively and materially (including here the reading of meanings from artifacts such as race photos, the finish line tape that is broken by the "winner", list of finishers, etc.).

    Given that there is a dialectical relationship between discourse (which is fundamentally informed by ideology) and material reality, the question in my mind is what are the most productive ways to disrupt the centering of male bodies as the ideal within sporting culture. Is it possible to have an endurance sport culture premised on performance without an ideal type of athlete? But equally important is what meanings and relevancy do we attach to women's endurance sport (and the sporting category of female) and how do we (athletes, coaches, and researchers) discuss female physiology for the purposes of maximizing sporting performance (and I mean that in terms of sport science studies that center female bodies and physiology across our life cycle as the central research focus) as well as have serious conversations amongst female athletes about issues specific to our bodies and physiologies - conversations that may or may not include our coaches (And are clearly not something Trackie is the medium for as you pointed out in your first post!).

    This post was edited by Billie 3 days ago . 
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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    another runner said 2 days ago

    I actually think this thread had an interesting point to be made. From my own experience as a female distance runner racing at OFSAA and USPORTs I can point to a number of my peers who were successful early on but had decreases in performance as they got older. There are a number of factors that may play a role- Were they passionate about the sport? Were there economic barriers to participating beyond high school? Did they struggle with injuries? Did academics prove to be a more important pursuit? Yet, there are very real physiological changes that women go through during puberty. From a medical perspective, constitutional delay in puberty is when a woman does not have her first menstruation before the age of 16, and from a totally qualitative perspective, this was the case for a number of my teammates in undergrad. Therefore it is not unfounded to say that their bodies experienced changes in late adolescences that were not present during the fast times they ran as high schoolers. Did adapting to these changes at a later age impact their future performances?

    The same phenomenon exists in figure skating and gymnastics, and I would agree with Billie's comments above in that there is a body type that has been proven efficient for running- just look at the start line of any major distance event. But, that does not mean other body types are precluded from being exceedingly quick. What determines who succeeds?

    I think the original point that was trying to be made here is questioning why some seemingly successful high-schoolers don't go on to be as successful as their male peers. I would argue that intense training at a young age delays puberty (this IS scientific- the "stress" from extreme exercise and decreased fat prevents you from having your first period just in the same way it causes female athlete triad. Happy to explain the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis if you wish). Therefore in SELECT athletes, are these physiological changes part of the reason for decreased performance? And does this point to an important principle in long term athlete development (take it away Oldster)- is training too hard too young physiologically impacting the future of these fast young females?

    Or, is there an adaptation period around puberty where if a woman continues to train consistently they will be stronger and faster than before?

    Lots of great research questions here. I am sure the answer is multifactorial (physiologic, psychologic, sociologic) and dependent on the individual. I would love to hear what people think.

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  • hannah-bennison User since:
    Dec 6th, 2018
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    Hannah Bennison said 2 days ago

    Quoting: Billie
    "Quoting: Hannah Bennison
    "By pointing out different challengesĀ€Ā¯ that females face that ARE dependant on what makes their bodies different than the male body, you implicitly point out that the female body sets barriers for participation in sport.
    I understand that you believe this will raise awareness for the challenges females face in sport, but in doing so, you do marginalize and belittle female athletes by using their bodies (specifically their fertility and hormonal health) to dialectically place them on the outside of the endurance sporting world (which you have fabricated as a world originally and sociologically/biologically male)
    Also, your claims are not backed by scientific evidence, but rather by mere aesthetic observation and acceptance of gender norms."


    If you don't mind me jumping in Hannah, I have some thoughts I would like to add (and a question or two at the end to mull over)

    In western society, the origin of sports can be traced back to, and seen as, an outgrowth of military training etc. in ancient society and on through the ages. In the modern age, sport was designated for men by men from its beginnings. Where space and sporting opportunities were created for women, it was (and in some ways still is) done in restrictive ways bolstered by contemporary ideas about the fragility of the female body using discourse that (as you point out) was often rooted in the "limitations" imposed by our reproductive biology.

    I would argue that the endurance sporting world is still gendered "male". And not just in the realm of discourse. When we still have different cross country distances for males and females, this constructs an endurance sporting world where "male" is the ideal. And this privileging of male athletic bodies occurs not just on the level of discourse, but also, on the ground in material ways that are detrimental to female endurance athletes individually (i.e. ACXC progression step is much steeper for Junior Women (6k) to Senior Women (10K) then it is for Junior Men (8k) to Senior Men (10K) ) and women's endurance sport in general. I do recognize that the sport of cross country is in a liminal moment as it relates to this issue that hopefully we will see resolved via full equalization sooner rather than later. But even when we do see endurance athletes competing over equal distances, the trend towards mixed sex races again reifies the male athletic body. When the top 1/4 (very rough estimate!) or so of most competitive road race fields are composed of male bodies that also inscribes the endurance sporting world ideal as "male" both discursively and materially (including here the reading of meanings from artifacts such as race photos, the finish line tape that is broken by the "winner", list of finishers, etc.).

    Given that there is a dialectical relationship between discourse (which is fundamentally informed by ideology) and material reality, the question in my mind is what are the most productive ways to disrupt the centering of male bodies as the ideal within sporting culture. Is it possible to have an endurance sport culture premised on performance without an ideal type of athlete? But equally important is what meanings and relevancy do we attach to women's endurance sport (and the sporting category of female) and how do we (athletes, coaches, and researchers) discuss female physiology for the purposes of maximizing sporting performance (and I mean that in terms of sport science studies that center female bodies and physiology across our life cycle as the central research focus) as well as have serious conversations amongst female athletes about issues specific to our bodies and physiologies - conversations that may or may not include our coaches (And are clearly not something Trackie is the medium for as you pointed out in your first post!)."



    Thank you for furthering the conversation. I think the questions you raise are central to this conversation and I agree that there is a reinforcing relationship between material reality and the discourse that results from this reality. In this case, I have an intuition that a slightly deeper look should be taken into the "historical origins" that show the sporting world being dominated by males. These historical origins are not reasonable, natural truths, they themselves become a concrete reality as a RESULT of discourse that reflected cultural ideology of the time.

    While there may need to be conversations surrounding female athletes and specific physiological health concerns, they must be done scientifically, professionally, and without diminishing the performances, morality, or character of female athletes. I do not see this happening today.

    I simply raised this point to show that if these conversations scientifically need to happen, they cannot be happening in a way that mirrors the conversations that played into cultural norms that fabricated the sporting world as dominantly male in the first place.

    And no, this should not be a conversation that happens on trackie, but unfortunately, small-scale discourse, which uses existing and accepted inequalities and observations, threatens the ability of females to autonomously fabricate identities in sport. And grass-roots intervention in these conversation gives authority to progression towards equality by raising new questions and discussions.

    This post was edited by Hannah Bennison 2 days ago . 
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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 2 days ago

    Quoting: another runner
    "I actually think this thread had an interesting point to be made. From my own experience as a female distance runner racing at OFSAA and USPORTs I can point to a number of my peers who were successful early on but had decreases in performance as they got older. There are a number of factors that may play a role- Were they passionate about the sport? Were there economic barriers to participating beyond high school? Did they struggle with injuries? Did academics prove to be a more important pursuit? Yet, there are very real physiological changes that women go through during puberty. From a medical perspective, constitutional delay in puberty is when a woman does not have her first menstruation before the age of 16, and from a totally qualitative perspective, this was the case for a number of my teammates in undergrad. Therefore it is not unfounded to say that their bodies experienced changes in late adolescences that were not present during the fast times they ran as high schoolers. Did adapting to these changes at a later age impact their future performances?

    The same phenomenon exists in figure skating and gymnastics, and I would agree with Billie's comments above in that there is a body type that has been proven efficient for running- just look at the start line of any major distance event. But, that does not mean other body types are precluded from being exceedingly quick. What determines who succeeds?

    I think the original point that was trying to be made here is questioning why some seemingly successful high-schoolers don't go on to be as successful as their male peers. I would argue that intense training at a young age delays puberty (this IS scientific- the "stress" from extreme exercise and decreased fat prevents you from having your first period just in the same way it causes female athlete triad. Happy to explain the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis if you wish). Therefore in SELECT athletes, are these physiological changes part of the reason for decreased performance? And does this point to an important principle in long term athlete development (take it away Oldster)- is training too hard too young physiologically impacting the future of these fast young females?

    Or, is there an adaptation period around puberty where if a woman continues to train consistently they will be stronger and faster than before?

    Lots of great research questions here. I am sure the answer is multifactorial (physiologic, psychologic, sociologic) and dependent on the individual. I would love to hear what people think."



    I agree that there is an interesting discussion to be had here. It could actually be a positive discussion if everyone can recognize that it is not meant to judge female body composition, but rather would be helpful to both coaches and athletes when dealing with the real challenges that many female runners face. It is absolutely a fact that the female body goes through changes during puberty that can affect running performance- in some cases more significantly than others. This is not a judgement but a fact. I for one am a female runner thay faced challenges with my running performance when I went through puberty. Had I not had supportive coaches and teammates that understood these challenges I may not have continued with running. Luckily I did and as a result I am still a fairly competitive runner that loves the sport 10 years later.
    So this is something we should be talking about. I think educating coaches and athletes on the importance of long term development is important. For example, we should not be encouraging girls (or boys) to be lean or to be the best they will ever be when they are 17. Taking the focus away from body composition and pure performance during this time and focusing on developing a love for the sport might work well (if long term development is the goal).

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    another other runner said 2 days ago

    @another runner

    Thank you for your post - I am also a former female OFSAA/USPORT athlete who was fairly successful at both levels, and wanted to make a post similar to yours.

    I think the concern that many have with female phenoms is that many of them appear to gain their success in bodies that are unlikely to be sustainable long-term from a health perspective. Either "intentionally" (caloric restriction/ED to maintain a certain weight) or "unintentionally" (simply training very hard at a young age), puberty and the skeletal/body comp changes it brings can be delayed.

    This is a bad situation to be in - either you keep delaying and your bones start crumbling due to lack of estrogen/energy intake (which sadly happens to many phenoms), or your puberty finalizes at >16, and you inherit a body that you're not used to running in. The latter can be overcome, but it is psychologically difficult, especially if a high level of success was experienced previously.

    Part of the problem IMHO, is that many youth/high school coaches are simply not aware of this issue, or are perhaps uncomfortable broaching it (since most coaches are male). Often, they will say "oh, she's 15, nothing to worry, puberty is when you're 12." or "that's just her natural body type." Yeah, I guess it is - but if the athlete quit running for a few months, could you confidently say it would stay that way? A mature body would, assuming caloric balance is maintained.

    Similarly, many doctors are not very knowledgeable. I experienced secondary amenhorrea (periods stopping after you've already got your first period) when I was 16 and went to my family doctor because I knew that this was bad for my general health/bone health. He told me that it was "normal" for an active woman to have this problem.

    Luckily I didn't listen to him, got on Google Scholar and found some papers that allowed me to correct the problem: I needed to eat more calories, and more protein per body kg. If I had not done this at this stage, I don't think I'd have competed post-high school. But... we can't expect all 16 year olds to conduct a literature review and deduce a medical intervention from it.

    That said, RED-S is becoming more of a hot topic issue now, so hopefully this changes.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 5 hours ago

    Quoting: Hannah Bennison
    "It sickens me to see people judging females, and not males, based on their body composition. This kind of discourse, which is in no way scientifically backed, risks putting females on the "outside" of the "running world", prohibiting females from creating their own identities in endurance sport. This is a classic gendered-construction of identity that prohibits females from being recognized for their sporting successes and not for how they look (or how their parents look). I am not posting this because I think trackie is the best place to discuss such a complex issue, but because this kind of ignorant discussion can lead to dire consequences for equality in sport and I cannot, in good conscience, let it go unnoticed."


    No one is judging females the article is stating factual information

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  • new-post-last-visitanonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 1 hour ago

    Quoting: Hannah Bennison
    "By pointing out different challenges€¯ that females face that ARE dependant on what makes their bodies different than the male body, you implicitly point out that the female body sets barriers for participation in sport.


    Ok but why is this a problem? If it's factual...should we not discuss the factual? The female body sets barriers for participation in sport. That's not implicit, it's really obvious. Is it good? No. Should we change the female body to fit sport or should we change sport to fit the female body? Or should we change our perceptions of each? Probably the last would be best. But don't criticise the poster for saying something that's factual.

    I understand that you believe this will raise awareness for the challenges females face in sport, but in doing so, you do marginalize and belittle female athletes by using their bodies (specifically their fertility and hormonal health) to dialectically place them on the outside of the endurance sporting world (which you have fabricated as a world originally and sociologically/biologically male)


    I'm not the one who wrote the reply, but I fail to see how ignoring the fact that women's bodies change in a way that can negatively impact endurance performance is going to help women in any way. Nor is it belittling to point it out. You'll have to expand on this a little more.

    I agree (subsequent posters have made this case well) that the endurance sport world (the sports world, the world...probably) is male-dominated. So what is the way that we can experience endurance sport that isn't so? Pretending that women don't have babies is not a good way.

    Also, your claims are not backed by scientific evidence, but rather by mere aesthetic observation and acceptance of gender norms."


    I don't think this person has spoken of aesthetics at all. It was about physical changes, not how women look. You'd be right if you said that society (sporting or otherwise) is less accepting of a woman who doesn't want to have kids and who is "boyish" rather than "womanly" in looks (and this can correspond to a possible aesthetic of what a "good runner should" look like. But that's not at all what was posted. This is a good discussion to have, but let's not attack people for not having already changed the world.

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