Another Gender Topic

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Batou667:

If I was in this wrestler's place I may well do the same thing (or at the very least I'd be so self-conscious about not touching the girl in certain places, or not going too hard on her, that it'd resemble nothing like earnest competition). I'd rather be a pleasant sexist than beat up a girl in the name of equality.

from your earlier post:
(not to mention crow about how you got "beaten by a woman" if she wins)

By which you are explaining is that it should be okay to discriminate against other people for no other reason than to protect your sensibilities and weaknesses. It's the same logic as forcing women to wear veiled so they don't inconvenience men with lustful thoughts.

It is showing contempt for them, and the pleasantness of that sexism goes no further than your own mind.

Agema:

Batou667:

If I was in this wrestler's place I may well do the same thing (or at the very least I'd be so self-conscious about not touching the girl in certain places, or not going too hard on her, that it'd resemble nothing like earnest competition). I'd rather be a pleasant sexist than beat up a girl in the name of equality.

from your earlier post:
(not to mention crow about how you got "beaten by a woman" if she wins)

By which you are explaining is that it should be okay to discriminate against other people for no other reason than to protect your sensibilities and weaknesses. It's the same logic as forcing women to wear veiled so they don't inconvenience men with lustful thoughts.

It is showing contempt for them, and the pleasantness of that sexism goes no further than your own mind.

From a 'the american legal system is fucked up' POV, I would say a larger issue would be that someone is wrestling her and grabs a boob and a parent and or the girl herself scream sexual harassment, at which point the law would at least temporarily be on her side as far as practical application goes.

I have no doubt it would be struck down pretty quick once it's IN the legal system, but the mere act of it happening is enough to completely fuck up someones life nowadays.

Agema:

By which you are explaining is that it should be okay to discriminate against other people for no other reason than to protect your sensibilities and weaknesses. It's the same logic as forcing women to wear veiled so they don't inconvenience men with lustful thoughts.

It is showing contempt for them, and the pleasantness of that sexism goes no further than your own mind.

If declining to punch a girl in the face is contempt, then I'm contemptuous and sexist. Guilty as charged.

From a culture-free ideological viewpoint you're probably right, but as somebody who used to do karate in a mixed-gender club, fighting against girls was always a no-win prospect. You accidentally hurt her? You bloody psychopath, where's your control. She hurts you? Suck it up, this is a contact sport, accidents happen. You beat her? Typical proud male, steam-rolling the opposition. She wins? Ha ha, you got beaten by a girl!

For all the talk of gender equality and equality of opportunity there are still very real social pressures to *not* go full-out on a woman (or a child, or a frail old man, or somebody much smaller than you). When put in that kind of situation a large and physically fit man has very little to gain but everything to lose from the situation and I wouldn't hold it against a guy who decided to bow out rather than tiptoe over the eggshells of conflicting social pressures.

Maybe that's just me and my old-fashioned philosophy, but the fact that every major contact sport is segregated by sex (and often weight class and skill level too) supports my viewpoint.

Verbatim:

I'm talking about Olympic sports, you really going to argue that males and females are "equal" physically?
Men are stronger and faster on average than female, that's nature.

You'll notice my last paragraph starting with "Some of the difference is obviously biological in higher levels of sports competition" if you re-read my post. I am merely pointing out that all of the difference between male and female athletes isn't caused by biological and physiological differences, but some are rather caused by the fact that male athletes, on average, gets far more attention and sponsorship and this allows them both more advanced training and more time for said training.

There are also several sports where the physiological differences are negligible and where both sexes could compete on even terms. Archery, marksmanship, bowling, table tennis and gymnastics all spring to mind. Not all sports requires raw strength or long-term endurance.

Batou667:
From a culture-free ideological viewpoint you're probably right, but as somebody who used to do karate in a mixed-gender club, fighting against girls was always a no-win prospect. You accidentally hurt her? You bloody psychopath, where's your control. She hurts you? Suck it up, this is a contact sport, accidents happen. You beat her? Typical proud male, steam-rolling the opposition. She wins? Ha ha, you got beaten by a girl!

Er...not in my experience. Back in my university days, it was fine for members of the Dark age society to hit each other with shinai (or blunted metal weapons if they were wearing mail) regardless of gender.

Admittedly, hitting women in the breasts wasn't allowed, which I suppose was a slight advantage.

Batou667:
Not really. If on the one hand I campaigned for violence against men to be recognised as a special and worse kind of violence than regular common-or-garden violence-against-women, and perhaps even claimed that violence and testosterone were Matriarchal in nature and should be discouraged in civilised society, and then on the other hand endorsed men getting beaten up, that might cause some contradiction.

Dodging the actual point in favor of arguing against an imaginary position, I see.

Do you see the "violence" that goes on in competitive wrestling as indicative of systemic hatred against the groups of people who involve themselves in wrestling? Is it about physically controlling the behavior of particular classes of people?

Because if so, if you think there's a genuine equivalence between throwing someone around in a relatively safe sporting environment and slamming someone's face into a table because they wouldn't make you a sandwich, or physically restraining them so that you can have sex with them without their consent, then the fact that you clearly think it's fine for men to take part in wrestling should be causing you problems, shouldn't it?

What you've completely missed here is that the difference between violence against men and violence against women actually has very little to do with the sex of the victim. These are ways of describing generalizations regarding the context of particular violent acts. Women and men tend to suffer violence in different situations and in different ways, and generally both are "wrong" but that does not mean we have to treat them as the same thing, particularly since from a legal and social standpoint we never have. Violence against women, outside of a few very particular and socially digestible scenarios, has historically, been completely ignored by society and the courts until very, very recently.

Of course, if you can't see any difference and you're committed to viewing all violence as identical and "equally bad" irrespective of whether it takes place in a sporting event, outside the pub or in a couple's bedroom, then maybe you won't see this. However, if that's genuinely how you feel then perhaps you should at least endeavor to be consistent in your application, and perhaps you should also bear in mind that noone else has the obligation to buy into that, because it's an incredibly pointless way of categorizing violence.

I love how you put forward "testosterone" like it's a comprehensible social behaviour though. That's very revealing.

Batou667:
The guy in question might also have refused to fight somebody who was two weight categories below him, or a child, or an elderly man.

Do you notice something in common about all of those examples?

Batou667:
Don't feminists themselves call for less aggression in society and an end to violence against women? If mixed-sex wrestling and boxing was normalised, don't you think that would have a negative effect on how women are viewed in society?

I don't know. Does male single-sex boxing and wrestling have a negative effect on how men are viewed in society? For that matter, does female single-sex boxing have a negative effect on how women are viewed in society?

Again, violence against women is not simply "violence against female bodied persons", it's a description of context. The fact that you clearly feel that men cannot engage in violent sports with women without invoking this context, without having it be an implicit reference to controlling or sexually coercive behaviors, says quite a lot to me about you and not very much about the actual nature of wrestling or boxing.

Feminists favor a society in which violence is not a tool for men to establish systemic social dominance over women. The only way this would mean that an individual man can't take part in a public wrestling match against an individual woman is if we cannot separate the act of physically competing in a structured and safe environment with the act of physically overpowering people outside of that context for the purposes of dominating, coercing or humiliating them. I'm not saying it's always particularly easy to make that separation, but it's worth trying.

If nothing else, if a man can't wrestle a woman because it is in some way analogous to abuse or rape, what does that say about a man wrestling another man?

Batou667:
I'd rather be a pleasant sexist than beat up a girl in the name of equality.

Do you think the girl you had refused to wrestle would see it like that?

..Or does her opinion not matter.

Gethsemani:

Verbatim:

I'm talking about Olympic sports, you really going to argue that males and females are "equal" physically?
Men are stronger and faster on average than female, that's nature.

You'll notice my last paragraph starting with "Some of the difference is obviously biological in higher levels of sports competition" if you re-read my post. I am merely pointing out that all of the difference between male and female athletes isn't caused by biological and physiological differences, but some are rather caused by the fact that male athletes, on average, gets far more attention and sponsorship and this allows them both more advanced training and more time for said training.

There are also several sports where the physiological differences are negligible and where both sexes could compete on even terms. Archery, marksmanship, bowling, table tennis and gymnastics all spring to mind. Not all sports requires raw strength or long-term endurance.

Gymnastic doesn't require strength and endurance?!?!
Have you've watched Olympic gymnastics its if anything the best example of differences between male and female physiology.

The US Army has conducted studies about difference between males and female soldiers from the same division(101st AA Air Assault), living the same routine and undergoing the same regiment of training.

Main Outcome Measures:
Peak torque was averaged normalized to body weight (%BW) for: shoulder IR/ER, knee FLEX/EXT, torso ROT, and hip ABD/ADD. Average peak force (kg) was calculated for ankle IN/EV and PF/DF.

Results: Female Soldiers demonstrated significantly less strength in shoulder IR (F: 35.88.9 %BW; M: 61.315.1 %BW), shoulder ER (F:29.55.2 %BW; M: 43.79.7 %BW), knee FLEX (F: 92.920.9 %BW; M: 116.830.1
%BW), knee EXT (F: 189.536.9 %BW; M: 241.655.4 %BW), torso ROT (F: 105.825.3 %BW; M: 150.929.2 %BW), ankle IN (F: 25.26.8 kg; M: 34.37.5 kg), and ankle EV (F: 22.36.0 kg; M: 30.76.3 kg), (all, p<0.001).

One of the conclusions of the study was to actually have gender specific training as it seems that using the same program for both males and females was not optimal due to physiological differences.

The differences in individual joint and core muscle strengths was as high as over 100%.
No matter how much training a female will undergo if all biological factors are normalized between a male and a female specimen the strength and other factors such as height and weight are very different.

BTW, except for Equestrian sports, shooting, and until l recently sailing all other sports in the Olympics are gender divided and for a good reason, and at least as far as the UK, US, and China goes male and female athletes get the same funding, well China claims that female athlete training actually costs more money because it start's earlier.

Gethsemani:

Verbatim:

I'm talking about Olympic sports, you really going to argue that males and females are "equal" physically?
Men are stronger and faster on average than female, that's nature.

You'll notice my last paragraph starting with "Some of the difference is obviously biological in higher levels of sports competition" if you re-read my post. I am merely pointing out that all of the difference between male and female athletes isn't caused by biological and physiological differences, but some are rather caused by the fact that male athletes, on average, gets far more attention and sponsorship and this allows them both more advanced training and more time for said training.

There are also several sports where the physiological differences are negligible and where both sexes could compete on even terms. Archery, marksmanship, bowling, table tennis and gymnastics all spring to mind. Not all sports requires raw strength or long-term endurance.

Gymnastic doesn't require strength and endurance?!?!
Have you've watched Olympic gymnastics its if anything the best example of differences between male and female physiology.

The US Army has conducted studies about difference between males and female soldiers from the same division(101st AA Air Assault), living the same routine and undergoing the same regiment of training.

Main Outcome Measures:
Peak torque was averaged normalized to body weight (%BW) for: shoulder IR/ER, knee FLEX/EXT, torso ROT, and hip ABD/ADD. Average peak force (kg) was calculated for ankle IN/EV and PF/DF.

Results: Female Soldiers demonstrated significantly less strength in shoulder IR (F: 35.88.9 %BW; M: 61.315.1 %BW), shoulder ER (F:29.55.2 %BW; M: 43.79.7 %BW), knee FLEX (F: 92.920.9 %BW; M: 116.830.1
%BW), knee EXT (F: 189.536.9 %BW; M: 241.655.4 %BW), torso ROT (F: 105.825.3 %BW; M: 150.929.2 %BW), ankle IN (F: 25.26.8 kg; M: 34.37.5 kg), and ankle EV (F: 22.36.0 kg; M: 30.76.3 kg), (all, p<0.001).

One of the conclusions of the study was to actually have gender specific training as it seems that using the same program for both males and females was not optimal due to physiological differences.

The differences in individual joint and core muscle strengths was as high as over 100%.
No matter how much training a female will undergo if all biological factors are normalized between a male and a female specimen the strength and other factors such as height and weight are very different.

BTW, except for Equestrian sports, shooting, and until l recently sailing all other sports in the Olympics are gender divided and for a good reason, and at least as far as the UK, US, and China goes male and female athletes get the same funding, well China claims that female athlete training actually costs more money because it start's earlier.

Well, the point about their actual reasoning for kicking her out has already been nicely covered, so I won't mention that.

On the male/female segregation, though, firstly it confuses me a little bit as to why people think it's a good thing. The article says "Boys need a place to be boys", what does that even mean? Maybe I'm being a bit dense here (what would I know, never having attended an all male gathering?) but I can't think of anything that a group of guys can't do* in front of girls unless it's something like slagging off women or peeing (and the latter is only a case of modern sensibilities anyway really :P ). I've tried to understand the idea of women's spaces and as that's usually in the context of women who have become afraid of men who tend to wield more power over them and are looking for a 'safe' space I suppose I can at least understand the point or the intention of women's spaces - but I guess I've been lucky as a female to know so many supportive males and because of that it's hard for me to understand why women would want to be shut off from all males either. Generally I'd have thought this kind of segregation just encourages the notion of gender binary (*feminist and gender-queer ally fist shake!*) and fosters the idea that you must act differently when you are with members of the opposite sex.

And while I absolutely agree that in maturity most males can completely outdo most females in contact sport, it seems a bit lazy to then go 'males play together and females play together because they're different'. And what about in the cases of people who don't fit into either gender? I can't think of contact sport examples right now but Santhi Soundarajan lost a silver medal for running at the 2006 Asian Games when it turned out she had an extra chromosome and in 2009 Caster Semenya came under question about her own DNA make-up (although I can't remember what the results were for that). Who do people like that get to play with?

Just, wouldn't it be easier if we had a heavyweight/mediumweight/lightweight thing going on for everyone? Rather than just flat out refusing to even consider people if they tick one or the other box under 'sex'?

*EDIT: Make that 'should feel they can't do'. 'cause I recognise that social gender norms dictate that there IS stuff that boys can't do in front of girls and vice versa, but screw social gender norms...

Batou667:
If declining to punch a girl in the face is contempt, then I'm contemptuous and sexist. Guilty as charged.

Except the situation with the football players isn't comparable to "declining to punch a girl in the face." It's more like "refusing to let the girl out of the house because you might accidentally lose control and punch her in the face." That was what Agema was trying to point out. It's not that guys are refusing to be let on the team because they can't seem to be trusted to handle the prospect of a girl on the team and whatever "consequences" that might arise. It's that they're refusing to let the girl on the team because apparently the guys still can't be trusted to handle it, but even taking into account their lack of confidence in their character, the girl is still the more disposable party.

Batou667:

If declining to punch a girl in the face is contempt, then I'm contemptuous and sexist. Guilty as charged.

I punched a girl around 3-5 times in the face the other day, she didn't mind, despite being about half my weight but she did learn to keep her guards up :p

Batou667:

If declining to punch a girl in the face is contempt, then I'm contemptuous and sexist. Guilty as charged.

[quote]From a culture-free ideological viewpoint you're probably right, but as somebody who used to do karate in a mixed-gender club, fighting against girls was always a no-win prospect. You accidentally hurt her? You bloody psychopath, where's your control. She hurts you? Suck it up, this is a contact sport, accidents happen. You beat her? Typical proud male, steam-rolling the opposition. She wins? Ha ha, you got beaten by a girl!

For all the talk of gender equality and equality of opportunity there are still very real social pressures to *not* go full-out on a woman (or a child, or a frail old man, or somebody much smaller than you). When put in that kind of situation a large and physically fit man has very little to gain but everything to lose from the situation and I wouldn't hold it against a guy who decided to bow out rather than tiptoe over the eggshells of conflicting social pressures.

Maybe that's just me and my old-fashioned philosophy, but the fact that every major contact sport is segregated by sex (and often weight class and skill level too) supports my viewpoint.

Old-fashioned? Okay.

Maybe in a more equal, new-fashioned world, if a woman steps up and wants to go toe-to-toe with a man, I'd expect her opponent and observers afford her the courtesy of assuming she knows what she's doing and is prepared to take the punishment. I'd also expect her opponent and observers to appreciate that a woman can pack out punishment and outclass a man, and not treat him shabbily if she does so. It's a win-win - everyone gets to compete, and no hard feelings.

These social pressures you feel will not end whilst we create policies and arguments that help perpetuate them. Although being a social pioneer to change them is difficult can draw a lot of flak (ask your average feminist), so I can sympathise if you're not comfortable bearing that load.

Agema:

Maybe in a more equal, new-fashioned world, if a woman steps up and wants to go toe-to-toe with a man, I'd expect her opponent and observers afford her the courtesy of assuming she knows what she's doing and is prepared to take the punishment. I'd also expect her opponent and observers to appreciate that a woman can pack out punishment and outclass a man, and not treat him shabbily if she does so. It's a win-win - everyone gets to compete, and no hard feelings.

Might be a regional thing, seeing as I do think Bentusi has a point with the "fucked up legal system". Basically, if a woman wants to go toe to toe with a man, yes, she'd be expected to know what she's doing, etc. But, if the man beats the hell out of her in a boxing match, he's going to be a "goddamn psychopath" now, while if he beats the hell out of another man that's about as strong and skillful as that woman was (meaning, the degree of "having the hell beaten out of" would be pretty much the same), where's the outrage? Now, I'm not blaming this on men or women, but on the people whose catchphrase is "Won't somebody think of the children!"

In theory, though, yes, I'd expect the same as you, and hope that society gets to the point where that's a reasonable expectation in my lifetime.

I suppose what confuses me here is that women are allowed to serve in the military, so barring a little girl from being on a football team seems weird and inconsistent. Even if she wasn't as strong or fast as the boys, there are plenty of boys that aren't as strong or fast as the other boys, so what's the problem? She got to be on the team in the first place, so she had to have -something- to contribute.

Oh, and the 'impure thoughts' thing is just madness. That's the worst message you could ever send to a child: "You're responsible for making others behave badly." Pubescent boys are going to be doing things like looking at her butt whether she's playing football or passing through the hall on the way to band class. Why not just educate the kids on why they feel this way and put it out in the open? Who does it hurt to acknowledge that sexuality affects your thinking when you're still too young to act on it? It doesn't make any sense.

thaluikhain:
Er...not in my experience. Back in my university days, it was fine for members of the Dark age society to hit each other with shinai (or blunted metal weapons if they were wearing mail) regardless of gender.

Admittedly, hitting women in the breasts wasn't allowed, which I suppose was a slight advantage.

My point exactly. "Men and women competing together and against each other!" sounds an awful lot like equality, until you read off the dozen footnotes and caveats. Did the men in the group use the same force and aggression against women and men alike? Were the women always given the "safe option" of sparring against females only if they so wished, and was this courtesy extended to men? Was female injury considered a higher cause concern than male injury?

evilthecat:
Dodging the actual point in favor of arguing against an imaginary position, I see.

There was a point?

Sorry to "tl;dr" half your post but my point is that both biology and society make male-on-female violence (in the context of sports) something that is rarely equal.

evilthecat:
Do you notice something in common about all of those examples?

Yes; they're all examples of people who are disadvantaged in a straight-up physical contest against a fit and able man. Just like women are.

evilthecat:
I don't know. Does male single-sex boxing and wrestling have a negative effect on how men are viewed in society? For that matter, does female single-sex boxing have a negative effect on how women are viewed in society?

Maybe this is cynical of me but I think a lot of social interactions are learned rather than engrained. If direct male-on-female competition was normalised I feel we'd see a lot more women involved in violence. We live in a paradigm where a woman can slap a man in the face and he'll likely resist the urge to strike back, but if you spill some guy's pint you'd better have your wallet out before his fist connects with your chin. Do women REALLY want to be considered "one of the blokes"? Do they have any idea how unglamorous being a male is?

evilthecat:
If nothing else, if a man can't wrestle a woman because it is in some way analogous to abuse or rape, what does that say about a man wrestling another man?

They both say "no homo" before the match starts, so it doesn't count. Duh.

evilthecat:
Do you think the girl you had refused to wrestle would see it like that?

..Or does her opinion not matter.

My own scruples would override her wishes. Same as if she wanted it rough in the bedroom but I didn't feel comfortable with that.

Lilani:
Except the situation with the football players isn't comparable to "declining to punch a girl in the face." It's more like "refusing to let the girl out of the house because you might accidentally lose control and punch her in the face." That was what Agema was trying to point out. It's not that guys are refusing to be let on the team because they can't seem to be trusted to handle the prospect of a girl on the team and whatever "consequences" that might arise. It's that they're refusing to let the girl on the team because apparently the guys still can't be trusted to handle it, but even taking into account their lack of confidence in their character, the girl is still the more disposable party.

The situation described in the OP is an example of them making (probably) the right call but for completely the wrong reasons. I'm not touching that shit with a barge pole.

Agema:
Maybe in a more equal, new-fashioned world, if a woman steps up and wants to go toe-to-toe with a man, I'd expect her opponent and observers afford her the courtesy of assuming she knows what she's doing and is prepared to take the punishment. I'd also expect her opponent and observers to appreciate that a woman can pack out punishment and outclass a man, and not treat him shabbily if she does so. It's a win-win - everyone gets to compete, and no hard feelings.

These social pressures you feel will not end whilst we create policies and arguments that help perpetuate them. Although being a social pioneer to change them is difficult can draw a lot of flak (ask your average feminist), so I can sympathise if you're not comfortable bearing that load.

In a lot of fields the difference between the physical abilities of a woman and a man is greater than the difference steroids would make. Being male is a huge advantage. I just can't get my head around how putting a man and woman toe-to-toe would be a victory for anyone but people who are so invested in the ideals of equality that they're willing to equate biology with a social construct that can be wished away.

Sure, some sports could easily be mixed-sex. Shooting, driving, darts, anything where skill is more important than strength or endurance. But football, wrestling, boxing? That's crazy talk.

Norithics:
Oh, and the 'impure thoughts' thing is just madness. That's the worst message you could ever send to a child: "You're responsible for making others behave badly." Pubescent boys are going to be doing things like looking at her butt whether she's playing football or passing through the hall on the way to band class. Why not just educate the kids on why they feel this way and put it out in the open? Who does it hurt to acknowledge that sexuality affects your thinking when you're still too young to act on it? It doesn't make any sense.

The biggest problem with the "impure thoughts" logic, and the one that doesn't really seem to get attention in this discussion, isn't what it says to the girl at all, it's what it says to the guys. It says "you're boys, therefore you are scum. You can't be trusted not to rape any girl we let near you". It's not like she's being removed because of a specific incident - she's being removed because the boys are all being judged as total bastards by default, and that's a really harmful message. Guys and girls can co-exist in locker room esque scenarios without anything sexual going on, but there's not even a chance for it, because the idea is too ingrained that men are just inherently rapists.

Panthera:

The biggest problem with the "impure thoughts" logic, and the one that doesn't really seem to get attention in this discussion, isn't what it says to the girl at all, it's what it says to the guys. It says "you're boys, therefore you are scum. You can't be trusted not to rape any girl we let near you". It's not like she's being removed because of a specific incident - she's being removed because the boys are all being judged as total bastards by default, and that's a really harmful message. Guys and girls can co-exist in locker room esque scenarios without anything sexual going on, but there's not even a chance for it, because the idea is too ingrained that men are just inherently rapists.

So why do we segregate bathrooms and changing rooms by sex? Because we don't trust men to not constantly rape all the women, or because as a society we feel there should be men-only and women-only spaces and most people are more comfortable with this arrangement?

Batou667:
So why do we segregate bathrooms and changing rooms by sex? Because we don't trust men to not constantly rape all the women, or because as a society we feel there should be men-only and women-only spaces and most people are more comfortable with this arrangement?

That's not really relevant to this discussion, given that "we don't trust men to not rape all the women" is explicitly the thought process here. But even though people tend to be comfortable with men-only and women-only spaces, most times when those spaces do become co-ed, it doesn't end up being a massive sexual assault festival. Even if it's a tad uncomfortable for a lot of people (myself included, really, not that I've been in that position myself), it's not really a situation that does lead to bad things happening, and declaring that it inevitably will and pinning the blame on young boys who aren't old enough to even fully understand what they're being criticized for is pretty screwy.

Panthera:
The biggest problem with the "impure thoughts" logic, and the one that doesn't really seem to get attention in this discussion, isn't what it says to the girl at all, it's what it says to the guys. It says "you're boys, therefore you are scum. You can't be trusted not to rape any girl we let near you". It's not like she's being removed because of a specific incident - she's being removed because the boys are all being judged as total bastards by default, and that's a really harmful message. Guys and girls can co-exist in locker room esque scenarios without anything sexual going on, but there's not even a chance for it, because the idea is too ingrained that men are just inherently rapists.

Although, after suggesting they are scum, they punish the 'innocent' party. So it's like saying 'you are rapist scum... but that's okay! You boys carry on having fun, we'll get this female outta here so you don't have to be held accountable for your inherently rapey ways.'

... which seemed to be pretty much the line of thinking for the Steubenville rapist apologists, so I guess it's not uncommon. :/

Generally, yeah, it's just some really really shitty logic.

lisadagz:

... which seemed to be pretty much the line of thinking for the Steubenville rapist apologists, so I guess it's not uncommon. :/

I am not religous, but I hope there's a special place in hell waiting for those folks, and the people who went on to blame the girl.

Generally, yeah, it's just some really really shitty logic.

You said it, it is....

Batou667:
Did the men in the group use the same force and aggression against women and men alike? Were the women always given the "safe option" of sparring against females only if they so wished, and was this courtesy extended to men? Was female injury considered a higher cause concern than male injury?

Yes.
Anyone could decide not to fight anyone else if they wanted, I don't remember it being used by women only to fight women.
No.

There's no reason why mixed gender competitions have to be a big deal.

thaluikhain:

Batou667:
Did the men in the group use the same force and aggression against women and men alike? Were the women always given the "safe option" of sparring against females only if they so wished, and was this courtesy extended to men? Was female injury considered a higher cause concern than male injury?

Yes.
Anyone could decide not to fight anyone else if they wanted, I don't remember it being used by women only to fight women.
No.

There's no reason why mixed gender competitions have to be a big deal.

Weight classes come to mind. Kind of hard to have women who make the weight for men's heavy-weirght class and men who make the cut for women's lower weight classes.

At least in combat sports.

lisadagz:
Although, after suggesting they are scum, they punish the 'innocent' party. So it's like saying 'you are rapist scum... but that's okay! You boys carry on having fun, we'll get this female outta here so you don't have to be held accountable for your inherently rapey ways.'

Indeed, so in one fell swoop, one ill-thought out sentence, they condemn both sexes: men for being uncontrollable animals, and women for being structure-destroying temptresses. It's like they believe some kind of weird, hilarious parody of what people are actually like. And furthermore, they forget that things like sports are supposed to teach you -discipline-, that thing you use to stop yourself from making terrible choices.

It makes zero sense.

Batou667:
Sorry to "tl;dr" half your post but my point is that both biology and society make male-on-female violence (in the context of sports) something that is rarely equal.

And?

Male-on-male and female-on-female violence in the context of sports is rarely equal. That's kind of the point of sport, isn't it.

Batou667:
Yes; they're all examples of people who are disadvantaged in a straight-up physical contest against a fit and able man. Just like women are.

Do we really need to do this again? I mean, I know I was a bit condescending on the first page, but is this really difficult to see?

At the very, very upper limits of human physical ability, there is a point at which it is practically impossible for any woman to compete naturally with the very, very small number of men who can reach that level. However, it is also practically impossible for the vast, vast majority of men to compete with the tiny number of male athletes who can reach that level.

I presume you're a fit and able man, so go and run a marathon in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Go and snatch lift 150 kilos. You can do these things, right? After all, as a man no woman would ever be able to compete with you, so you should be able to beat the best female athletes in the world with no problems. Except of course you can't, because you're not one of the very small number of men who are physically gifted enough to do that.

Unless you are at the absolute pinnacle of human physical ability, then there is going to be a woman out there who is faster, stronger or physically more able than you are. Unless you are one of the best male athletes in the world, you thus have absolutely no right to assume that someone is weaker than you simply because of what they have between their legs, and it's absolutely idiotic to do so.

Batou667:
If direct male-on-female competition was normalised I feel we'd see a lot more women involved in violence. We live in a paradigm where a woman can slap a man in the face and he'll likely resist the urge to strike back, but if you spill some guy's pint you'd better have your wallet out before his fist connects with your chin. Do women REALLY want to be considered "one of the blokes"? Do they have any idea how unglamorous being a male is?

You've assumed this is some kind of one way process.

If women were considered "one of the blokes", would that not also entail a fundamental cultural change in what "being one of the blokes" meant.

I don't know what the hell you mean by "unglamorous", and frankly whatever it is I suspect that the problem is probably down to you because I don't feel it. I suspect you secretly love the idea that being male is somehow more difficult than being female because the consequent belief that you can "handle yourself" makes you seem more important than you really are.

Actually, avoiding violence in today's world is generally very easy, and on the few occasions we are subject to it most men do not suddenly metamorphose into action heroes. They remain the same fragile, panicky, easily victimized creatures they've spent their lives frantically pretending they aren't.

evilthecat:
My own scruples would override her wishes. Same as if she wanted it rough in the bedroom but I didn't feel comfortable with that.

So, is having rough sex with men in public a weekend thing for you, or is it more a full on lifestyle?

Or in other words, it's a dud analogy. You don't have to wrestle anyone, even if you have shown up at an event with the express purpose of wrestling all-comers to determine who is best at wrestling, that is the level on which your analogy works, at the level of personal choice. However, that doesn't free your decision making from scrutiny.

Now, there are many legitimate reasons why you might not want to fight a woman. If you were of certain religious backgrounds, for example, you might see it as not right for you to be in close physical contact with anyone of the opposite sex, irrespective of reason. Now, there's a whole heteronormative can of worms there, but in the immediate sense it's not a direct insult.

"I can't wrestle with women because I respect them" is simply hypocrisy. If your "respect" for women prevents from actually accounting for the desires and opinions of women in favor of some abstract notion of what women should be like, then you don't respect women, You may respect that imaginary ideal of women, but that's not good enough, is it. Your belief that a woman cannot willingly choose to undergo something which you yourself would choose to undergo simply because you have something between your legs which she does not can only be interpreted as contempt. It suggests that women are unable to make independent choices in the same way you are, and that it falls to you to make those choices for them.

That is not an issue of individual rights. You always have the right to pull out, but if this is your motivation then you don't have the right to understanding or respect, and you don't have the right not to be called out for your own rubbish decision making.

evilthecat:

That is not an issue of individual rights. You always have the right to pull out, but if this is your motivation then you don't have the right to understanding or respect, and you don't have the right not to be called out for your own rubbish decision making.

you say that, but the overwhelming reaction (well at least in the US) to the Iowa boy's decision to not wrestle is met with respect, so your opinion is by far in the minority. There are people who disagree with his decision, but it is still respected.

Personally I wouldn't wrestle at all. All of that physical contact would make me uncomfortable in a public setting regardless of the gender.

evilthecat:
And?

Male-on-male and female-on-female violence in the context of sports is rarely equal. That's kind of the point of sport, isn't it.

David vs Goliath match-ups in sport are rarely the point of competition either. Many sports try to control various factors to ensure a more level playing field in fact. You wouldn't see a 3rd Division team face a Premier League team. You wouldn't see a Flyweight fighting a Super Heavyweight. Juniors are separated from Seniors in many sports and in martial arts the black belts compete separately from the colour belts. And men don't compete with women - unless it's a sport where the difference of six inches in height and a base 115% in weight (and that's neglecting the additional bulk a male in a contact sport is likely to have intentionally put on) doesn't constitute an unfair advantage.

evilthecat:
At the very, very upper limits of human physical ability, there is a point at which it is practically impossible for any woman to compete naturally with the very, very small number of men who can reach that level. However, it is also practically impossible for the vast, vast majority of men to compete with the tiny number of male athletes who can reach that level.

...

Unless you are at the absolute pinnacle of human physical ability, then there is going to be a woman out there who is faster, stronger or physically more able than you are. Unless you are one of the best male athletes in the world, you thus have absolutely no right to assume that someone is weaker than you simply because of what they have between their legs, and it's absolutely idiotic to do so.

With respect I think you're vastly underestimating the difference sex makes at ALL levels of competition. "Men are usually faster, stronger and have more endurance than women" is a general rule[1], not just a notable finding at the upper echelons of elite fitness. That's why some rank-203 randomer you've never heard of was able to comprehensively beat both Williams sisters.

evilthecat:
You've assumed this is some kind of one way process.

If women were considered "one of the blokes", would that not also entail a fundamental cultural change in what "being one of the blokes" meant.

Maybe.

I'm inclined to think that gender roles are a combination of innate psychology and social influence and to assume that both genders are identical, sans "social conditioning", is potentially quite harmful for the individual.

It also doesn't change the biology. Men have more muscle mass, greater strength, and more testosterone. Change the rules of social interaction from "women should be protected" (patronising as that may be) to "women are just people, treat them as you'd treat any other man" and I can't help but feel the results would be on the whole unfavourable for women.

evilthecat:

Now, there are many legitimate reasons why you might not want to fight a woman. If you were of certain religious backgrounds, for example, you might see it as not right for you to be in close physical contact with anyone of the opposite sex, irrespective of reason. Now, there's a whole heteronormative can of worms there, but in the immediate sense it's not a direct insult.

"I can't wrestle with women because I respect them" is simply hypocrisy. If your "respect" for women prevents from actually accounting for the desires and opinions of women in favor of some abstract notion of what women should be like, then you don't respect women, You may respect that imaginary ideal of women, but that's not good enough, is it. Your belief that a woman cannot willingly choose to undergo something which you yourself would choose to undergo simply because you have something between your legs which she does not can only be interpreted as contempt. It suggests that women are unable to make independent choices in the same way you are, and that it falls to you to make those choices for them.

That is not an issue of individual rights. You always have the right to pull out, but if this is your motivation then you don't have the right to understanding or respect, and you don't have the right not to be called out for your own rubbish decision making.

I love how an arbitrarily-held religious viewpoint trumps my considered (if not objectively "correct") viewpoint because... well, just 'cause.

You really don't need to point out the double-standard, I'm aware of it. I'd be a lot happier wrestling a 60kg man than a 60kg woman. But to say that's because "I'm misogynistic" is indiscriminate and misleading and to reason that "what genitals the opponent has shouldn't matter" is likewise an oversimplification.

Simply put: If I found myself in the ring with a girl half my size I may very well decline to fight based on the reasoning that the level of force and the techniques my training involved would be disproportionate to the opponent's ability to sustain damage, and due to the engrained nature of muscle-memory I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't overstep the minimum level of force required to win. Go ahead, spin that into a narrative about the failings of machismo if you so wish.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sexual_dimorphism#Strength.2C_power_and_muscle_mass - Gross measures of body strength suggest a 40-50% difference in upper body strength between the sexes, and a 20-30% difference in lower body strength.[12][13] One study of muscle strength in the elbows and knees-in 45 and older males and females-found the strength of females to range from 42 to 63% of male strength. Another study found men to have significantly higher hand-grip strength than women, even when comparing untrained men with female athletes.

Batou667:
With respect I think you're vastly underestimating the difference sex makes at ALL levels of competition. "Men are usually faster, stronger and have more endurance than women" is a general rule[1], not just a notable finding at the upper echelons of elite fitness. That's why some rank-203 randomer you've never heard of was able to comprehensively beat both Williams sisters.

Erm? So, the 203rd greatest male tennis player in the world is better than the greatest female players in the world?

They are still rather better players than the overwhelming majority of men in the world, which was, I think, the point.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sexual_dimorphism#Strength.2C_power_and_muscle_mass - Gross measures of body strength suggest a 40-50% difference in upper body strength between the sexes, and a 20-30% difference in lower body strength.[12][13] One study of muscle strength in the elbows and knees-in 45 and older males and females-found the strength of females to range from 42 to 63% of male strength. Another study found men to have significantly higher hand-grip strength than women, even when comparing untrained men with female athletes.

thaluikhain:

Batou667:
With respect I think you're vastly underestimating the difference sex makes at ALL levels of competition. "Men are usually faster, stronger and have more endurance than women" is a general rule[1], not just a notable finding at the upper echelons of elite fitness. That's why some rank-203 randomer you've never heard of was able to comprehensively beat both Williams sisters.

Erm? So, the 203rd greatest male tennis player in the world is better than the greatest female players in the world?

They are still rather better players than the overwhelming majority of men in the world, which was, I think, the point.

One might also take note of the fact that he challenged them when they were 17 and 16 years old and were still only promising young athletes and not the world champions they eventually became. Braasch himself was 31 years old and thus probably had at least 1,5 decades more worth of play experience than the William sisters. It is, at best, anecdotal evidence too since it is only one isolated incident.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sexual_dimorphism#Strength.2C_power_and_muscle_mass - Gross measures of body strength suggest a 40-50% difference in upper body strength between the sexes, and a 20-30% difference in lower body strength.[12][13] One study of muscle strength in the elbows and knees-in 45 and older males and females-found the strength of females to range from 42 to 63% of male strength. Another study found men to have significantly higher hand-grip strength than women, even when comparing untrained men with female athletes.

Either have segregated gender based sports or do away with segregation by gender in sports entirely.

If it's ok for a girl to play on an American football team then it's ok for a boy to play on a girl's field hockey team.

If women are demanding the right to play on mens teams in the name of equality then gender segregated teams must be disbanded in the name of equality. Equality is not a one way street.

Ryotknife:
you say that, but the overwhelming reaction (well at least in the US) to the Iowa boy's decision to not wrestle is met with respect, so your opinion is by far in the minority. There are people who disagree with his decision, but it is still respected.

Citation, or did you just ask your friends for their opinions and then make a vague appeal to authority based on their answers?

Public opinion is not a singular thing. Media opinion, for example, is generally in some way distinct from what the public actually believes. Politically informed opinion is not generally exactly the same as general public opinion. Public opinion will vary between social groups, and since some groups will be hugely more socially influential than others it's really not sufficient to measure public opinion in some simplistic quantitative fashion.

I'm certainly that the vast majority of people simply do not care about this kind of tiny event on the level that I do, but of those who do care, how many are really passionately invested in the act of "respecting" the decision?

Batou667:
And men don't compete with women - unless it's a sport where the difference of six inches in height and a base 115% in weight (and that's neglecting the additional bulk a male in a contact sport is likely to have intentionally put on) doesn't constitute an unfair advantage.

Wow, we learn something new every day.

I didn't know that all women were 6 inches shorter than me. Somehow I thought that actually being taller than me made some women taller than me, but it's good we have scientifically informed people like you around to correct our defective system of measurements and establish that in fact men are taller than women irrespective of their actual height.

I guess while we're at it this would probably be the time to affirm that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Batou667:
With respect I think you're vastly underestimating the difference sex makes at ALL levels of competition. "Men are usually faster, stronger and have more endurance than women" is a general rule

So what?

Some men are faster, stronger and have more endurance than other men. Some men will always have been faster, stronger and have more endurance than other men. The difference between those individual men is also a "rule", and yet they are allowed to compete.

The whole purpose of competitive sport is to determine who is faster, stronger, has more endurance or is more skilled than someone else, or some combination of the above. Unless you are claiming (and I really hope you aren't, but you seem incapable of grasping the contrary) that all women are physically inferior to all men then why shouldn't women compete with men outside of that small, small bracket of competition where it becomes impossible.

Batou667:
That's why some rank-203 randomer you've never heard of was able to comprehensively beat both Williams sisters.

It's notable you didn't read your own article there and simply focused on mining the single statistic you could use. Karsten Brach is not a "randomer", he had been ranked 38th in the world 4 years before that match took place, he was an extremely talented player approaching the end of his professional career. The Williams Sisters, on the other hand, were at the time just starting their professional career. Both were in their teens, Serena Williams herself was only ranked 96th in the women's seed and had just played her second professional tournament. Context. It's kind of important.

With tennis, there's also the issue of metagame. Any person who seriously follows a professional sport, but particularly one which is highly tactical, over any length of time will know that there is an ever-changing metagame to certain competitions. There will be traits and play-styles which become very desirable in one particular circuit at one particular time due to the distribution of traits and play-styles in the expected competition, but this may change as the competition changes. By segregating men and women, we ensure the creation of a different metagame, thus making it comparatively difficult to accurately compare performance.

If you actually want to measure physical ability, you'd be better off comparing performance in simple contests like most Olympic events, and actually the differences between top level male and females in most Olympic events, while sometimes very extreme within the context of the Olympics themselves, are absolutely negligible when placed against the general range of ability in the human population.

I don't see why this is terribly difficult to understand, or why you're so determinedly committed to the idea that no woman could ever beat any man in any contest of physical activity, because it's just plain wrong.

Batou667:
I'm inclined to think that gender roles are a combination of innate psychology and social influence and to assume that both genders are identical, sans "social conditioning", is potentially quite harmful for the individual.

Why do you imagine it would be any more "harmful" than assuming that they aren't identical, given that there's absolutely no evidence for anything that you're saying at this point?

Batou667:
Men have more muscle mass, greater strength, and more testosterone.

Correction: Some men have more muscle mass, some men have greater strength, heck, only some men have more testosterone.

Can we please stop having to go over this over and over again. It's really not as essential as you think it is, and I'm not going to allow you to put your own weird social beliefs above the basic scientific facts of human sex determination. It doesn't work like this, the actual mechanisms which determine human sex are quite complex and they can have quite complex outcomes.

If you are basically unwilling to accept that there are men in the world who are weaker than certain women, then you must be walking around with your eyes closed.

Batou667:
Change the rules of social interaction from "women should be protected" (patronising as that may be) to "women are just people, treat them as you'd treat any other man" and I can't help but feel the results would be on the whole unfavourable for women.

And yet, treating those men who are of equivalent size and weight to the average woman as if they are "just people" is not unfavourable to them?

Again, do you not like men very much?

Batou667:
I love how an arbitrarily-held religious viewpoint trumps my considered (if not objectively "correct") viewpoint because... well, just 'cause.

Well. That's the power of coherent logic. It can make arbitrary positions seem more plausable than incredibly stupid opinions, even if you're willing to cling to those incredibly stupid opinions like a sinking ship even when the basic reasoning behind them has repeatedly failed to work. Endlessly regurgitating falsehoods won't make your opinion legitimate.

The important thing about religious belief is that it is not reflective of anyone else. By refusing to wrestle with the opposite sex on religious grounds, you ground the decision firmly in yourself rather than making it dependent on some presumed attribute in someone else.

It's very easy to make claims about yourself. They may still invite judgement, but ultimately noone can argue that you don't really believe that close physical contact with the opposite sex outside of marriage is wrong for you. But if you want to make claims about other people, if you want to ground your rationality in other people's perceived weaknesses and failures, it's probably a good idea to have an actual sustainable argument rather than a bunch of bollocks about intrinsic differences of ability between the sexes.

Batou667:
You really don't need to point out the double-standard, I'm aware of it. I'd be a lot happier wrestling a 60kg man than a 60kg woman. But to say that's because "I'm misogynistic" is indiscriminate and misleading and to reason that "what genitals the opponent has shouldn't matter" is likewise an oversimplification.

It is misogynistic. Not directly so, but it nonetheless remains an affirmation of female inferiority. Now, I don't know what you expect misogyny to mean, but automatically assuming inability or incompetence in someone else because they are part of a particular social group is indicative of a contemptuous attitude towards that social group.

Treating someone you see as a inferior in a way which you feel accommodates their supposed inferiority does not change the fact that you are still operating on the automatic presumption of inferiority.

Batou667:
If I found myself in the ring with a girl half my size I may very well decline to fight based on the reasoning that the level of force and the techniques my training involved would be disproportionate to the opponent's ability to sustain damage, and due to the engrained nature of muscle-memory I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't overstep the minimum level of force required to win.

So what?

We're not talking about "a girl half your size", we never were. Of course, if you've simply assumed that all girls are half the size of all men, then maybe this bizarre analogy would make more sense. As it is, it doesn't make any sense at all.

Now, I don't know how physically large you are, maybe you're 7 foot tall and built like a brick shithouse and everyone is half your size, in which case I don't see why you would willingly compete against anyone in a contact sport if you're worried about hurting people. If you're that size and you lack the control to limit your strength to a safe level in appropriate contexts, then you can't guarantee not to hurt men of average body-size any more than you could guarantee not to hurt women of above-average body size. There's absolutely no difference, physically, so why does it make a difference to you? Again, do you just dislike men?

Personally, my height is only a couple of inches above the average height for women in my country and I see women who are bigger than me every day, it's not an unusual occurrence. Now, I'm not a great athlete, in fact I'm physically disabled, but there are plenty of men of my height and smaller who are not disabled and who are physically fit and love competing in sport. Are you honestly, honestly saying that those men cannot compete against women larger than them without hurting them?

Really?

This is the usual old story of holding women accountable for out bursts of male sexuality. It is a much loathed aspect of muslim culture that we in the west like to point out all the time, but in reality has been with 'us' since the birth of western thought. The Athenian architects of modern (western) thought believed women where possessed by the 'demos', the sole source of man's uncontrollable sexuality. An interesting fact is that they invented the Burqa, not muslims.

Combine this with our judeo-christian heritage which holds that female sexuality and its affect on men spawned demons (in the case of Lilith) and our exile from paradise (in the case of Eve), and it should not be surprising that come the middle ages we believed that menstrual fluid was an aphrodisiac that inflamed men with uncontrollable lust, and yes you guessed it (or not), that women where actively contaminating our food with it so that we might more readily give into sin.

Of course, we might acknowledge all this. We might say, 'yes. There does appear to be a meta-narrative that pushes the blame for male's sexual actions onto women. But none the less, we can not trust these boys to act appropriately in her presence, and so must remove her from this situation.' This only serves to illustrate the durability of social structures, or such narratives, for while the discourse surrounding it has changed, the meaning remains intact. Its new guise however, is much more insidious. It takes on the form of concern for the woman/girl in question, but ultimately reinforces its root idea. In the final analysis, to remove this girl from the team on the grounds that she might provoke 'impure thoughts' (and by extension, certain actions) from her male peers, is still tantamount to saying that rape victims are in some part, responsible for rape!

I work out a lot. Like. A lot a lot. 5-6 days a week of running, weight training, boxing and krav maga. I'm a woman too. I guarantee I am a whole lot stronger than the average male and a whole lot faster.

In sports, that should be all that matters. In sports it should be am I strong enough and fast enough? Do I have the endurance? If the answer is 'Yes, you have all those things.' Then it shouldn't matter what I have in between my legs.

If you're so worried about what's in between my legs and don't even acknowledge the fact that I could probably wipe the floor with you, you're the one with the problem, not me.

captcha: face the music

awwww yeahhhh

thaluikhain:

Erm? So, the 203rd greatest male tennis player in the world is better than the greatest female players in the world?

They are still rather better players than the overwhelming majority of men in the world, which was, I think, the point.

Exactly - imagine if tennis removed mens and womens competitions and just judged individual players on their ability to win matches. A triumph for equality, but a crippling blow for women's tennis, as men would dominate the top levels of the sport (and by extension, every competition).

Gethsemani:

One might also take note of the fact that he challenged them when they were 17 and 16 years old and were still only promising young athletes and not the world champions they eventually became. Braasch himself was 31 years old and thus probably had at least 1,5 decades more worth of play experience than the William sisters. It is, at best, anecdotal evidence too since it is only one isolated incident.

Braasch disagrees:

the Williams sisters, who were 17 and 16 at the time, said they could beat any man ranked 200 or worse. [21] Braasch said afterwards, "500 and above, no chance" as he claimed he had played like someone ranked 600 in order to keep the game "fun."

One isolated incident? Did you not read the other entries in the wiki article you quoted from? Margaret Court vs Bobby Riggs, 1973: male won. Billie Jean King vs Bobby Riggs, 1973: female won, fair play to her but worth noting Riggs was 55 and retired at the time. Navratilova vs Connors, 1992: male won despite Navratilova having rules changed in her favour. Yannick Noah vs Justine Henin, 2003: male won while wearing a dress and showboating with trick shots.

Why do you suppose tennis is gender-segregated anyway, if not to account for the differences in physical ability?

ShiningAmber:
I work out a lot. Like. A lot a lot. 5-6 days a week of running, weight training, boxing and krav maga. I'm a woman too. I guarantee I am a whole lot stronger than the average male and a whole lot faster.

In sports, that should be all that matters. In sports it should be am I strong enough and fast enough? Do I have the endurance? If the answer is 'Yes, you have all those things.' Then it shouldn't matter what I have in between my legs.

If you're so worried about what's in between my legs and don't even acknowledge the fact that I could probably wipe the floor with you, you're the one with the problem, not me.

captcha: face the music

awwww yeahhhh

So you can compete with men. It follows that women can compete with men. Since women can compete with men there should not be separate men and women leagues. Do you agree? And if you do not, why not.

evilthecat:

Wow, we learn something new every day.

I didn't know that all women were 6 inches shorter than me. Somehow I thought that actually being taller than me made some women taller than me, but it's good we have scientifically informed people like you around to correct our defective system of measurements and establish that in fact men are taller than women irrespective of their actual height.

We're arguing two different points here. I'm arguing that human sexual dimorphism exists and you're arguing that genetic diversity means there are some women who are as physically able (or moreso) than some men.

The real point of contention here is whether it's fairer to sex-segregate sports (as this allows MORE women access to compete at a high level, as I pointed out in my tennis example in my previous post) or whether the fact that SOME women can compete toe-to-toe with men means that we should desegregate. Now although the latter undoubtedly sounds attractive to people who have a stake in social justice causes like feminism or who just find that questioning the status quo feels more progressive, I don't actually think this will be beneficial for men or women. On the side of men, there are social disincentives for competing with women, and although that's not necessarily fair and is a vestigial feature of our sexed (and sexist) past I do think there are some merits to maintaining "boys only" spaces and to avoid normalising male-on-female aggression. On the side of women, being thrown into competition with males would make it more difficult to succeed and in the case of contact sports could introduce unacceptably high risk of injury.

evilthecat:
Some men are faster, stronger and have more endurance than other men. Some men will always have been faster, stronger and have more endurance than other men. The difference between those individual men is also a "rule", and yet they are allowed to compete.

The whole purpose of competitive sport is to determine who is faster, stronger, has more endurance or is more skilled than someone else, or some combination of the above. Unless you are claiming (and I really hope you aren't, but you seem incapable of grasping the contrary) that all women are physically inferior to all men then why shouldn't women compete with men outside of that small, small bracket of competition where it becomes impossible.

See above.

evilthecat:
If you actually want to measure physical ability, you'd be better off comparing performance in simple contests like most Olympic events, and actually the differences between top level male and females in most Olympic events, while sometimes very extreme within the context of the Olympics themselves, are absolutely negligible when placed against the general range of ability in the human population.

Right, let's do that.

100 metres: World's fastest man is almost a clear second faster than the world's fastest woman.
200 metres: Now it's a 2 second gap.
400 metres: Over 4 seconds.
Marathon: Male champion is 17 minutes faster than his female counterpart.
Long Jump: Men's world record is 1.5m longer than the women's.
Shot put: Almost equal! Pretty good - until you factor in the men's shot weighing 82% more than the women's shot.
Discus: Women win! ...but the discus is twice as heavy for men.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Olympic_records_in_athletics

Can you not see that if we desegregated athletics (and standardised rules, weight of equipment, etc), women would not appear on the top 25 in any discipline? How would that be in any way desirable for women or women's participation in sports? If nations no longer sent their best men and women to compete in the Olympics, but simply their best athletes with no sex-specific ratio or quota, how many women do you suppose we would see in the Olympics?

evilthecat:
I don't see why this is terribly difficult to understand, or why you're so determinedly committed to the idea that no woman could ever beat any man in any contest of physical activity, because it's just plain wrong.

As I said, that was never my position.

evilthecat:
Correction: Some men have more muscle mass, some men have greater strength, heck, only some men have more testosterone.

Change "some" to "most" and I'll agree with you. Perhaps that also gives you a clue about why I think mixed-sex competition isn't fair?

evilthecat:
And yet, treating those men who are of equivalent size and weight to the average woman as if they are "just people" is not unfavourable to them?

Again, do you not like men very much?

Not me, society. Society sees men as disposable, the perpetrators of violence and fair game for the recipients of violence.

evilthecat:
It is misogynistic. Not directly so, but it nonetheless remains an affirmation of female inferiority. Now, I don't know what you expect misogyny to mean, but automatically assuming inability or incompetence in someone else because they are part of a particular social group is indicative of a contemptuous attitude towards that social group.

Treating someone you see as a inferior in a way which you feel accommodates their supposed inferiority does not change the fact that you are still operating on the automatic presumption of inferiority.

Physical inferiority, perhaps. There's nothing to suggest I'd think any less of them as a person, and I'm not sure why you'd assume that. I'm sure we can all think of people who we wouldn't lay a finger on - even if they wanted you to, or initiated violence - and that reluctance to knock them out would stem from love or respect, not contempt.

evilthecat:

We're not talking about "a girl half your size", we never were. Of course, if you've simply assumed that all girls are half the size of all men, then maybe this bizarre analogy would make more sense. As it is, it doesn't make any sense at all.

OK, let's discuss your side of the argument. Say there is a 6'2", 250lb woman who wants to join the men's rugby team. She's fully aware of the physical danger and in fact relishes the idea of taking a few bruises and dishing a few out too. Not only that, but she drinks 12 pints of lager a day, eats Vindaloo for breakfast, finds dead baby jokes hilarious and can fart God Save The Queen (both verses) - in short, she can hold her own both physically and emotionally in a male-dominated environment. Should we let her on the team? Well, given all of the above, why the fuck not, sounds like she might give the guys a run for their money.

Slightly different question - should the rugby club now call itself an "inclusive, sex-neutral club for players of any, all or no gender"? Well (and I think this is probably the crux of the argument) I think that would run the risk of giving the wrong impression about what the club is and who it's for. If you advertise entry for females, it's got to be reasonably accommodating - and for any physically able female who wants to have a fair crack at it, not just the genetically gifted she-Hulk from the preceding paragraph. Setting the bar so ridiculously high that 99.99% of all women are excluded is no form of inclusion at all.

Does that make any sense?

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