Another Gender Topic

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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.

Well, you sound pretty awesome! More women should do weight training, in particular.

However, as another poster mentioned, this doesn't necessarily mean we should desegregate sports. Say you were competing; Krav Maga is possibly a small enough community to have mixed-gender competition. But track events, powerlifting, boxing? All sex-specific competitions. And for good reason; no matter how good you are personally, the dudes in the same discipline would be pushing out weights and times you likely just couldn't compete with, even in the same weight category.

What's your opinion on this? Would you rather compete with men even though you would be unlikely to even scratch the higher ranks or higher levels of competition? Or would you rather compete - and do well - in an equivalent women's-only contest?

Batou667:

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.

Well, you sound pretty awesome! More women should do weight training, in particular.

However, as another poster mentioned, this doesn't necessarily mean we should desegregate sports. Say you were competing; Krav Maga is possibly a small enough community to have mixed-gender competition. But track events, powerlifting, boxing? All sex-specific competitions. And for good reason; no matter how good you are personally, the dudes in the same discipline would be pushing out weights and times you likely just couldn't compete with, even in the same weight category.

What's your opinion on this? Would you rather compete with men even though you would be unlikely to even scratch the higher ranks or higher levels of competition? Or would you rather compete - and do well - in an equivalent women's-only contest?

For boxing, all I see is the weight classes. Obviously you're not going to pair a lightweight female with a heavyweight male. You certainly wouldn't pair a lightweight male with a heavyweight female. That's a no go for me. But, a lightweight male and female going at it? A heavyweight male and female going at it? I say bring it on. I've seen some beastly ladies send some men packing before and it had nothing to do with anyone's gender, male or female. It was their skills.

I think if a woman wants to compete with the men, let her. She should be judged on her merits and abilities, not her gender and what's between her legs or on her chest. Same goes for the men. It should be about ability, not gender.

That's just me though.

Charles_Martel:

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.

There are women who are better than me and there are men who are better than me. It's not their gender, it's their abilities and endurance.

I don't think there should be leagues, personally. I think when we divide things based on gender, it really sends the wrong message. It says to me 'You're a man, we expect more from you." or "You're a woman we expect less from you." I think we should look at athletes as athletes and stop looking at gender. Let their abilities, not what's between their legs do the talking.

I think if someone wants to compete with the opposite gender, man or woman, doesn't matter, they should be allowed. I think if someone wants to compete with just their own gender, they should be allowed. I think it should be what the athlete wants.

Batou667:
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.

No we're not. Because those points are not mutually exclusive.

If that was actually the point you were arguing, we would not be having a discussion. As it is, you're obsessively pursuing the notion that it isn't possible for men and women to physically compete with one another based on specific physical differences which you have gone to significant lengths to identify.

The problem is that, as any idiot can see, those differences are not essential. Your claim that they should thus pose a barrier to competition even in cases where they do not apply is the problem here.

Batou667:
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.

No. That's not the point, because it's not an either/or decision.

We can have men's competitions, we can have women's competitions, we can have mixed competitions. It is not a case that we must either make every competition mixed or have every competition be segregated. It is not the case that the mere existence of mixed athletic events will mean we cannot have separate mens and women's events.

The problem comes in when notions of essential sexual difference become judgement on the individual ability of athletes irrespective of their actual physical ability, particularly athletes who are not actually professionals and are not actually operating at a particularly high standard of physical fitness anyway.

Batou667:
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.

What are these benefits, and where is your evidence and/or reasoning to demonstrate the existence of such a thing?

Or is this simply a "sexism exists, therefore sexism must have a purpose, therefore if we get rid of sexism things will be bad" version of the naturalistic fallacy?

Because I've seen those arguments before.

Every decade of the past century has had its shrill cries "oh, but women's sufferage/reproductive rights/divorce rights/issue of the day is so radical that we can't predict the social consequences", and you know what. They were wrong. Every single one of them, thus far, has been absolutely wrong about the presumed dire effects of the comparatively minor social changes they opposed. I'm not saying that means you're necessarily wrong, but it does position the burden of proof somewhat, and I've yet to see so much as convincing speculation.

Batou667:
100 metres: World's fastest man is almost a clear second faster than the world's fastest woman.

Wow! A whole second!

For context, that second is the difference between about 9 and a half and 10 and a half seconds.

Can you run 100 meters in 10 and half seconds? Could you ever run 100 meters in 10 and a half seconds?

Again, you don't seem to have actually read the point, which is that you should compare these physical differences against the scope of the human population, including the majority of those who are actually going to be taking part in sports.

You'll find that a minuscule number of men, irrespective of training and support, could ever hope to run the hundred meters in 10 and a half seconds. For those men, fine, they are past the point where it's meaningful for them to ever compete with women (barring some exceptional circumstances) but for you, I and virtually everyone in the world, this point is absolutely meaningless.

Batou667:
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?

One more time, because I'm getting seriously tired of repeating it. So what?

Again, would you appear in the top 25 in any discipline? Does this mean that if you want to play sport we should force you to compete in women's events because you're too weak and fragile to compete with the big boys, who in actuality constitute 25 guys out of a population of 3.5 billion.

Again, the vast majority of people, including the vast majority who take part in sport, neither have or need that level of fitness in order to compete. Therefore, the physical differences between men and women need not be particularly relevant to the ability of individual women to compete in those sports.

Batou667:
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?

If you want to get semantic, "most" by definition also means "some".

And no, it gives no clue at all. Again, who cares about broad averages within the population when it comes to determining individual ability? Chinese people tend to be shorter and lighter on average than Americans, and yet Chinese athletes routinely beat American athletes at the Olympic. Broad population averages are not an acceptable judge of individual ability.

Batou667:
Not me, society. Society sees men as disposable, the perpetrators of violence and fair game for the recipients of violence.

Sorry. I didn't hear society talking because I don't tend to listen to imaginary voices. I just heard you talking instead. Who the fuck is this "society"? Who is actually saying these things, because if the answer is simply "noone" then what is the problem?

Unfortunately, you seem to think that it's acceptable to inflict physical violence on men (but not on women) through the controlled medium of contact sports irrespective of their actual physical size, weight or consequent chance of injury simply because some magical difference which can't be recorded by science will enable men to tough it out. So actually, it is you saying these things, isn't it? It's not society, it's just people like you who make up one particular segment of society. A whiny, annoying segment which loves to go on about how oppressive society is towards men while openly reproducing that "oppression" yourselves in some vain attempt to make you seem socially important.

You're like the feminist movement if, instead of actually doing anything, feminists had just sat around and talked about how great being a housewife was and how amazing it would be to have no personal freedom or social autonomy if only men would simply understand how difficult and unglamorous it all is being popped in the mouth because you let the dinner get cold and give you lots of pats on the back for being such a trooper about it. Fortunately, it seems someone in this world grew some balls.

Batou667:
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.

Unfortunately, people get to make choices for themselves rather than existing merely to service your own vanity.

Batou667:
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.

Well, that's the first actual point you've made.

However, I don't think even this is as simple as you're making out.

Firstly, the physicality of rugby tends to be hugely overstated in the professional circuit. Again, this is metagame. A few decades ago, professional rugby players tended to be compact and agile. Nowadays, they tend to be very tall and muscular, but there is still considerable diversity of physicality within the average team. Heck, I went to school with a guy who was playing rugby for the county and at the time he was about my 5'7" or so and not exceptionally heavy, because he didn't play in a position which required him to be. Rugby is not all scrum, and while international men's rugby players tend to be big right now size not the sum total of the game.

Again, it depends very much on level. Certainly, if your club is accessible to averagely sized men then it's also going to be accessible for above-averagely sized women, and those aren't particularly rare. While competitive sport is by nature competitive, I think you'd be deeply surprised by how inclusive it actually is when it's played outside of that very top end professional circuit.

evilthecat:

Batou667:
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.

No. That's not the point, because it's not an either/or decision.

We can have men's competitions, we can have women's competitions, we can have mixed competitions. It is not a case that we must either make every competition mixed or have every competition be segregated. It is not the case that the mere existence of mixed athletic events will mean we cannot have separate mens and women's events.

Splendid. So how do we decide which events should be mixed?

evilthecat:

What are these benefits, and where is your evidence and/or reasoning to demonstrate the existence of such a thing?

I'll probably live to regret this but here goes. Firstly there's the social aspect - because we live in the real world where gender roles exist (for better or worse) it's good for boys and men to sometimes have female-free space and they can express themselves outside of a sexualised or gendered dynamic. I'm sure many women would agree that single-sex spaces can be a welcome escape from regular social interaction. Male-only spaces are increasingly disappearing as they're seen as either inherently sexist and need to be abolished, or conversely women want in on the men's action and they're obliged to become mixed-sex spaces. Secondly, despite what you say I'm still very much of the mind that certain physical or combative sports should be segregated by gender to allow men to go "all out" on each other without fear of repercussions - like the increased risk of injuring a female.

I'm sure you think that's a load of Grade-A bullshit, but that's my opinion.

evilthecat:
Wow! A whole second!

For context, that second is the difference between about 9 and a half and 10 and a half seconds.

Can you run 100 meters in 10 and half seconds? Could you ever run 100 meters in 10 and a half seconds?

You're missing my point - the ability gap that exists at the upper end of physical performance can be reasonably expected to scale as you follow it downwards too. An amateur male wrestler is likely to outclass an amateur female wrestler just by merit of increased strength, for example. I'm pretty sure the thousandth fastest man in the world is a lot faster than the thousandth fastest woman in the world. And so on. The only case I could see this not applying is is mixed sports for prepubescent boys and girls - or perhaps completely untrained men and women, although the males are still statistically stronger. If you have evidence to the contrary I'd be interested in seeing it.

evilthecat:
Sorry. I didn't hear society talking because I don't tend to listen to imaginary voices. I just heard you talking instead. Who the fuck is this "society"? Who is actually saying these things, because if the answer is simply "noone" then what is the problem?

Sorry, I forgot only liberals were allowed to make sweeping statements about society.

evilthecat:
Fortunately, it seems someone in this world grew some balls.

Classy. Also, trigger warning next time, please. And check your privilege. ;)

evilthecat:

Well, that's the first actual point you've made.

However, I don't think even this is as simple as you're making out.

Firstly, the physicality of rugby tends to be hugely overstated in the professional circuit. Again, this is metagame. A few decades ago, professional rugby players tended to be compact and agile. Nowadays, they tend to be very tall and muscular, but there is still considerable diversity of physicality within the average team. Heck, I went to school with a guy who was playing rugby for the county and at the time he was about my 5'7" or so and not exceptionally heavy, because he didn't play in a position which required him to be. Rugby is not all scrum, and while international men's rugby players tend to be big right now size not the sum total of the game.

Again, it depends very much on level. Certainly, if your club is accessible to averagely sized men then it's also going to be accessible for above-averagely sized women, and those aren't particularly rare. While competitive sport is by nature competitive, I think you'd be deeply surprised by how inclusive it actually is when it's played outside of that very top end professional circuit.

OK, fine, but I still feel you're underestimating the raw advantage given by a male's typically larger frame and greater strength. Metagame be buggered, contact sports involve risks - but if you think that encouraging women to stand in front of Jonah Lomu-sized opponents is a requisite for equality, so be it. Perhaps the injury rate statistics will convince you where I couldn't.

evilthecat:

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?

weee, look at the passive aggressiveness. It must be one of my family reunions!

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/02/17/iowa-high-school-wrestler-defaults-match-wouldnt-face-girl/

http://therightscoop.com/iowa-state-championships-boy-refuses-to-wrestle-girl/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/23/AR2011022306005.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/17/joel-northup-cassy-herkelman_n_824649.html

I think you need to take a step back, you are starting to get emotionally invested in this thread and that usually doesn't end well for any escapist poster (I myself have fallen victim to this a few times). Wouldn't want to see you get banned, too many regulars have fallen already to the wrath of the mod hammers lately.

Just some friendly advice from a nobody.

ShiningAmber:

Charles_Martel:

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.

There are women who are better than me and there are men who are better than me. It's not their gender, it's their abilities and endurance.

I don't think there should be leagues, personally. I think when we divide things based on gender, it really sends the wrong message. It says to me 'You're a man, we expect more from you." or "You're a woman we expect less from you." I think we should look at athletes as athletes and stop looking at gender. Let their abilities, not what's between their legs do the talking.

I think if someone wants to compete with the opposite gender, man or woman, doesn't matter, they should be allowed. I think if someone wants to compete with just their own gender, they should be allowed. I think it should be what the athlete wants.

I think you have a romantic view rather than a realistic view when it comes to gender differences in competitive sports where size, strength and or speed matters.

Take basketball basketball for instance. It's largely a game of skill(s). But women can't compete against men. There is probably no woman in the world that could make it onto a NBA roster. Brittney Griner was a special college player. Her size and athletic ability allowed her to dominate in college. But put her on a men's college team and she is less than a dime a dozen. Go to a high school boys basketball between any two decent teams and you're likely to see some dunks. A skill that takes size and jumping ability. Go to a 100 WNBA games and you probably won't see a single one.

If you get rid of separate women and mens leagues you have effectively destroyed competitive basketball for women.

lisadagz:

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.

Where it gets interesting is when things designated to be male spaces are deemed inherently sexist and problematic, while similar-ish things deemed female spaces don't even get people to bat an eye.

An example related to gaming would be that there was a LAN party scheduled for the launch of some FPS (I honestly don't recall which one), to which women were explicitly not invited (initially they gave an utterly stupid [or at least amazingly poorly expressed] rationale for this, which was removed as soon as someone commented on it). This made a stink in gaming media and on feminist blogs because it was more clear evidence that gaming is trying to "exclude" women and there is absolutely no good reason to ever exclude women from anything gaming related ever. At the same time, before each PAX (so far, it's been every PAX Prime and PAX East but I don't know if one was scheduled for PAX Down Under or not) there's a pre-PAX women's brunch. Any woman who wants to attend and buys a ticket is invited. Men are not permitted. This is of course an awesome and wonderful thing, and no one should ever question why women should want an event that men are barred from. At the very l;east, there doesn't seem to be any big media push to demand that they justify themselves.

That's before we even get into what is necessary to be "excluded" from something. Men only seem to be "excluded" from a thing if they are actually explicitly barred from involvement with it, while women are "excluded" if it doesn't make significant effort specifically to make them comfortable with it. Hence how women are "excluded" from gaming, because neither the industry nor the subculture have historically been particularly interested in changing themselves specifically to make women more comfortable -- no one actually stops women, they just aren't catered to, and therefore they are "excluded".

lisadagz:

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?

There was also the male-to-female trans MMA fighter (Fallon Fox) that caused some controversy along these lines.

evilthecat:

We can have men's competitions, we can have women's competitions, we can have mixed competitions. It is not a case that we must either make every competition mixed or have every competition be segregated. It is not the case that the mere existence of mixed athletic events will mean we cannot have separate mens and women's events.

In theory, but usually not in practice. A mixed competition usually means the end of a men's, but not necessarily a women's, competition in the given activity. Chess (of all things) is a good example of this.

Technically NBA and NFL sports are mixed (at least in theory as neither has rules against female players), though Lauren Silberman tried out for an NFL team and failed there, and there's a woman who may very well end up an NBA player eventually (Brittany Griner, who in her debut game on 5/27/2013 tied the WNBA career dunk record [admittedly that record was 2, apparently women just don't/can't dunk?] -- the real question is if she will try to sign with an NBA team in the future and be a probably very average NBA player or stay where she is a *lot* more exceptional in terms of capability).

evilthecat:

What are these benefits, and where is your evidence and/or reasoning to demonstrate the existence of such a thing?

The existence of male spaces, or the normalization of male-on-female violence?

evilthecat:

Again, you don't seem to have actually read the point, which is that you should compare these physical differences against the scope of the human population, including the majority of those who are actually going to be taking part in sports.

You'll find that a minuscule number of men, irrespective of training and support, could ever hope to run the hundred meters in 10 and a half seconds. For those men, fine, they are past the point where it's meaningful for them to ever compete with women (barring some exceptional circumstances) but for you, I and virtually everyone in the world, this point is absolutely meaningless.

Now, wait a second. When we're talking about proof of Patriarchy (that is, proof that men as a class are given disproportionate social and legal power over women as a class, which is used to benefit men as a class over women as a class), that is *exactly* what is done -- people look at a fraction of a percent of the population at the very top (such as Senators or Fotune 500 CEOs), look at the gender balance there and declare it proof of everyone else. Why is this different? Either you can use a handful at the top as a means by which to generalize people or you can't.

evilthecat:

Sorry. I didn't hear society talking because I don't tend to listen to imaginary voices. I just heard you talking instead. Who the fuck is this "society"? Who is actually saying these things, because if the answer is simply "noone" then what is the problem?

It's the same "society" that actually says all those things that people claim "rape culture" says, yet I can never find anyone actually directly condoning.

evilthecat:
Fortunately, it seems someone in this world grew some balls.

Really? Had to go for the gendered attack, huh?

evilthecat:

Again, it depends very much on level. Certainly, if your club is accessible to averagely sized men then it's also going to be accessible for above-averagely sized women, and those aren't particularly rare. While competitive sport is by nature competitive, I think you'd be deeply surprised by how inclusive it actually is when it's played outside of that very top end professional circuit.

So, let's desegregate school athletics with regard to gender and let the best players rise to the top. Realistically though, desegregating school athletics would actually amount to desegregating boy's sports while keeping girl's sports intact to protect against Title IX suits.

Batou667:
Splendid. So how do we decide which events should be mixed?

"We" don't particularly have to decide anything. I don't know about you, but I'm not organizing any sporting events any time soon.

Let's recap shall we.

If you remember, this conversation began because a participant at an event which clearly already was mixed refused to compete against another participant because they happened to be of the opposite sex, something you seemed to believe was the right thing to do in that situation for fear of injuring said opponent (which incidentally doesn't seem to have been the actual reason given).

We have since had a fairly substantial discussion in which you appear to have taken the position that mixed-sex competition is impossible due to specific physical differences between the sexes. That claim is what I have been refuting.

I don't particularly care about how we determine which competitions should or should not be mixed. That's up to the organizers. What annoys me is the specific allegation that mixed-sex competition is impossible, unfair or wrong.

Batou667:
I'll probably live to regret this but here goes. Firstly there's the social aspect - because we live in the real world where gender roles exist (for better or worse) it's good for boys and men to sometimes have female-free space and they can express themselves outside of a sexualised or gendered dynamic.

Possibly. But then, you could also use this argument to bar black people from participating in certain sports which have been restricted to whites because it's good for white people to express themselves outside of a racialized dynamic. The existence of different socialization doesn't morally vindicate those differences.

When an event takes place in the public sphere, when it becomes something the public in general is expected to be involved in, then it ceases to be a private social event. If you want to have specific homosocial bonding time, you don't need an organized public competition to do it, you don't get to coopt a large chunk of a public space and turn it into your own personal clubhouse.

Your private social behavior is your own. You can discriminate all you want, even if it makes you a massive douche. However, when it gets to the point that you're expecting public investment, public spectatorship and exclusive use of public facilities then what you do is no longer a private social event. It's no longer about male bonding, and you no longer have the right to cut someone out simply because their participation disrupts your special man time.

Batou667:
I'm sure many women would agree that single-sex spaces can be a welcome escape from regular social interaction.

That's something I hear a lot, and it makes me curious.

Where are these single-sex female spaces? Can you actually give any specific examples of public spaces and events which you think are single sexed?

Batou667:
You're missing my point - the ability gap that exists at the upper end of physical performance can be reasonably expected to scale as you follow it downwards too. An amateur male wrestler is likely to outclass an amateur female wrestler just by merit of increased strength, for example. I'm pretty sure the thousandth fastest man in the world is a lot faster than the thousandth fastest woman in the world. And so on.

I keep saying this over and over again, but so what?

The fact that this is true has absolutely no bearing on the ability of any given individual, only on the likely distribution of overall trends of ability over the entire population. The fact that the number of women who can compete at any given level of physical ability may be lower in some cases than that of men has absolutely no bearing on the women who can meet that standard, however small in number they may be.

Until you reach the absolute top level of human physical prowess, you cannot turn these trends into anything resembling essential rules. Your continuing presumption, therefore, that women in contact sports are more likely to be hurt does not bear out. They are no more likely to be hurt than a man of equivalent size, weight, skill and physical ability. The fact that there may be less women who can safely participate at that level is meaningless when talking about those who can.

Batou667:
Sorry, I forgot only liberals were allowed to make sweeping statements about society.

Well, technically noone is allowed to make sweeping claims about what "society says" without in some way substantiating them, or at the very least drawing on arguments which have been substantiated.

Society does not predate people, in fact it cannot exist at all without people. Society does not "speak" except through human action. Wherein there is no human action, there is no evidence that society "says" or "intends" anything.

Society is not like gravity. It's not some external and constant force which acts on all people equally from outside the social world. It is a social construct we use to explain how individual human action produces broad overarching trends. So if you want to measure what society "says", you need to explain how human action produces the result.

So if society "says" that men are disposable, where is the human action which produces that result? Which person or group in society has the power, influence and desire to cause this, and how are they doing so?

Batou667:
OK, fine, but I still feel you're underestimating the raw advantage given by a male's typically larger frame and greater strength.

Not really. I just recognize that that advantage only applies to men with larger frames and high strength, rather than magically assuming that it applies to all men irrespective of size.

Ryotknife:
I think you need to take a step back, you are starting to get emotionally invested in this thread and that usually doesn't end well for any escapist poster (I myself have fallen victim to this a few times). Wouldn't want to see you get banned, too many regulars have fallen already to the wrath of the mod hammers lately.

Well, I only have a few months left when I'm likely to have enough time and/or boredom to make these kinds of long argumentative posts, so I may as well make the most of it. Also, of all the gender topics this is probably the one I care about least, all told. I suspect I'm just tired and not self-moderating well, so sorry about that.

Yeah.. it seems I was operating on some somewhat dodgy assumptions about that whole event, so I'm going back down and accept I got it wrong. I don't think his reasoning was good, but in terms of how he phrased it he did it about as respectfully as he possibly could (basically, by bringing it back to himself rather than making it about his opponent), and I do think that kind of tact is admirable in someone of his age. I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would view his behavior as unacceptable, that doesn't change the fact that the reason other people have come out with regarding how they would react in his position is somewhat different.

Schadrach:
In theory, but usually not in practice. A mixed competition usually means the end of a men's, but not necessarily a women's, competition in the given activity. Chess (of all things) is a good example of this.

Chess is actually very interesting, so let's roll with that.

Chess, as I'm sure you are aware, has no physical component at all. That doesn't necessarily mean that anyone can become a chess grandmaster if they study hard enough, but there is certainly no comprehensible barrier to female success in chess. Women should be able to win at chess at the same rate and at the same level as men.

..And yet they don't.

Now, this is not an essential rule. Different countries and tournament circuits will have different levels of female participation and different levels of success, and yet overall a staggering majority of high level chess players are male. Indeed, a staggering majority of chess players in general are male. A male only chess tournament serves no purpose when 90% of the participants in any given mixed tournament are going to be male anyway.

The reason female chess tournaments exist is, quite simply, to encourage women to play chess, and when the vast majority of "mixed" tournaments, clubs and places where people go to learn chess are overwhelmingly male dominated that's kind of necessary.

Chess has a high attrition rate. It's something a lot of people play as kids and then give up on when it stops fitting in with the rest of their lives and the "nerd" stigma starts to grate. Young women are particularly vulnerable to this, both because the external social pressure to do "girly things" is greater and because, frankly, chess itself is full of dicks. That really can push women away from doing something they might otherwise really enjoy doing, and if having female-only tournaments is a way to help prevent that. Bring it on. What the hell is the problem?

So basically, chess is different from most sports in that there's absolutely no reason why there should any difference between the performance of men and women as groups, and yet men also remain staggeringly over represented in it, and that's why we have (a very small number) of women only tournaments.

It's a tiny, tiny double standard which you can see, lurking in the shadow of a giant, massive double standard which for some reason you can't.

Schadrach:
The existence of male spaces, or the normalization of male-on-female violence?

I was responding to Batou's point on "male space", since I'm not sure I particularly accept that the normalization of male-on-female violence is an obvious risk here.

Schadrach:
Now, wait a second. When we're talking about proof of Patriarchy (that is, proof that men as a class are given disproportionate social and legal power over women as a class, which is used to benefit men as a class over women as a class), that is *exactly* what is done -- people look at a fraction of a percent of the population at the very top (such as Senators or Fotune 500 CEOs), look at the gender balance there and declare it proof of everyone else. Why is this different? Either you can use a handful at the top as a means by which to generalize people or you can't.

Just for once, I'd love to get through one of these topics without someone trying and failing to make a point about patriarchy.

1) The trends which patriarchy describes are social phenomena, whereas the things we're talking about now are physical phenomena. Indeed, that's kind of the point of patriarchy as an idea. We are not talking about distributions of actual traits within the population due to physiological trends, we are talking about inequalities produced by human action. Why assume that the two are comparable?

2) Actually, you've missed my point. The distribution of physical ability does filter down through the population. The "average" man is stronger than the "average" woman. The point is that this remains functionally irrelevant for the purpose of direct physical competition between the sexes due to the natural distribution of ability throughout the population. An above average woman may still be stronger than an average man, and perfectly able to compete with them.

3) I'm not a feminist theorist, so don't take what I say at face value here, but I do know that very little serious feminist research is actually concerned with a quantitative assessment of formal political representation or presence in top level jobs, because that kind of thing doesn't actually need researching. It's common knowledge. A huge proportion of feminist research, for example, is focused on interaction within the domestic sphere, because that's the kind of interaction which has actually tended to be ignored or under-researched.

Schadrach:
It's the same "society" that actually says all those things that people claim "rape culture" says, yet I can never find anyone actually directly condoning.

Do you want me to actually look up some of the unpleasant, dismissive or insensitive things people in the public eye have actually said about rape or specific cases of rape? It's not remotely diffiuclt to do.

Now your turn. Who says that men are disposable? Whose action is creating that reality?

Hint: If you read on a bit in my last post, I actually pointed it out.

Schadrach:
Really? Had to go for the gendered attack, huh?

It may be immature on my part, but I find that kind of ironic statement funny precisely because I don't invest any kind of greater meaning into gender. But I guess humor is all about perspective, so sorry if I sailed too close to the wind.

Schadrach:
So, let's desegregate school athletics with regard to gender and let the best players rise to the top.

Why?

I'd like to thank ya'll for participating in this thread. Makes me realize that while I try to, and like to think of myself as a forward thinking individual, I need to keep my critical thinking skills sharper (and lose a few more prejudices I was raised with).

Off topic, but I apologize for having seeminly abandoned my thread, work has been killer lately, but hopefully I'll be able to participate more this coming week.

Jux:
I'd like to thank ya'll for participating in this thread. Makes me realize that while I try to, and like to think of myself as a forward thinking individual, I need to keep my critical thinking skills sharper (and lose a few more prejudices I was raised with).

Oh yeah, something nobody can forget. A lot of people decide they are wonderfully progressive or forward thinking or whatever they feel makes them a good person, and so they stop worrying about it. IMHO, it's not a thing that you are or are not, it's a thing that you do that you need to keep doing all the time.

evilthecat:

If you remember, this conversation began because a participant at an event which clearly already was mixed refused to compete against another participant because they happened to be of the opposite sex, something you seemed to believe was the right thing to do in that situation for fear of injuring said opponent (which incidentally doesn't seem to have been the actual reason given).

We have since had a fairly substantial discussion in which you appear to have taken the position that mixed-sex competition is impossible due to specific physical differences between the sexes. That claim is what I have been refuting.

I don't particularly care about how we determine which competitions should or should not be mixed. That's up to the organizers. What annoys me is the specific allegation that mixed-sex competition is impossible, unfair or wrong.

My position is that mixed-sex competition will often be inherently unfair and potentially dangerous towards women because of the biological differences in male and female physiology, and this may be a case for keeping sports segregated even though equality of access is, in theory, the more desirable option. There's also the social aspects that will affect the expectation placed on the conduct of competitor X and competitor Y before they even set foot in the ring/field/pitch - changes to the metagame, if you like - and if as a result competitor Y feels he can't compete in good conscience then that's a factor that should be taken into account and where possible respected, not met with "ironic" gendered scorn and derision.

evilthecat:
Possibly. But then, you could also use this argument to bar black people from participating in certain sports which have been restricted to whites because it's good for white people to express themselves outside of a racialized dynamic. The existence of different socialization doesn't morally vindicate those differences.

You could twist the basic argument any way you like to make it seem maliciously exclusionary. Sometime X-only spaces can be beneficial, I hope that's not a radical thing to say. There are societies for women, societies for specific ethnic and religious groups. As long as males are a distinct group in society then they should have the same courtesy extended to them. And no, I don't buy into the idea that since society is historically male-normative then every public space is already de-facto for males first and foremost.

evilthecat:
When an event takes place in the public sphere, when it becomes something the public in general is expected to be involved in, then it ceases to be a private social event. If you want to have specific homosocial bonding time, you don't need an organized public competition to do it, you don't get to coopt a large chunk of a public space and turn it into your own personal clubhouse.

This could easily and agreeably be solved by offering the same facilities for use by a female team of the same sport. There's nothing to suggest that switching to a mixed-sex club is the default or only option. If it's receiving public funding then the female team should benefit from that too. Private sponsorship, ticket sales etc would of course be dependent on public demand and so we couldn't guarantee complete equality of outcome.

evilthecat:

Batou667:
I'm sure many women would agree that single-sex spaces can be a welcome escape from regular social interaction.

That's something I hear a lot, and it makes me curious.

Where are these single-sex female spaces? Can you actually give any specific examples of public spaces and events which you think are single sexed?

Women's Institute meetings. Women's only gym and swimming sessions. Girl Guides (girls can join Scouts, but boys can't join Guides). Women's shelters. Prenatal and antenatal groups (by virtue of biology, granted). Various female-only sports and sports clubs like netball, certain gymnastic disciplines, synchronised swimming, dressage - and of course all the existing women's soccer, tennis, etc clubs, because nobody's talking about abolishing women's clubs or opening them up to male participation. Women's spaces are sanctuaries, men's spaces are sweaty homoerotic clubhouses that deserve to be made fun of - right?

Those are a few explicitly female-only spaces I can think of off the top of my head, and if we broadened the definition of exclusion (as people often do in favour of women) to include spaces that are female-dominated and make no real attempt to cater for or appeal to men then we could include much of early-years teaching, childcare, dance classes (everything from kid's ballet up to senior's Zumba is female-dominated), knitting circles, and all those other things that boys and men "don't do".

evilthecat:
I keep saying this over and over again, but so what?

...

Until you reach the absolute top level of human physical prowess, you cannot turn these trends into anything resembling essential rules. Your continuing presumption, therefore, that women in contact sports are more likely to be hurt does not bear out. They are no more likely to be hurt than a man of equivalent size, weight, skill and physical ability. The fact that there may be less women who can safely participate at that level is meaningless when talking about those who can.

Like I said before, inclusion will go one of two ways. Either we keep the existing playstyle, level of physicality and expectations of physical ability, meaning only women who are willing and capable of performing to the standard of their male peers will be truly included. However, many would argue (with some justification) that this is simply paying lip service to the idea of inclusion, and to truly welcome women in significant numbers (because as ever, male:female ratio is considered the yardstick of equality) the ethos, atmosphere, play style and/or rules would have to be changed to cater better for women's abilities.

Put VERY bluntly, our hypothetical rugby club would either put up a sign saying "women welcome - butch dykes only" or "club for wusses - serious competitive men need not apply".

Batou667:
Sorry, I forgot only liberals were allowed to make sweeping statements about society.

evilthecat:
So if society "says" that men are disposable, where is the human action which produces that result? Which person or group in society has the power, influence and desire to cause this, and how are they doing so?

You know, the same "society" liberals keep invoking which apparently caters slavishly to men, sidelines women, imposes glass ceilings on minorities, enthusiastically promotes "rape culture", brainwashes us into thinking Size Zero is the feminine ideal and which institutionalises Islamophobia. Because, you know, reasons. And patriarchy. And stuff. But when I want to wave my hands and say "society" I have to cite my sources? Where's the equality!?

Anyway, to keep this post nominally on-topic I'll just say that if you don't think society's normalisation of males as recipients of violence and the more disposable gender is self-evident then perhaps we should agree to disagree for now.

evilthecat:
Not really. I just recognize that that advantage only applies to men with larger frames and high strength, rather than magically assuming that it applies to all men irrespective of size.

And I think you're still labouring under the noble falsehood that all the average woman needs to compete toe-to-toe with most men is to show fighting spirit and train hard for a while. I understand that you're invested in the progressive and wholesome idea of physical sex being a trifling matter of a chromosome here, a morphologically different genital there, perhaps a teeny weeny difference in muscle mass and testosterone level, but overall it's just numbers on a spectrum that don't matter very much and can actually be changed at will with a bit of surgery, so to attach any real significance to sexual difference would be old-fashioned and regressive. If that's your viewpoint (and I hope I haven't straw-manned you too much there) then again, we'll just have to agree to disagree, because my experience of physical sports, and the available data, all points to there being a marked divide between the sexes.

Here's an article you may find interesting - the author makes many of the same points I do, but naturally a lot more eloquently.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/04/let-male-and-female-compete-together.html

Batou667:
My position is that mixed-sex competition will often be inherently unfair and potentially dangerous towards women because of the biological differences in male and female physiology, and this may be a case for keeping sports segregated even though equality of access is, in theory, the more desirable option.

But, as we've pointed out over and over again, these "biological differences" are not essential. Not all men are 6'4", not all women are 5'2", not all men weigh 350lbs, not all women weigh 150lbs. There is a complex distribution of height, weight and physical ability across the human population population, because adult height, weight, body fat, muscle-growth and so forth are influenced by more than one factor.

Now, if a man weighing 350lbs collides at speed with a woman weighing 150lbs, there could be a chance of injury. What I refuse to accept is that when a man weighing 350lbs collides with a man weighing 150lbs that risk of injury somehow disappears simply because the 150lb lump of everyday human blood, skin and meat has a dangly bit attached which magically grants it superhuman powers of fortitude.

If you're actually concerned about the potential for injury and promoting equal access, surely the best thing to do would be to segregate athletes based on height, weight, body fat, measured physical strength or some combination of the above. Surely that is better than relying on the completely batshit assumption that every man is over six foot and that every woman is under 5'4", right?

Oh no, but we can't do that because it would lead to men fighting women and that would be bad for poorly specified reasons!

Batou667:
There's also the social aspects that will affect the expectation placed on the conduct of competitor X and competitor Y before they even set foot in the ring/field/pitch - changes to the metagame, if you like - and if as a result competitor Y feels he can't compete in good conscience then that's a factor that should be taken into account and where possible respected, not met with "ironic" gendered scorn and derision.

Why?

I believe that there are two kinds of respect. There is the kind which is given automatically, which includes respect for person's right to bodily autonomy. Respect for a person's right to make decisions for themselves. Respect for a person's right to live free from violence or severe harassment.

For the most part, however, respect must be earned. The right to make decisions does not require other people to show support or affirmation of your decisions, merely that they allow you to make them. The right to hold an opinion does not impinge on the ability of other people to publicly disagree with your opinion, it merely imposes limits on how they may express disagreement.

Why do you feel that you and those who feel as you do particularly deserve that kind of "respect"? What have you done to earn it?

Batou667:
There are societies for women, societies for specific ethnic and religious groups. As long as males are a distinct group in society then they should have the same courtesy extended to them.

That's fine. However, "sport" is not a special society for men, it's a public institution.

There are plenty of private social spaces exclusively for men. Robert Bly used to run some, in fact he probably still does. I'm sure if you pay him money he'll show you how to get in touch with your personal Billy Goat spirit and you can have a good (and manly) cry about how damaging it was that your mother forced her evil female energy on you as a child.

Remember, sitting in a field with a bunch of naked middle aged white men who neglect their own children and yet are willing to pay thousands of dollars for simple, ego-affirming answers to their own daddy issues is manly, not pathetic.

Or, you could just go to one of the many, many public places in society which are exclusively (or almost exclusively) populated by men. You know, if you don't have thousands of dollars to spare.

Or, if you're feeling really really macho, you could just come to the realization that women are not vampires trying to steal your masculine life force through their monstrous vaginas and thus to stop treating them like harpies or disapproving mother figures whose only role in life is to swoop in and ruin your fun. Because once you realize that your sense of self is not so fragile that merely being in the presence of women will somehow rob you of your identity, your life will probably be much happier.

By your own admission and by basic statistical fact, you have very little physically to fear from women, why should the entire of society be required to invest in protecting you from them?

Batou667:
Women's spaces are sanctuaries, men's spaces are sweaty homoerotic clubhouses that deserve to be made fun of - right?

Well, let's look at the purpose of those examples.

* Women's Institute - Seriously, if you wanted to use private charitable funding to set up a "men's cookery club" or a "men's healthy eating club" or even a "men's rural crafts club", do you honestly believe anyone would object?

* Gyms and Swimming Pools - Maybe you missed it, but plenty of gyms run male-only classes and time slots, because sometimes there is actual demand for that. Generally, however, there isn't. Gyms for most people are places you go to work out, they're not special environments where you can be free of the constant social expectation placed on you by the opposite sex.

* Girl guides - I hate people who paraphrase points from South Park, but I'm going to do it here. If you have a private club, you can decide who gets to be a member. That doesn't exempt you from criticism, that doesn't mean other people have to respect your decisions and shouldn't attempt to persuade you but it does mean that ultimately you get the final say. As you probably know, the subject of that particular episode was the ban on openly gay men and boys joining the American boy scouts, which has since been lifted. Even when you can't force people, a good, logically coherent argument will generally win out over a bad one if, and only if, you're actually willing to make it instead of just whining that someone else hasn't done it for you.

* Women's shelters - Are basically semi-secure psychiatric hospitals. I don't know why so many men seem to imagine it's just some big party they're not invited to, and I don't know what the fuck you think actually happens there, but it doesn't. Those places exist because a statistically significant minority of women are at some point in their lives so severely damaged by the actions of certain men they cannot live in normal society for a time. Again, if you want to obsess over the minuscule double standard posed by the lack of men's shelters, all I'd ask is that you also acknowledge that absolutely fucking enormous inequality and perhaps propose some solution to it.

Batou667:
all those other things that boys and men "don't do".

Why not?

I mean, you said earlier that you don't accept that large sections of the public sphere are male dominated because they don't specifically exclude women, so what's stopping you from doing any of the the things you just mentioned? Who cares if you're the only man there, or if you're a tiny minority. Obviously, they can't be female dominated because you can still do them. Why haven't you?

If the answer is "because I don't want to" then why am I expected to acknowledge your "right" to do something you can already do on the basis that you think there might potentially be some form of discrimination if you did.

Batou667:
Put VERY bluntly, our hypothetical rugby club would either put up a sign saying "women welcome - butch dykes only" or "club for wusses - serious competitive men need not apply".

So it's not "classy" for me to question your masculinity, but it is okay for you to wheel out offensive lesbian stereotypes and implicitly denigrate the masculinity of all men who are not physically capable of playing rugby. Nice.

Oh, right.. I forgot I can recognize irony! Silly me.

Again, either/or choice? Why?

Batou667:
You know, the same "society" liberals keep invoking which apparently caters slavishly to men, sidelines women, imposes glass ceilings on minorities, enthusiastically promotes "rape culture", brainwashes us into thinking Size Zero is the feminine ideal and which institutionalises Islamophobia. Because, you know, reasons. And patriarchy. And stuff. But when I want to wave my hands and say "society" I have to cite my sources? Where's the equality!?

All those things are either you straw-manning like a wizard of oz themed fancy dress party, or can be comprehensibly positioned as the result of human action.

* Caters slavishly to men. Well, noone has actually said that. But the distribution of privilege in society is often measurable. In fact, measurements of the distribution of privilege precedes the whole idea of patriarchy, which is a theory developed to explain observable inequalities. Furthermore, the human action is obvious. Both men and women observably tend to relate to each other in different ways, which produces those unequal outcomes which overwhelmingly benefit and socially empower men. It's not just "society" doing things, it's people.

* Imposes glass ceilings. What's your alternative? Are minorities just too stupid to get into the top jobs? Does the naturally superior nature of what is actually a comparatively small group of white heterosexual men lead them to occupy the vast majority of high level positions in government, in the economy, in the professions, in the sciences and academia, in the media, in the security services and just about every other field which might be reasonably said to entail some degree of influence in society, or is there the possibility, even the slightest possibility, that this social trend is caused by the observable differences in behavior, education, life expectations and treatment among both socially dominant groups and among minorities, again with those groups who have most control over society deriving most of the benefit. You figure that out.

* Rape culture. Because rape as a crime is taken incredibly seriously by everyone, and is never alleged to be the fault or the victim or to be made up or to be exceptionally "difficult to prove", and when it does happen we always accept that it's a crime and never dismiss it as "bad sexual etiquette" or "not real rape" or "not something anyone should be punished for". Meanwhile, fantasies about women being sexually humiliated, subordinated or coerced are no more common in our society than the reverse, and have no particular place in common sexual behavior, or for that matter in art media and culture.

Come the fuck on. I mean, I don't accept the existence of such a thing as rape culture, and yet I can see the human action which would lead people to suggest such a thing. It's not particularly difficult to see.

I'm getting sick of this now, but yeah.. repeat.

Batou667:
Anyway, to keep this post nominally on-topic I'll just say that if you don't think society's normalisation of males as recipients of violence and the more disposable gender is self-evident then perhaps we should agree to disagree for now.

I didn't say that.

What I want you to do is to try and explain:

a) How you know that this thing exists.
b) How and why people actually enact this assumption.

Because I think if you do you might come to a surprising conclusion.

Batou667:
And I think you're still labouring under the noble falsehood that all the average woman needs to compete toe-to-toe with most men is to show fighting spirit and train hard for a while.

No, I just think you're laboring under the falsehood that all women are the average woman.

Batou667:
I understand that you're invested in the progressive and wholesome idea of physical sex being a trifling matter of a chromosome here, a morphologically different genital there, perhaps a teeny weeny difference in muscle mass and testosterone level, but overall it's just numbers on a spectrum that don't matter very much and can actually be changed at will with a bit of surgery, so to attach any real significance to sexual difference would be old-fashioned and regressive.

Well, from a physical scientific standpoint that is entirely true. There's not really any room for argument.

In this case, you don't even need the surgery, you just need anabolic steroids (which are generally synthetic androgens, the chemicals responsible for most of the physical aspects of human sex determination). A woman who takes anabolic steroids will be able to achieve a higher level of androgens in her body than any man naturally could.

Actually, it really is down to comparatively subtle differences in the levels of various chemicals in the body and which vary naturally between human beings of the same sex anyway and are also interacting with a range of other genetic and hormonal factors to determine overall growth. That's it. There's really no magic to it.

evilthecat:

Batou667:
My position is that mixed-sex competition will often be inherently unfair and potentially dangerous towards women because of the biological differences in male and female physiology, and this may be a case for keeping sports segregated even though equality of access is, in theory, the more desirable option.

But, as we've pointed out over and over again, these "biological differences" are not essential. Not all men are 6'4", not all women are 5'2", not all men weigh 350lbs, not all women weigh 150lbs. There is a complex distribution of height, weight and physical ability across the human population population, because adult height, weight, body fat, muscle-growth and so forth are influenced by more than one factor.

Now, if a man weighing 350lbs collides at speed with a woman weighing 150lbs, there could be a chance of injury. What I refuse to accept is that when a man weighing 350lbs collides with a man weighing 150lbs that risk of injury somehow disappears simply because the 150lb lump of everyday human blood, skin and meat has a dangly bit attached which magically grants it superhuman powers of fortitude.

If you're actually concerned about the potential for injury and promoting equal access, surely the best thing to do would be to segregate athletes based on height, weight, body fat, measured physical strength or some combination of the above. Surely that is better than relying on the completely batshit assumption that every man is over six foot and that every woman is under 5'4", right?

Oh no, but we can't do that because it would lead to men fighting women and that would be bad for poorly specified reasons!

Batou667:
There's also the social aspects that will affect the expectation placed on the conduct of competitor X and competitor Y before they even set foot in the ring/field/pitch - changes to the metagame, if you like - and if as a result competitor Y feels he can't compete in good conscience then that's a factor that should be taken into account and where possible respected, not met with "ironic" gendered scorn and derision.

Why?

I believe that there are two kinds of respect. There is the kind which is given automatically, which includes respect for person's right to bodily autonomy. Respect for a person's right to make decisions for themselves. Respect for a person's right to live free from violence or severe harassment.

For the most part, however, respect must be earned. The right to make decisions does not require other people to show support or affirmation of your decisions, merely that they allow you to make them. The right to hold an opinion does not impinge on the ability of other people to publicly disagree with your opinion, it merely imposes limits on how they may express disagreement.

Why do you feel that you and those who feel as you do particularly deserve that kind of "respect"? What have you done to earn it?

Batou667:
There are societies for women, societies for specific ethnic and religious groups. As long as males are a distinct group in society then they should have the same courtesy extended to them.

That's fine. However, "sport" is not a special society for men, it's a public institution.

There are plenty of private social spaces exclusively for men. Robert Bly used to run some, in fact he probably still does. I'm sure if you pay him money he'll show you how to get in touch with your personal Billy Goat spirit and you can have a good (and manly) cry about how damaging it was that your mother forced her evil female energy on you as a child.

Remember, sitting in a field with a bunch of naked middle aged white men who neglect their own children and yet are willing to pay thousands of dollars for simple, ego-affirming answers to their own daddy issues is manly, not pathetic.

Or, you could just go to one of the many, many public places in society which are exclusively (or almost exclusively) populated by men. You know, if you don't have thousands of dollars to spare.

Or, if you're feeling really really macho, you could just come to the realization that women are not vampires trying to steal your masculine life force through their monstrous vaginas and thus to stop treating them like harpies or disapproving mother figures whose only role in life is to swoop in and ruin your fun. Because once you realize that your sense of self is not so fragile that merely being in the presence of women will somehow rob you of your identity, your life will probably be much happier.

By your own admission and by basic statistical fact, you have very little physically to fear from women, why should the entire of society be required to invest in protecting you from them?

Batou667:
Women's spaces are sanctuaries, men's spaces are sweaty homoerotic clubhouses that deserve to be made fun of - right?

Well, let's look at the purpose of those examples.

* Women's Institute - Seriously, if you wanted to use private charitable funding to set up a "men's cookery club" or a "men's healthy eating club" or even a "men's rural crafts club", do you honestly believe anyone would object?

* Gyms and Swimming Pools - Maybe you missed it, but plenty of gyms run male-only classes and time slots, because sometimes there is actual demand for that. Generally, however, there isn't. Gyms for most people are places you go to work out, they're not special environments where you can be free of the constant social expectation placed on you by the opposite sex.

* Girl guides - I hate people who paraphrase points from South Park, but I'm going to do it here. If you have a private club, you can decide who gets to be a member. That doesn't exempt you from criticism, that doesn't mean other people have to respect your decisions and shouldn't attempt to persuade you but it does mean that ultimately you get the final say. As you probably know, the subject of that particular episode was the ban on openly gay men and boys joining the American boy scouts, which has since been lifted. Even when you can't force people, a good, logically coherent argument will generally win out over a bad one if, and only if, you're actually willing to make it instead of just whining that someone else hasn't done it for you.

* Women's shelters - Are basically semi-secure psychiatric hospitals. I don't know why so many men seem to imagine it's just some big party they're not invited to, and I don't know what the fuck you think actually happens there, but it doesn't. Those places exist because a statistically significant minority of women are at some point in their lives so severely damaged by the actions of certain men they cannot live in normal society for a time. Again, if you want to obsess over the minuscule double standard posed by the lack of men's shelters, all I'd ask is that you also acknowledge that absolutely fucking enormous inequality and perhaps propose some solution to it.

Batou667:
all those other things that boys and men "don't do".

Why not?

I mean, you said earlier that you don't accept that large sections of the public sphere are male dominated because they don't specifically exclude women, so what's stopping you from doing any of the the things you just mentioned? Who cares if you're the only man there, or if you're a tiny minority. Obviously, they can't be female dominated because you can still do them. Why haven't you?

If the answer is "because I don't want to" then why am I expected to acknowledge your "right" to do something you can already do on the basis that you think there might potentially be some form of discrimination if you did.

Batou667:
Put VERY bluntly, our hypothetical rugby club would either put up a sign saying "women welcome - butch dykes only" or "club for wusses - serious competitive men need not apply".

So it's not "classy" for me to question your masculinity, but it is okay for you to wheel out offensive lesbian stereotypes and implicitly denigrate the masculinity of all men who are not physically capable of playing rugby. Nice.

Oh, right.. I forgot I can recognize irony! Silly me.

Again, either/or choice? Why?

Batou667:
You know, the same "society" liberals keep invoking which apparently caters slavishly to men, sidelines women, imposes glass ceilings on minorities, enthusiastically promotes "rape culture", brainwashes us into thinking Size Zero is the feminine ideal and which institutionalises Islamophobia. Because, you know, reasons. And patriarchy. And stuff. But when I want to wave my hands and say "society" I have to cite my sources? Where's the equality!?

All those things are either you straw-manning like a wizard of oz themed fancy dress party, or can be comprehensibly positioned as the result of human action.

* Caters slavishly to men. Well, noone has actually said that. But the distribution of privilege in society is often measurable. In fact, measurements of the distribution of privilege precedes the whole idea of patriarchy, which is a theory developed to explain observable inequalities. Furthermore, the human action is obvious. Both men and women observably tend to relate to each other in different ways, which produces those unequal outcomes which overwhelmingly benefit and socially empower men. It's not just "society" doing things, it's people.

* Imposes glass ceilings. What's your alternative? Are minorities just too stupid to get into the top jobs? Does the naturally superior nature of what is actually a comparatively small group of white heterosexual men lead them to occupy the vast majority of high level positions in government, in the economy, in the professions, in the sciences and academia, in the media, in the security services and just about every other field which might be reasonably said to entail some degree of influence in society, or is there the possibility, even the slightest possibility, that this social trend is caused by the observable differences in behavior, education, life expectations and treatment among both socially dominant groups and among minorities, again with those groups who have most control over society deriving most of the benefit. You figure that out.

* Rape culture. Because rape as a crime is taken incredibly seriously by everyone, and is never alleged to be the fault or the victim or to be made up or to be exceptionally "difficult to prove", and when it does happen we always accept that it's a crime and never dismiss it as "bad sexual etiquette" or "not real rape" or "not something anyone should be punished for". Meanwhile, fantasies about women being sexually humiliated, subordinated or coerced are no more common in our society than the reverse, and have no particular place in common sexual behavior, or for that matter in art media and culture.

Come the fuck on. I mean, I don't accept the existence of such a thing as rape culture, and yet I can see the human action which would lead people to suggest such a thing. It's not particularly difficult to see.

I'm getting sick of this now, but yeah.. repeat.

Batou667:
Anyway, to keep this post nominally on-topic I'll just say that if you don't think society's normalisation of males as recipients of violence and the more disposable gender is self-evident then perhaps we should agree to disagree for now.

I didn't say that.

What I want you to do is to try and explain:

a) How you know that this thing exists.
b) How and why people actually enact this assumption.

Because I think if you do you might come to a surprising conclusion.

Batou667:
And I think you're still labouring under the noble falsehood that all the average woman needs to compete toe-to-toe with most men is to show fighting spirit and train hard for a while.

No, I just think you're laboring under the falsehood that all women are the average woman.

Batou667:
I understand that you're invested in the progressive and wholesome idea of physical sex being a trifling matter of a chromosome here, a morphologically different genital there, perhaps a teeny weeny difference in muscle mass and testosterone level, but overall it's just numbers on a spectrum that don't matter very much and can actually be changed at will with a bit of surgery, so to attach any real significance to sexual difference would be old-fashioned and regressive.

Well, from a physical scientific standpoint that is entirely true. There's not really any room for argument.

In this case, you don't even need the surgery, you just need anabolic steroids (which are generally synthetic androgens, the chemicals responsible for most of the physical aspects of human sex determination). A woman who takes anabolic steroids will be able to achieve a higher level of androgens in her body than any man naturally could.

Actually, it really is down to comparatively subtle differences in the levels of various chemicals in the body and which vary naturally between human beings of the same sex anyway and are also interacting with a range of other genetic and hormonal factors to determine overall growth. That's it. There's really no magic to it.

I would point out for insurance purposes we are all average human beings, you do realize that right?

And A LOT of what goes on in America in particular is based on insurance. That's why theirs a minimum requirement most of the time called a 'physical' for almost all sports, for insurance purposes.

Also, I for one would have no issue beating seven kinds of hell out of any woman that was in the ring with me if I was boxing. That probably makes me, to most people, a psychopath. But, I WOULD refuse to fight ANYONE male or female in a lower weight category, because those are the rules.

Listen, Evil, I'm just abut ready to throw my hands up and walk away from this one. I'm trying to explain my position to you - some of which I've admitted is my personal, subjective opinion - and your constant stooping to sarcastic mocking and "ironic" gendered insults gives me the impression you don't want an honest discussion. Let's keep this civil, shall we?

evilthecat:
If you're actually concerned about the potential for injury and promoting equal access, surely the best thing to do would be to segregate athletes based on height, weight, body fat, measured physical strength or some combination of the above. Surely that is better than relying on the completely batshit assumption that every man is over six foot and that every woman is under 5'4", right?

Oh no, but we can't do that because it would lead to men fighting women and that would be bad for poorly specified reasons!

Just for clarity's sake, what is your position on this? Should all sports in theory be desegregated, or should male sports be made open to women who make the grade, who should then be treated like equals by the male competitors? What about the difficulty presented by the fact that - as backed up by the Olympics data - in an open competition women wouldn't make the top 500 in track and field or swimming? Would you welcome a true meritocracy that results in a male-only Olympics, or would that be "too many dicks"?

evilthecat:
Why do you feel that you and those who feel as you do particularly deserve that kind of "respect"? What have you done to earn it?

The same reason we don't mock vegetarians into eating meat or taunt Muslim women into taking off their headscarves. My reluctance to fight a woman would be a decision based on my own moral convictions. If that makes me objectively wrong or sexist based on the criteria you've decided then so be it.

evilthecat:
What I want you to do is to try and explain:

a) How you know that this thing exists.
b) How and why people actually enact this assumption.

Because I think if you do you might come to a surprising conclusion.

I could point out stuff like the vast majority of armed forces personnel being male, men being by far over-represented in the top ten most dangerous jobs, men's greater statistical likelihood of being killed or injured at work, men encountering more physical violence (and granted, also perpetrating the majority), the disparity in funding and media awareness between "women's causes" like breast cancer and "men's causes" like testicular cancer, men receiving longer prison sentences than women for the same crime (and in the US, the majority of executed prisoners are male) and the studies that show how bystanders are more likely to intervene in physical altercations between men and women if the man is the aggressor but not vice-versa.

"How and why people actually enact this assumption" - I don't know, why don't you tell me. If it boils down to "see, the patriarchy hurts men too!" then please be aware I've already heard it.

Batou667:

"How and why people actually enact this assumption" - I don't know, why don't you tell me. If it boils down to "see, the patriarchy hurts men too!" then please be aware I've already heard it.

See, the problem here is that you are only really going halfway with this. You are seeing what you perceive as a pattern, you are ready to discuss said pattern and imply that it is hurtful to men but you present no possible explanation as to why the pattern exists or what perpetuates it. I can agree with several of the points you made here, but for me they are still only signs of a society that relies too heavily on gender as an important factor in personal capability.

If you see all these things, if you feel that it is wrong that men are put in situations where they must either get hurt physically or get demeaned for being unmanly or they are expected to take large risks or bear undue burden because of their gender, then how can you continue to perpetuate ideas about classical gender definitions and gender segregation? I honestly don't get it. Isn't a far better way to solve the issue to simply agree that contemporary gender roles are (still) hurtful and work towards getting rid off them instead of continuing to reinforce them?

Gethsemani:

Batou667:

"How and why people actually enact this assumption" - I don't know, why don't you tell me. If it boils down to "see, the patriarchy hurts men too!" then please be aware I've already heard it.

See, the problem here is that you are only really going halfway with this. You are seeing what you perceive as a pattern, you are ready to discuss said pattern and imply that it is hurtful to men but you present no possible explanation as to why the pattern exists or what perpetuates it. I can agree with several of the points you made here, but for me they are still only signs of a society that relies too heavily on gender as an important factor in personal capability.

If you see all these things, if you feel that it is wrong that men are put in situations where they must either get hurt physically or get demeaned for being unmanly or they are expected to take large risks or bear undue burden because of their gender, then how can you continue to perpetuate ideas about classical gender definitions and gender segregation? I honestly don't get it. Isn't a far better way to solve the issue to simply agree that contemporary gender roles are (still) hurtful and work towards getting rid off them instead of continuing to reinforce them?

I think the problem with "patriarchy" is that it's, if you allow me some hyperbole and exaggeration in order to point out a principle, a bit like "communism" was in the McCarthy times. By that I do not mean that feminists want to hunt down and imprison all those patriarchy supporters, but basically, that when you say "patriarchy"...it's still not more clearly defined than "the vague, amorphous other that we need to fight against". Something to actively oppose, sometimes even called an "institution", but institutions have a hierarchy - is there a hierarchy to the "institution of patriarchy"?

That's what, I think, puts people off discussion. Often the word sounds like a cop-out. Often it doesn't matter if one'd have said "aliens" instead. "Patriarchy" does not have a manifesto. It's not an "ideology" you could speak out against (that'd be "male chauvinism", and please, DO speak out against that). It's just...a term that blankets a bunch of stuff in order to try and connect the patterns, but is so vague that it's just, I dunno...kind of unhelpful, I guess? With time that might change, but that's the impression I've been getting from my observations.

If sports got desegregated tomorrow, I'd still enjoy a good hockey match. Lately, I believe that some racing sports have mixed gender racers on the starting line-up and that's perfectly fine. And if they want to desegregate the rest of them, that's okay too. After all, I don't go to a hockey game to watch a bunch of guys play hockey, I just go to a hockey game to watch a game of hockey. If there are some women on both teams, why not? But how long until we get an outrage because the Olympics have largely become a sausage fest now, accusations about "patriarchy keeping the women out", and so on? because on that level, I'm sorry, but as the numbers currently stand, men's peak fitness/prowess is higher than women's.

So what to do about that? Use the female norms so all men who hit that can go to the Olympics too? Use male norms and only allow women who can hit them to go to the Olympics? Letting women help themselves with performance-enhancing drugs to close the gap? Letting everyone except past medalists and world record holders use performance-enhancing drugs in order to close the gap? Or, my favorite, actually, abolish the concept of competitive sport altogether, and just make it something that's fun to do, fun to watch, but there aren't any really high stakes except for pride in it for anyone?

I really have nothing against desegregating sports, but there will be fallout to deal with. And I just don't have the slightest idea what to do about that. Except for that last one, all other scenarios seem largely unfair, and the last one could cause riots.

Gethsemani:
See, the problem here is that you are only really going halfway with this. You are seeing what you perceive as a pattern, you are ready to discuss said pattern and imply that it is hurtful to men but you present no possible explanation as to why the pattern exists or what perpetuates it. I can agree with several of the points you made here, but for me they are still only signs of a society that relies too heavily on gender as an important factor in personal capability.

If you see all these things, if you feel that it is wrong that men are put in situations where they must either get hurt physically or get demeaned for being unmanly or they are expected to take large risks or bear undue burden because of their gender, then how can you continue to perpetuate ideas about classical gender definitions and gender segregation? I honestly don't get it. Isn't a far better way to solve the issue to simply agree that contemporary gender roles are (still) hurtful and work towards getting rid off them instead of continuing to reinforce them?

So in a nutshell, why aren't I ready to convert to Feminism?

Basically because

a) I'm inclined to think there must be some merit or (dare I say it) natural order to recognising gender as important and assigning different roles to the sexes. Gender roles have been around as long as human civilisation itself and manifest themselves almost universally across different cultures in a kind of Social Darwinist version of convergent evolution. That kind of recurring and stable situation must be at least useful, if not completely fair.

and b) I'm not convinced that the alternative - scrapping all gender roles on the hypothesis that they're socially constructed - is any better.

Vegosiux:

I think the problem with "patriarchy" is that it's, if you allow me some hyperbole and exaggeration in order to point out a principle, a bit like "communism" was in the McCarthy times. By that I do not mean that feminists want to hunt down and imprison all those patriarchy supporters, but basically, that when you say "patriarchy"...it's still not more clearly defined than "the vague, amorphous other that we need to fight against". Something to actively oppose, sometimes even called an "institution", but institutions have a hierarchy - is there a hierarchy to the "institution of patriarchy"?

That's what, I think, puts people off discussion. Often the word sounds like a cop-out. Often it doesn't matter if one'd have said "aliens" instead. "Patriarchy" does not have a manifesto. It's not an "ideology" you could speak out against (that'd be "male chauvinism", and please, DO speak out against that). It's just...a term that blankets a bunch of stuff in order to try and connect the patterns, but is so vague that it's just, I dunno...kind of unhelpful, I guess? With time that might change, but that's the impression I've been getting from my observations.

Do note that I never used the word patriarchy. ;)

I kind of see what you mean and I am not a big proponent of using the term patriarchy to identify the problem either, but that's because I see far more use for intersectionality theory (having started my days in the Swedish social democratic party and having grown up on histories of class struggle), seeing as how society doesn't only differentiate based on gender. Still, no matter if you think patriarchy is a workable theory or not, it still baffles me that you can make the relatively clear sighted observations Batou make and then completely fumble away the ball when it comes to rectifying the problems by wanting to maintain the status quo that created said problems in the first place.

Vegosiux:

If sports got desegregated tomorrow, I'd still enjoy a good hockey match. Lately, I believe that some racing sports have mixed gender racers on the starting line-up and that's perfectly fine. And if they want to desegregate the rest of them, that's okay too. After all, I don't go to a hockey game to watch a bunch of guys play hockey, I just go to a hockey game to watch a game of hockey. If there are some women on both teams, why not? But how long until we get an outrage because the Olympics have largely become a sausage fest now, accusations about "patriarchy keeping the women out", and so on? because on that level, I'm sorry, but as the numbers currently stand, men's peak fitness/prowess is higher than women's.

So what to do about that? Use the female norms so all men who hit that can go to the Olympics too? Use male norms and only allow women who can hit them to go to the Olympics? Letting women help themselves with performance-enhancing drugs to close the gap? Letting everyone except past medalists and world record holders use performance-enhancing drugs in order to close the gap? Or, my favorite, actually, abolish the concept of competitive sport altogether, and just make it something that's fun to do, fun to watch, but there aren't any really high stakes except for pride in it for anyone?

I really have nothing against desegregating sports, but there will be fallout to deal with. And I just don't have the slightest idea what to do about that. Except for that last one, all other scenarios seem largely unfair, and the last one could cause riots.

I haven't actually spoken out in favor of segregating sports and I think it is a bad idea on the highest levels of competition, for all the reasons you, Batou and others have mentioned earlier. However, I can see a certain benefit in desegregating some sports on all levels (such as archery) and most sports on hobby and lower competitive levels. Essentially, while even the best female soccer players will get completely outplayed by the best male soccer players, the same is not necessarily true on lower levels of soccer play. In hobby and recreational teams the difference in physical prowess and actual technique aren't wide enough to really be a factor and even if they are the importance of winning is not as great as in high-level competition.

The distinction between professional athletes and recreational athletes is important to make. Once we leave the top tiers of human physical capacity the individual differences between men and women become a lot more significant and the average becomes less so. Desegregating recreational sports is one potential way to bridge the gap between genders and allow both men and women a chance to bond over a mutual interest and mutual sports effort.

Batou667:

So in a nutshell, why aren't I ready to convert to Feminism?

I didn't say that and I didn't mean that. You've made a good observation on how socialized gender differences might hurt men, but instead of actually presenting solutions you argue in favor of keeping the system that created those problems for men. It is simply counter-intuitive to me.

Batou667:

Basically because

a) I'm inclined to think there must be some merit or (dare I say it) natural order to recognising gender as important and assigning different roles to the sexes. Gender roles have been around as long as human civilisation itself and manifest themselves almost universally across different cultures in a kind of Social Darwinist version of convergent evolution. That kind of recurring and stable situation must be at least useful, if not completely fair.

What merit would you say there is to keeping gender roles? Would this merit outweigh the problems you've identified for men and that many feminists identify for women? Also, is it possible we could find a more useful and fair solution if we tried or do you believe that unequal and unfair gender roles is as good as we are going to get?

Batou667:

and b) I'm not convinced that the alternative - scrapping all gender roles on the hypothesis that they're socially constructed - is any better.

So you can not see any middle ground in which gender roles are kept but are changed to be less restrictive and less punitive for those that don't live up to them, by choice or simple failure to live up to social standards?

Please, don't take this as critique or attempts at bashing your position, I am merely curious.

Gethsemani:

Do note that I never used the word patriarchy. ;)

Noted. Me and my post hijackings to make points >.>

Still, no matter if you think patriarchy is a workable theory or not, it still baffles me that you can make the relatively clear sighted observations Batou make and then completely fumble away the ball when it comes to rectifying the problems by wanting to maintain the status quo that created said problems in the first place.

You mean the part about "guys being unwilling to compete with ladies" and all? Yeah that bit is a bit iffy, not sure what to make of it myself...I mean, I can see the point, especially in contact sports, tackling a guy and tackling a relatively similarly built woman is still going to cause a dichotomy...and well, when the NFL made helmet-on-helmet collisions a penalty, people were upset because that "goes against the concept of toughness" and so on. So there's that.

I think that slowly phasing capable women into the men's leagues would be, long-term, a good solution. But, those women simply will have to deal with bigotry. When you're settling the frontier, your efforts will be met with adversity and hostility, no way around that. So it might sound a bit like "victim blaming", but it will happen, and any decision needs to be made with that in mind. Because if we were at the point where we could reasonably expect a woman to walk into a change room, put on some sporting equipment, and go toe to toe with the other folks, regardless of gender...well, if we were at that point, I suspect we wouldn't need to be having this discussion.

The distinction between professional athletes and recreational athletes is important to make. Once we leave the top tiers of human physical capacity the individual differences between men and women become a lot more significant and the average becomes less so. Desegregating recreational sports is one potential way to bridge the gap between genders and allow both men and women a chance to bond over a mutual interest and mutual sports effort.

On the recreational level, I agree it shouldn't matter at all. Admittedly, I've never been one for recreational sports, so I don't know just how "accepted" mixed-gender recreational sports are around here. But, I'd assume that shouldn't matter at all. Now, putting aside the fact that common workout venues, at least here, seem to attract the types who I really wouldn't want to be drinking buddies with >.>

Vegosiux:

You mean the part about "guys being unwilling to compete with ladies" and all? Yeah that bit is a bit iffy, not sure what to make of it myself...I mean, I can see the point, especially in contact sports, tackling a guy and tackling a relatively similarly built woman is still going to cause a dichotomy...and well, when the NFL made helmet-on-helmet collisions a penalty, people were upset because that "goes against the concept of toughness" and so on. So there's that.

Partially, but also this quote from his last exchange with Evilthecat:

Batou667:

I could point out stuff like the vast majority of armed forces personnel being male, men being by far over-represented in the top ten most dangerous jobs, men's greater statistical likelihood of being killed or injured at work, men encountering more physical violence (and granted, also perpetrating the majority), the disparity in funding and media awareness between "women's causes" like breast cancer and "men's causes" like testicular cancer, men receiving longer prison sentences than women for the same crime (and in the US, the majority of executed prisoners are male) and the studies that show how bystanders are more likely to intervene in physical altercations between men and women if the man is the aggressor but not vice-versa.

There are some really legitimate problems in there. Certainly, some of it is also just normal MRA hot air spewing (if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women out of it? But if you make these observations about how men can suffer from their allocated gender role, why are you opposed to changing it? That's kind of like complaining that you've got an open wound but refusing to treat it, if you won't even consider the options then why are you bringing it up in the first place?

Vegosiux:

I think that slowly phasing capable women into the men's leagues would be, long-term, a good solution. But, those women simply will have to deal with bigotry. When you're settling the frontier, your efforts will be met with adversity and hostility, no way around that. So it might sound a bit like "victim blaming", but it will happen, and any decision needs to be made with that in mind. Because if we were at the point where we could reasonably expect a woman to walk into a change room, put on some sporting equipment, and go toe to toe with the other folks, regardless of gender...well, if we were at that point, I suspect we wouldn't need to be having this discussion.

I hear you. Though arguably it also depends on the country. There have been several news stories over the last few years in Sweden about girls becoming goalkeepers in male youth hockey teams (and even the occasional soccer team) and doing really well for themselves, to the point that they are kept on when they enter their teens because there is technically no rules against mixed gender teams. From what I understand, these girls have been pretty well-received by their teammates. In America? Yeah, I'd expect a full blown shitstorm to go down if/when the first woman enters a professional, all-male sports team .

Vegosiux:

On the recreational level, I agree it shouldn't matter at all. Admittedly, I've never been one for recreational sports, so I don't know just how "accepted" mixed-gender recreational sports are around here. But, I'd assume that shouldn't matter at all. Now, putting aside the fact that common workout venues, at least here, seem to attract the types who I really wouldn't want to be drinking buddies with >.>

Not being one for hitting the gym, I can't speak from experience. But from what my girlfriend and many of my friends tell me, of both genders, there are plenty of creeps around several of the gyms in town. On the other hand, the "women only" gym went out of business pretty quickly, so it can't be that bad.

As for recreational sports, it is very segregated still. Not just by men and women's teams but across sports lines. Women tend to go for riding or the occasional volley ball or dancing while men go for soccer and street hockey for recreational sports. Make of that what you will.

Gethsemani:

.... if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women out of it?

Uh... Geth I think you answered your own question there. Key word, "Bad."

chaosord:

Gethsemani:

.... if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women out of it?

Uh... Geth I think you answered your own question there. Key word, "Bad."

And Father always knows best, amirite? Because no woman has ever known the horror of war, or having to take another human life, and the fragile females must be sheltered from all that men stuff. I think if my eyes roll any harder they'll roll right out of my freakin head.

Jux:

chaosord:

Gethsemani:

.... if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women out of it?

Uh... Geth I think you answered your own question there. Key word, "Bad."

And Father always knows best, amirite? Because no woman has ever known the horror of war, or having to take another human life, and the fragile females must be sheltered from all that men stuff. I think if my eyes roll any harder they'll roll right out of my freakin head.

Dear sweet SCIENCE! I can taste the straw you used. Good year. For straw anyway.

Question was, why does group Y want to kept group X from doing something that is bad for them. The answer is in the question. I even bolded for you.

You turned it into some sexism thing.

Geez, Geth made it seem like men only give women the bad jobs and you make it seem like wanting to keep women from war-zones, where murder, sexual assault, and serious injury happen at higher rates , is somehow against women.

chaosord:
Dear sweet SCIENCE! I can taste the straw you used. Good year. For straw anyway.

Question was, why does group Y want to kept group X from doing something that is bad for them. The answer is in the question. I even bolded for you.

You turned it into some sexism thing.

Geez, Geth made it seem like men only give women the bad jobs and you make it seem like wanting to keep women from war-zones, where murder, sexual assault, and serious injury happen at higher rates , is somehow against women.

I'm sorry, where is the straw? You're the one that decided it was 'bad', and you're the one that thinks it's ok for Y group to tell X group what to do. You made it sexist, I simply pointed it out. Unless you don't think its sexist that one gender gets to decide whats bad, and gets to exclude the other gender.

It's not about who gets the bad jobs or the good jobs. It's about getting to decide for yourself, regardless of gender, what job you want to do.

Jux:

chaosord:
Dear sweet SCIENCE! I can taste the straw you used. Good year. For straw anyway.

Question was, why does group Y want to kept group X from doing something that is bad for them. The answer is in the question. I even bolded for you.

You turned it into some sexism thing.

Geez, Geth made it seem like men only give women the bad jobs and you make it seem like wanting to keep women from war-zones, where murder, sexual assault, and serious injury happen at higher rates , is somehow against women.

I'm sorry, where is the straw? You're the one that decided it was 'bad', and you're the one that thinks it's ok for Y group to tell X group what to do. You made it sexist, I simply pointed it out. Unless you don't think its sexist that one gender gets to decide whats bad, and gets to exclude the other gender.

It's not about who gets the bad jobs or the good jobs. It's about getting to decide for yourself, regardless of gender, what job you want to do.

You are seeing things that are not there. Go back and read. The question was, if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women from being in the military?

I pointed out that the answer is in the question. A question I did not ask. YOU made it about sex. And now you are trying to soapbox. And after one of the most condescending disingenuous posts I have read today. And I just got off reddit.

chaosord:
You are seeing things that are not there. Go back and read. The question was, if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women from being in the military?

I pointed out that the answer is in the question. A question I did not ask. YOU made it about sex.

And maybe you should apply some critical thought. What part of 'men deciding what jobs women get kept out of' isn't sexist?

chaosord:
And now you are trying to soapbox. And after one of the most condescending disingenuous posts I have read today. And I just got off reddit.

I think you're seeing things that just aren't there.

chaosord:

Jux:

chaosord:

Uh... Geth I think you answered your own question there. Key word, "Bad."

And Father always knows best, amirite? Because no woman has ever known the horror of war, or having to take another human life, and the fragile females must be sheltered from all that men stuff. I think if my eyes roll any harder they'll roll right out of my freakin head.

Dear sweet SCIENCE! I can taste the straw you used. Good year. For straw anyway.

Question was, why does group Y want to kept group X from doing something that is bad for them. The answer is in the question. I even bolded for you.

You turned it into some sexism thing.

Geez, Geth made it seem like men only give women the bad jobs and you make it seem like wanting to keep women from war-zones, where murder, sexual assault, and serious injury happen at higher rates , is somehow against women.

Treating another group of people like children is against them. Adults get to decide whether its worth it for them or not. If you want to talk about condescending, we can talk about you and your ilk that feel you should be making decisions for grown women, as if you're somehow better(more capable of making the right decision).

Jux:

And maybe you should apply some critical thought. What part of 'men deciding what jobs women get kept out of' isn't sexist?

Do show me where I said that. Or are you talking where I said what I thought the implications of what someone else said were?

I think you're seeing things that just aren't there.

Am I?

And Father always knows best, amirite? Because no woman has ever known the horror of war, or having to take another human life, and the fragile females must be sheltered from all that men stuff. I think if my eyes roll any harder they'll roll right out of my freakin head.

That is pretty frakking condescending.

Historically women have always had to deal with the realities of war. It is just that as societies across the world have changed it was easier to keep a distance between war and home.

In America at least, once our wars started happening overseas we could say with certainty that women are not effected by it. But that is only a half truth, American woman are not as effected by it, but what about the women who live in the counties that we wage war in? For instance, no one talks about how active Vietnamese women were during the Vietnam War.

Master of the Skies:

chaosord:

Jux:

And Father always knows best, amirite? Because no woman has ever known the horror of war, or having to take another human life, and the fragile females must be sheltered from all that men stuff. I think if my eyes roll any harder they'll roll right out of my freakin head.

Dear sweet SCIENCE! I can taste the straw you used. Good year. For straw anyway.

Question was, why does group Y want to kept group X from doing something that is bad for them. The answer is in the question. I even bolded for you.

You turned it into some sexism thing.

Geez, Geth made it seem like men only give women the bad jobs and you make it seem like wanting to keep women from war-zones, where murder, sexual assault, and serious injury happen at higher rates , is somehow against women.

Treating another group of people like children is against them. Adults get to decide whether its worth it for them or not. If you want to talk about condescending, we can talk about you and your ilk that feel you should be making decisions for grown women, as if you're somehow better(more capable of making the right decision).

My ilk? Pray tell me what is my ilk?

Is the desire to protect women, against women? Remember I used "wanting to keep", desire to keep, not "keeping from".

Once again I must ask you, is the desire to protect women, against women?

chaosord:
Do show me where I said that. Or are you talking where I said what I thought the implications of what someone else said were?

".... if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women out of it?" To which your answer was: "Uh... Geth I think you answered your own question there. Key word, "Bad.""

Instead of emphasizing "bad", perhaps you should look at "why do men insist on keeping women out of it?" and the implications behind it. Your answer makes the assumption that it is mens place to keep women out of certain jobs. It doesn't need to be said explicitly, it was implicit in your answer.

edit: Further, Geth wasn't saying that being in the military was bad. That was something you projected onto the question. She prefaced that with 'if'.

chaosord:

And Father always knows best, amirite? Because no woman has ever known the horror of war, or having to take another human life, and the fragile females must be sheltered from all that men stuff. I think if my eyes roll any harder they'll roll right out of my freakin head.

That is pretty frakking condescending.

Oh, you found that offensive? :(

mecegirl:
Historically women have always had to deal with the realities of war. It is just that as societies across the world have changed it was easier to keep a distance between war and home.

In America at least, once our wars started happening overseas we could say with certainty that women are not effected by it. But that is only a half truth, American woman are not as effected by it, but what about the women who live in the counties that we wage war in? For instance, no one talks about how active Vietnamese women were during the Vietnam War.

Full Metal Jacket had a scene where a little Viet Cog sniper girl just snipes the hell out of the main character's squad. But I agree the roles of women in war tend not to be discussed. Something I disagree with.

Jux:

chaosord:
Do show me where I said that. Or are you talking where I said what I thought the implications of what someone else said were?

".... if being in the military is so bad, why do men insist on keeping women out of it?" To which your answer was: "Uh... Geth I think you answered your own question there. Key word, "Bad.""

Instead of emphasizing "bad", perhaps you should look at "why do men insist on keeping women out of it?" and the implications behind it. Your answer makes the assumption that it is mens place to keep women out of certain jobs. It doesn't need to be said explicitly, it was implicit in your answer.

Jux... the implication that you say I added to what Geth said, WAS ALREADY THERE. In what Geth said. I am using those implications when I speak of that quote. I am using what is already there. Intended or not.

Oh, you found that offensive? :(

No, I found it condescending. The only thing that offends me is stupidity and you are not stupid.

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