These are comments by J P McMahon and Kenny on the post “Sexism and Sports: Just the Way We Want It.“
J P McMahon said:
“I have competed (although that might be too strong of a word in my case) in three amateur sports that included women playing equally with men: softball, Ultimate (Frisbee), and mountain biking. In all three sports, there were women competing that were better than most of the men in the contest. I can never remember any man ever saying anything but ‘Wow, she is awesome!’ when they got smoked by a woman. When you talk about prejudice, sexism, and stodginess, you have to realize that this applies only at the highest, professional levels, and in fact those are the specifics you talked about in your essay.
“The number of sportsmen and sportswomen at that level is TINY compared to the people that play amateur sports in this country. And ‘money’ is the key word for the pros, and D1 college athletes for that matter, not sexism. Women race with men in marathons, triathlons, and mountain biking (at the amateur level), and what athletes in those sports are complaining about it? Nobody. Women competing in those sports are technically only competing for prizes against other women, and who is complaining about THAT? Nobody.
“Women competing with men in sport in the USA today, even if it is just beer league softball, should be a source of celebration and an indication of progress rather than a cause of grumbling about ‘sexism’.”
“I absolutely agree. The prejudice and grumbling only become more accute as the athletes become more advanced or are held to old and stringent rules (like dress codes in golf). Or in little league sports when parents get their shorts in a knot when there is a boy/girl in the minority on a team; but the kids are too young and know better than to care.
“That’s why I liked figure skating as a kid; I didn’t compete against girls, by they were my closest friends on the practice ice … and were by far more supportive of me than boys can be towards each other.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Rennett Stowe