Women in sport – why can’t women compete against men?

I love sport and enjoy playing against women and men, but it still seems that the general view is that despite how things are improving in treating women better and giving them the chances they should have that women and men still think keeping us separate in sports is acceptable. I know the usual arguments – men are bigger and stronger, it’s not fair to women – but how true is this? I’ve played with women who can beat men easily in several sports.

Personally I find the idea that keeping us separate is denying those women who are capable of competing against men with the same rules and the same distances.  For me it’s patronizing that women are treated differently as if the only way a man can be competed against is by making things easier for women.

There’s a book called “Playing with the boys: why separate is not equal in sports” which reports that maintaining these differences is just reinforcing the stereotypes that have been endured for far too long.  Is it wrong for me to think that women should be allowed to challenge men?  Maybe in things like boxing or lifting weights men would have an advantage, but what about other sports which are not just about brute strength?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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