Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Let the spluttering begin

The New Scientist predicts that one day women will be faster runners than men.

Of course, their methods are stupid. Women are gaining faster than men because the growth rate hasn't hit a plateau like the rate for men's has. And that's because women have only recently gotten even close to the advantages the male athletes have always had, so rapid improvement is to be expected.

Nonetheless, this is a good reminder that women's sports are improving rapidly and there should be no reason to keep discounting female athletes are wildly inferior to male athletes.

24 Comments:

Blogger Hugo said...

Well, there's no question what's happened in women's ultrarunning. Heck, women regularly win races over men in events of 100 miles or more. The two-time defending champion of the ultimate ultra, Badwater (127 miles through Death Valley to the top of Mt Whitney) has been won twice in a row by Pam Reed, who destroyed her elite male competition...

Once we get into "real distances" (over a marathon) gender differences start to evaporate FAST.

9/30/2004

 
Blogger Elayne said...

It makes a certain sense, as women's strength is much more concentrated in the lower body then men's strength, but in general the testosterone diff will probably always work in men's favor in terms of things like stamina and overall strength.

9/30/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd just like to point out that the whole concept of "faster" equalling "better" is phallocentric thinking anyway. Why is the emphasis on what makes a "good athlete" on explosive strength in the first place? Because that's the kind of strength men have. As Hugo pointed out, women's strength tends to be in endurance.

How many races are run by everyone starting off going at the same moderate pace, with the winner being the one who keeps going the *longest*? None. Because that is the sort of race that women would be most likely to win. Even in a Marathon, or any other long-distance endurance test, the winner is the one who comes in *first*, isn't it?

I'm all for supporting women in sports, if that is their passion. However, I wonder why we should keep on forever accepting male definitions of what "real" athletic prowess should consist of.

9/30/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say, anonymous, I'm intrigued by the race you're proposing. I'm don't think I buy the interpretation of most races as phallocentric, but thinking about other interpretations of racing is cool anyway. How would it work? With conventional races, you hold distance constant, and try to minimize time (which involves, of course, maximizing speed). You're proposing to maximize time... and.... well, hold speed at constant-or-higher? Like, see who can go longest at at least 10 miles per hour? Or maybe just maximize total distance while mandating at least 10 miles per hour? Hmmm...

9/30/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Err... that was me, immediately above, a minute ago.

Julian Elson

9/30/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Anon's point, I think, is that the sports that are considered "real" sports have traditionally favored men's abilities over women's abilities. Most sports favor strength over flexibility, for instance.

9/30/2004

 
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