Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are the Olympics sexist?

Only weeks before the kickoff of the Vancouver Olympic games, the IOC came under some pretty heavy fire for not allowing female ski jumping into the competition.

The IOC Chairman was quoted as saying that the rough landings associated with ski jumping are just too harsh for a woman's fragile little body.

This, of course, went over like the obligatory flatulence in church.

The more I watch the games, the more I see an apparent sex-based gender bias.

Female hockey players barely touch each other, let alone actually check, and never fight. Female bobsledders and lugers begin their runs at lower starting points, a move meant to reduce speed.

If we look at the biological facts surrounding the differences between the sexes, it can be rationally and objectively stated that, in general, women are smaller and built significantly more lightly than their male counterparts.

Darwin explained this through the concept of sexual selection, where males must compete with each other for access to mates, while females have the privilege of making the ultimate choice.

In short, males would be selected to be larger because we have to beat the crap out of each other in order to reproduce.

This begs the question: does the fact that women are smaller and less muscle bound warrant a viable justification for stripping some of the "rigor" from female sports?

Or, is this just an extension of an outdated Victorian ideal of the "proper lady?"

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