Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sexualisation vs Infantilisation!

must write this down when we get back from yet another xmas dinner! (needs finishing!)

there is an industry around promoting the sexualisation of women and young girls. i find it disturbing that fashion seems to incorporate a lot of 'baby' stuff at the same time as teens and tweens are being sexualised. the line is being blurred in both directions.

what does this mean in terms of maturity? or wanting not to be mature? i know an 18yr old who is very proud of wearing clothes from the childrens' section. this ties in to body image and eating disorder issues.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Blood Sports 3

New sports and hybrids continually emerge, breakdancing, parkour, cheerleading, freestyle skydiving, wind tunnel acrobatics, inflatable track tumbling.

Who can predict what will emerge as a new sport? Why not insist that emerging sports areas forecast maximum allowable skills to minimise permanent disability or death and to prevent the exploitation of the young.

Where do we draw the line on how much punishment an athlete is expected to take for their sport and how is that influenced by how much money is in the sport... or how entertaining the prospect of the big crash is?

Lets compare life expectancies competitively in a range of sports and the injury/disability rate. Netball is supposed to be quite bad for knees etc, but does a competitive lifespan of 10 years make that better than aerial skiing with a 2 year lifespan? Or being a jockey?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Blood Sports 2

Sports do not stay the same. It's rarely just a social change, such as turning volleyball with 6 players into beach volleyball with 2 players in bikinis. New sports are developed as new equipment makes things possible.

New equipment has radically changed gymnastics in the last 20 years. The routines that existed when Olga Korbut stuck her saults on beam and captivated the world seem incredibly easy. But equipment was wooden and not very springy.

Now certain skills are being prohibited from competition as being too dangerous. Yes, some people can do them, but they shouldn't be included in the allowable set of skills because of the extreme physical risk.

Example: saltos ending in a roll (1 ½ or 1 ¾ ) are now prohibited for women but not men (greater shoulder strength).

At the same time as this questionable progress, aerial skiing has been endorsed as an Olympic sport and in Australia we, scenting medals, are offering scholarships to any gymnasts or divers who want to change... especially retired gymnasts and divers who get a second bite at a sport doesn't yet prioritise girls over women.

Trouble is, it's a killer.

We don't let women box but we pay them to take up aerial skiing? I can't figure that out. I'd like to get per athlete per gender injury statistics for all of our sports and see what really makes sense!

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Blood Sports

I am unable to ignore the fact that women's sporting bodies are prepubescent, while men's are not. Simply, champions are men and girls. Boys are not the highest achievers in any sport, yet girls are in many sports rather than women.

With the massive professionalisation of sport occuring in the last century, there has already been focus on the exploitation of the young, but there is little addressing the underlying dilemma where in some sports, the best competitors are the youngest. Diving, gymnastics, trampoline, swimming? and how many others? where female power to weight ratio is critical.

The closest we have come to addressing this is to codify minimum ages for olympic competition (for example) for some sports. The reality is that creates a very short sporting life for top athletes who are out of the sport post puberty (often delayed until 18 to 22 tops).

So where to? It's not enough to blame excessively competitive gyms or pushy parents or eastern european (now american) or chinese training regimes, bleat in the press and insert token minimum ages!

Competitive sports that privilege the prepubescent body are an issue in themselves, but they are sports I love and would like them to be available for women. How to?

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Boxing is the only way to survive teenagers

Aside from the flood of endorphins released during your session, making you feel all calm and sweaty and floaty afterwards, you know you can belt them more effectively if you just can't cope anymore.