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The Thinking Housewife: Olympic women athletes too athletic

Sure, America’s women athletes may have taken home a whopping 29 gold medals, but over on The Thinking Housewife, Laura Wood is pissed off at them – and the rest of the Olympic women — for being so, well, athletic.

In a recent post, Wood rushes to the defense of a Turkish newspaper columnist who complained about the “broad-shouldered, flat-chested women” who were destroying Womanhood with their mannish, muscular bodies. Alas, wrote Yuksel Aytug, even their “breasts – the symbol of womanhood, motherhood – [were] flattened into stubs as they were seen as mere hindrances to speed.” Curse you, sports bras!

Seriously, in future Olympics, female athletes should face mandatory deductions for every cup size less than C.

Wood adds her own two cents:

A man who dares to say what every normal person has been thinking when confronted with the muscle-bound female gladiators at the games and what soft, effeminate Western men would not dare articulate, Aytug has been attacked for his remarks throughout the Western world. He is tiresomely accused of misogyny. In fact, judging from these words, he is an admirer of women, a courageous defender of them.

Or at least of their tits.

The Olympic Games are anti-woman. They require female athletes to ape men in grotesque ways. They compromise female fertility and modesty. They promote the idea that aggression and competitiveness in women are normal and healthy. They debase not just women athletes but womanhood throughout the world.

Well, I suppose Wood can take solace in the fact that the “muscle-bound” bodies of these “female gladiators” didn’t stop the Pedophile – sorry, Ephebophile – Army of Reddit from perving on McKayla Maroney and the rest of the US Women’s Gymnastics team.

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TheMcGee
TheMcGee
8 years ago

@Thae86,

I’m assuming your comment is in response to my exchange with sans Nom about the subjectivity of the phrase “womanly” because of your use of the word “totes”. (If not, feel free to ignore me. It’s just I see that I’ve pissed off at least one other person so I thought maybe I pissed you off as well and for that I feel terrible).

Clearly I have managed to express the exact opposite of what I was trying to say. I disagree with the idea that “womanly” is subjective or changes with personal opinion. I agree with the idea that a person might find certain traits more or less attractive but no, I don’t think those traits would therefore make a person more or less womanly.

Working out, wrestling, practicing take downs, running, are an excellent expression of a person’s womanhood. My sister plays rugby, wears men’s clothes, refuses to wear makeup, travels, loves learning to cook, and does a number of other wonderful things and that is an awesome expression of her womanhood. I knit, love wearing heels, spend too much time on the Sims, hate cooking, and am learning programming in my spare time and that is my expression of my womanhood. My point being that people are individuals and express their womanhood in different ways and none is more “womanly” than another. (Of course these are just a few examples and not an exhaustive list of all of the things that any of us do to express ourselves).

I come from a perspective of hearing people making comments to my sister about her not being “womanly” because some jackass has an opinion on what “womanly” is. That’s what I meant by saying that sans Nom’s comment about “womanly” being subjective and based on opinion was in disagreement with reality.

I hope I have made myself more clear and am not making it worse. But I am sorry. Whether I meant it or not I was careless and my above comment came across as insulting. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel like I’m trying to tear them down.

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

Dude, you said they ain’t equal. Either you think your body is beter–which is obviously a hateful beleif that I would not want to say you had, because that would be putting mean and nasty thoughts in your mouth–or you thought they were better.

You’re setting up a false dichotomy. What I meant is that men’s and women’s bodies are different! I did not suggest that my body or somebody else’s body is better than the other.

Monsieur sans Nom
Monsieur sans Nom
8 years ago

But sure, I totally understand how you’re not saying that’s un-womanly. And I can totally understand why you wouldn’t want to comment on the personal opinion of someone who says that such a thing is un-womanly because it’s totes personal opinion. It can’t possibly be wrong and completely conflict with reality. Ya know, made up standards for what makes someone a particular gender.

Stop belaboring on the semantics, will ya! Different kinds of physical training do different things to the body. Like it or lump it, bench pressing(as opposed to leg pressing), which uses the upper body, does indeed have that effect on the human female body. Athletics is an area where human sexual dimorphism is at its peak.

eline
eline
8 years ago

Jesus. This housewife doesn’t really think, does she? Didn’t cross her mind that the body is the athlete’s tool and it doesn’t need the same kind of attributes as a model’s body needs as a tool. Oh no, she thinks she has some divine right to dictate how other women use their own bodies, she needs to dictate other women’s preferences when it comes to enjoying their bodies.

I’ve not read stupidity of this caliber in some days. And sadly at the core it’s the same old stupidity that’s been on repeat for centuries. A woman doesn’t even own her own self, her body.

TheCatFromOuterSpace
8 years ago

Monsieur sans nom:

Repeat after me:

Lifting is not building

Building is not lifting

Lifting is not building

Body building, involves doing isolated exercises and continuously inducing what is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, (done with high reps, lowish weight). Continuously hitting these forms muscle conditioning can wreak havoc on the hormones of both male and female builders. This is why both drugs and overtraining are so common in builders, despite the fact that builders never coming close to hitting the loads that (say) an olympic lifter or a powerlifter would. The widespread prevalence of drugs use in the sport also complicates the issue.

People who lift as cross training/strength training for another sport, or people who are primarily powerlifters or olympic lifters don’t have these problems nearly so much, as the training they do is very different (higher weight, fewer reps, far more cardio and flexibility training). In addition, men have, on average, 10 times the testosterone as women. While strength training can increase testosterone production in women, no amount of lifting is ever going to raise the level of testosterone in your average woman 10 times. Hence the drugs in bodybuilding.

Your points are really only valid in the very testosterone drenched, drug contaminated world of body building, and only applicable to a very small subset of women who CAN raise their testosterone levels substantially, or those who get outside chemical assistance. It certainly doesn’t apply to most people doing bench presses in their local gym to get toned or help with their swimming or basketball or whatever.

katz
8 years ago

What I meant is that men’s and women’s bodies are different! I did not suggest that my body or somebody else’s body is better than the other.

Then you might want to get your dictionary and look up the definition of the word “equal.”

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

@ Dvargi- I get that testosterone can be (and isn’t always, btw) a physical advantage for these women, but there are tons of physical advantages you can have (taller, longer legs, better lungs, etc etc). Further, testosterone isn’t the only ingredient in manhood- there is an entire body type and muscle mass issue to deal with. Granted, women who have higher testosterone might have an advantage in building muscle, but they are still building muscle on a woman’s physique. Basically, it’s just another potential physical advantage a woman can have- a natural ability to build more muscle quickly- and we associate it so greatly with Manhood we forget it’s probably pretty common. I mean, it’s more than likely a few of the women around you have high levels of testosterone, and you’d never know because they’re too busy with their lives and jobs and eating delicious cupcakes to train for the Olympics, so no one will ever call them on it.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Buttman: You do know that the requrements for Olympic uniforms are just that–requirements? That there’s been feminist protest against the different requirements for men and women? No, you don’t know? That’s not surprising since you apparently have no brain to think with in that butt.

http://www.thetakeaway.org/2012/jul/25/olympic-uniforms-battle-female-athleticism-v-female-sex-appeal/

Ithiliana
8 years ago

OFF TOPIC BUT COOL!

http://www.springerlink.com/content/l323p74567638354/?MUD=MP

Male and Female Pronoun Use in U.S. Books Reflects Women’s Status, 1900–2008

Ithiliana
8 years ago

RATS, sorry didn’t realize it was subscription.

GRRRR.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

@ Ithiliana- Give us the gist?

the twisted spinster
the twisted spinster
8 years ago

You know what. I’m beginning to think that this “thinking housewife Laura Woods” is really some sort of troll or sockpuppet or satire website. For example, in this post she links to this cartoon on The Onion website, completely taking the cartoon at face value as if she had no idea what sort of site The Onion was. (For those who don’t get it, the cartoon is obviously mocking people like Mrs. Woods and their bizarre notions about women who play sports. Either she is actually that stupid, or she’s been pulling our legs the whole time.)

Also, and this is just me, she has her email address as a comment link, instead of a conventional comment setup. It’s kind of sneaky because the link looks like a regular comment link. But that’s why none of her commenters seem to actually be participating in a discussion. Not that I think there is anything wrong with not wanting standard comments, which can devolve into fights and need lots of moderation, on her site, but it’s also a great way to cull the messages you get so that you need only upload the favorable ones.

KathleenB
KathleenB
8 years ago

Aaaaand NWO’s record has started skipping. Again.

cloudiah
8 years ago

@Vitamin D, Here’s the abstract:

The status of women in the United States varied considerably during the 20th century, with increases 1900–1945, decreases 1946–1967, and considerable increases after 1968. We examined whether changes in written language, especially the ratio of male to female pronouns, reflected these trends in status in the full text of nearly 1.2 million U.S. books 1900–2008 from the Google Books database. Male pronouns included he, him, his, himself and female pronouns included she, her, hers, and herself. Between 1900 and 1945, 3.5 male pronouns appeared for every female pronoun, increasing to 4.5 male pronouns during the postwar era of the 1950s and early 1960s. After 1968, the ratio dropped precipitously, reaching 2 male pronouns per female pronoun by the 2000s. From 1968 to 2008, the use of male pronouns decreased as female pronouns increased. The gender pronoun ratio was significantly correlated with indicators of U.S. women’s status such as educational attainment, labor force participation, and age at first marriage as well as women’s assertiveness, a personality trait linked to status. Books used relatively more female pronouns when women’s status was high and fewer when it was low. The results suggest that cultural products such as books mirror U.S. women’s status and changing trends in gender equality over the generations.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

@ cloudiah- haha, cool!

EEB
EEB
8 years ago

@nwo

Aw, come on dude, I’m still totally on edge here wondering how everything we say is marxist. While I don’t consider myself a Marxist, I do very much enjoy reading about marxist theory and application. But even with years of study, I’m obviously missing something! (Perhaps because I’m a historian, not an economist, athropologist, or political scientist, I’m not able to see the whole picture.) So if you could please point out specifically what marxist satements we’ve all been making, and then show why they’re marxist, it would really help.* Thanks!

(*Well. “Help” in the sense that it would prove you’re not just a terribly annoying marx-bot, programming working frantically as you try to catch context clues to figure out where to vomit your next marx-y word salad, and still failing miserably.)

TheMcGee
TheMcGee
8 years ago

@pillowinhell,

It just now hit me what (I believe) you were talking about in your comment to me above. When I said that I was worried about having daughters and whether i would do a good job helping them develop good self-esteem and feelings towards their body I absolutely did NOT mean that having daughters, in and of itself, was a worry. I was expressing that I struggled with body image issues myself because of my “boy shape”. I didn’t make peace with my body until I was nearly thirty. And even still I can get down on myself for my looks. So, I do worry that I might not be great at helping a future daughter who inherits my body shape (or any other shape that is looked down on for not being how a woman is “supposed” to look) because I totally sucked/failed at that particular issue. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want a daughter. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love her like crazy. It means I’m worried about being able to give her the absolute best support and love and guidance and help that she deserves.

Maybe I am an idiot for worrying about that. There are lots of other things about being a parent I worry about too (again largely stemming from recognizing my shortcomings and worrying whether I’ll be good enough to give them what they deserve – boys or girls).

I do very much hope to have kids some day and when I’m ready, if I’m lucky enough for that to happen, I could care less what the gender is.

It has seriously been bugging me all day trying to figure out what I said to offend you. At any rate, I hope this addresses the offense and clears things up.

Shaenon
8 years ago

Perhaps the female athletes could stop wearing next to nothing and maybe we would focus on their accomplishments instead of appearance.

You must have missed sports media worldwide having a massive Olympics-long conniption fit over the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team wearing shirts instead of bikini tops.

P.S. They won the gold. And the silver.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

Vitamin D, obviously there are tons of women out there with unusual testosteron levels who we don’t know about because they don’t compete in sports. I honestly don’t know what that has to do with anything…? I mean, it’s a good counter argument to douchebags who go on about how Semenya can’t be a real woman because of her hormones, but I never said that. I explicitly said the opposite.

I just think that either we go with the current rule that you gotta be below a certain amount of testosteron to be allowed to compete in women’s sports, however shitty that might be for people like Semenya, or we completely ditch the idea of having separate competitions for women. Or, well, a third option would be to make a combined assessment of testosteron levels and other factors that tend to make men superior to women in sports, like height and muscle mass, but that wouldn’t solve the shittiness factor, since you’d still stumble on women time to time who wouldn’t be allowed to compete in women’s sports unless they manipulated their bodies to fit within female standards.
So, basically, either rules that are shitty for some women or there’s no basis for having “women’s sports”.

I don’t think having women’s sports that are open to ALL WOMEN regardless of what they’re born like is really plausible. Like, how do you determine whether someone is a man or a woman? Basically, you ask them. And that works fine in all normal contexts. Well, once in a blue moon somebody might for some bizarre reason lie to you about zir gender, but that’s not a problem.
However, in sports, there are always gonna be men that are really superior to women when it comes to running, jumping or something like that, but can’t take any medals in men’s sports. If you have women’s sports open for ALL WOMEN, surely SOME of these men would be tempted to pretend to be trans women (who are okay with their current hormone levels and don’t feel they need hormone therapy – some real trans women feel that way). Then just go over to women’s sports and win away.

I know this SOUNDS ridiculous (men pretending to be women to gain some kind of advantage is such an old pop-cultural trope). I actually hope that somebody’s gonna poke a whole in my argument and go “Well, you could always check whether somebody really is a trans woman by XYZ and that would solve the problem”, since it WOULD be really nice if one could have women’s sports open for all women period.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

@ Dvarg- Being 6 feet tall is rare for a woman, typically a trait shared by males, and gives very tall women an advantage in sports. Should we bar women who are really tall as well? What about broad shouldered women? What I am saying is having a high level of testosterone is just another physiological trait shared by quite a few women, and it is no more sensible to force them to change their physiology than it would be to bar really tall or broad shouldered or naturally muscular women. And trans women competing in the women’s divisions is actually happening here and there- I think it was Thailand and maybe Russia who got busted? Kind of makes me wonder how many trans women compete as women and lose and no one ever knows. I really can’t wrap my head around that issue because I can’t bring myself to really blame a woman for wanting to compete as a woman, but I do know other sports have managed to get around major size advantages by including weight classes in competitions. Maybe you could include similar muscle mass classes or something? And, for god sake, don’t make this special to women! Women should be the only gender penalized for having naturally higher than average levels of testosterone if it gives both genders an advantage. But I’m not really interested in finding an ethically sound solution to the potential problem of trans women competing in women’s categories, I am more interested in the real problem of forcing women to medically change their physiology to compete at all.

indifferentsky
8 years ago

MSN go give five dollars or more to JohnTheOther, he’s selling A Voice for Men ‘rant’ downloads, five bucks a pop. Get crackin.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

@Vitamin D: Yep, it DOES suck that ONE particular genetic advantage is singled out like that…
You said something interesting about weight classes in some sports, where weight gives you an advantage. That also made me think about Paralympics, and how they have different classes depending on your disability.

Perhaps the fairest solution would be to ditch the division between “men’s sports” and “women’s sports”. Instead, in some sports everyone just compete against each other on equal levels, as is already the case in equestrian sports, and used to be the case in shooting. In other sports, such as running, the rule could be that children compete with each other regardless of gender. But once you hit a certain age you’re assigned to, say, either class A, class B or class C (it doesn’t have to be THREE classes, could be two or four or five, but you get the idea). And which class you belong to is determined by those physical factors that are known to have a big impact on performance. Say, testosteron, muscle mass and leg length, or something like that. Different factors would be weighed in for different sports. Anyway, regardless of gender your assigned to a class depending on some relevant physical factors about you. Some classes will be heavily dominated by women and others heavily dominated by men, but there’s gonna be overlap. Nobody has to change their natural physiology to be allowed to compete.

That seems to me to be the fairest system. Although I don’t think it’s gonna happen in my lifetime, for various sexist reasons…

James Reynolds
8 years ago

Don’t know if this has already been pointed out but interesting FYI – Laura Wood is a psyedonym of male, white nationalist-paleoconservative Lawrence Auster.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

@ Dvargi- Yeah, that sounds like the ideal to me, and something that we ought to be working towards. I could also see this issue being a stepping stone towards that kind of division if people would start seeing it as unfair. Baby steps, right?

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

Perhaps the female athletes could stop wearing next to nothing and maybe we would focus on their accomplishments instead of appearance.

Sure you would.

Shaenon
8 years ago

Perhaps the female athletes could stop wearing next to nothing and maybe we would focus on their accomplishments instead of appearance.

Sure you would.

They also need to stop being black girls with hair.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

Huh, my post dissapeared. Anyway, article on the first women to represent several conservative muslim countries. They didn’t fair so well in the competitions, but imagine the difficulties they had in training at all. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2183262/Olympics-2012-The-Muslim-women-overcame-odds-make-London.html

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
8 years ago

Wikipedia notes this on the varying definitions of critical theory:

According to critical theorist Max Horkheimer a theory is critical in so far as it seeks “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them” (Horkheimer 1982, 244).

So, while Owly is grossly misapplying the strict marxist definition of critical theory, in the widest possible sense he’s just accusing everybody else of seeking social justice…while making a big show on his appropriation of social justice fight. I’m laughing at the irony.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

They also need to stop being black girls with hair.

Yeah, if they stopped existing all the better! /sarcasm

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

I hope Owly’s next repetitious ranting spree is about lizard people, that would be awesome.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

Huh, cannot post my link thingy. Can I post at all?

Tiffany Mcmahan
Tiffany Mcmahan
7 years ago

Typical man & barefoot & pregnant housewife bull.A womans purpose in life ain’t to produce babies one right after the other & be home doing nothing but house chores.Women can have strength & be womanly.If you think all of a womans worth is in her body & breasts you must be shallow & don’t respect women at all.

ralmcg
ralmcg
6 years ago

This topic made me think of these generalizations. Traditional women like to date athletes (male, of course). Non-traditional women like to be athletes. Okay so not all traditional women date athletes and not all non-traditional women are athletes. But these generalizations are my opinions on what traditional and non-traditional women think when it comes to athletes.