Posted: Mar 02, 2014 12:47 am
by TMB
Fallible, you said,
It's not that women aren't ''required'' to perform to the same level as men, it's that they can't. You could require them to run 100m in under 10 seconds all day long - you'd remain frustrated.

I agree with you and if I understand you correctly this means that this is due to a biologically immutable and cannot be changed. If this is the case then can we not say the same about womens appearance being something that they will be judged upon more than men will be judged upon?

The same ''protection'' is given to male boxers who weigh less, disabled athletes and different age groups. Awards are still given out in all these areas as recognition for being the best in one's category.

I agree with you, however the awards usually have lesser value and the category protection only works in one way. This means that a light heavy boxer can compete in a heavier group but a heavyweight boxer cannot compete downwards. Heavyweight fighters are given more value, just as ‘open’ competitors medals are worth more than the 50-60 year old category, just as the Olympics medals are seen as being of more value than para Olympics, for the simple reason is that the Olympics medals have no protection, it is the best of the best.

However this is not the case in a number of sports when women are protected. Female Olympians enjoy the same elite status as male Olympians, the grand slam tennis tournaments pay female tennis players the same purse money as males, despite the fact that in both cases women are protected (presumably by benevolent sexism) from competing with men. Since it is the case that in terms of sheer ability of sprinting etc, women are not capable of meeting the standards men are required to meet, then they will be judged on something more subtle and that is their appearance. Simple observation shows that this is exactly what does happen. Elite females, just like actresses and models are very much judged upon their appearance, what they wear, what they do with their hair etc, and for those women that win these contests against other women, they get big rewards and have significant power. But other women are losers in this contest as well.

Politically should we not argue that male actors should get as much attention on the red carpet for the way they dress as the women, or that male models should be household names just as female supermodels are? The reality is that these mechanism operate on market forces and the results show just how these genders differences work. What is different is the sense that women are victims in these cases and males are not, there is no lobby for men to get extra benefits through their looks, while women do take advantage of the power their looks give them, but they also want to be free of the responsibility that comes with this.