Womens appearance in elite sports

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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#21  Postby tuco » Mar 01, 2014 12:07 am

TMB wrote:
tuco wrote:Who is the source of the pressures mentioned? Twitter?

If men were to be subject to the same pressures about their appearance as women are, something that runs deep in the makeup of both men and women, would we also require that women are treated equally to men in terms of athletic and sports ability.


If .. who would put such pressure on them? Women on twitter?

Anyway, I feel I am missing the point here, can you elaborate more?


As noted in the various articles, the specific athlete said she had been pressured from various sources. Why do you aks?


I skimmed one article. The question was half-rhetorical.

If she was bullied/trolled over net, its not exceptional, is expected, and perhaps she should resist, in the words of the article: come to terms with her own body image. Other celebrities are under similar scrutiny. At the same time, since I know nothing about Rebecca Adlignton, her boyfriend could pressure her or I dunno competitors. So I honestly did not know
what the years of taunting, trolling and cruel quips meant.

I understood this part, kind of, but then the link to performing on the same level as her counterparts escaped me, same as this part: If men were to be subject to the same pressures about their appearance as women are .. hence: Who will put them under such pressure? Because if its only hypothetical, then there are only hypothetical answers - anything.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#22  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:47 am

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.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#23  Postby Fallible » Mar 02, 2014 1:22 am

TMB wrote: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.


Perhaps, but I don't know. It's the situation as it is at the moment at least.

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?


I don't really understand how you get to that from what I said. I can't see that the two are connected.

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.


The awards usually have lesser value because overwhelmingly those who are the best are adult, able bodied men. My point is that you use the word ''protection'' to describe something that happens across every group, even that of adult able bodied men, who are ''protected'' from taking part with the best performers if they can't manage a certain time/height/length, and are left to compete lower down the scale for lesser rewards.

Also you keep referring to ''protection'', but I'm not sure that's what it is. It would seem to make sense that you pit those of comparable abilities against each other for various reasons - to ensure the contest is fair, to make it more exciting for the viewer, etc.

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.


Again, the word ''protection''. You need to argue for why this word should be used. I don't understand much of what you said there about boxing, but those who perform the very best of all are obviously seen as the best - it just happens to be the case that built as they are, that's men the majority of the time. It seems to me that you are labelling any measures which enable anyone other than the very tip of the group called "able bodied, adult men" to compete in sporting events as protection. That seems an absurd stance to take.

However this is not the case in a number of sports when women are protected.


Again, that word.

Female Olympians enjoy the same elite status as male Olympians,


Because they represent the best of their group. Are you suggesting the fact that men out-perform them means that women should never be able to perform at the highest level, and that they are able to means they're being ''protected''? They're still elite athletes who have had to make qualifying times, etc. over months in order to gain a place on the squad.

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.


I knew you were going to bring up the tennis thing. There have been complaints that the women in certain tournaments receive the same prize money as men, despite them playing less sets (this was not always the case, it was changed recently). What is ignored here is that it's the same amount of effort for them to reach the very highest level as it is for men. Having put in the same effort, it makes sense that they should be rewarded the same. That said, I see no reason why women should not play the same number of sets as men - the fact that they do not seems to be based on the idea that women can endure less. Yet they are able to for example run marathons of the same distance as 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.


What are you talking about? They're judged on and rewarded for their sporting achievements when they are competing.

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.


You're mixing up how they're seen by the general public or media with how they're seen by those within the sporting arena, as far as I can see. Unless you mean to suggest that women get medals for looking nice, which is obviously crap.

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.


Nope, it's no good. I've read and re-read this and it still seems to be a big non-sequitur.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#24  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 3:20 am

ED209, you said,
If someone wants to get a nose job, let them. It's not valid for anyone to criticise their motives just because they are female.

What do you mean by valid? The reality is that people criticise others constantly about various things, for women this happens to be around their appearance. Your post appears to be saying that we ‘ought’ not to do this and perhaps you are correct, however it is not the reality. Logically one might argue that if we are agreeable for someone to get a nose job because they think they will be better judged by people looking at their nose (likewise, breast implants, hair removal, makeup, clothing etc etc) then why do we have issues when being judged because we do these things so we can be judged to be better looking and more desirable.

It probably won't let her swim faster but if she wants to increase her TV appearances and sponsorship deals then physical beauty can only help in exactly the same way that david beckham earned more from sponsorship than peter beardsley. where's all the outrage at wayne rooney for getting hair implants, instead of being the poster boy for baldness? Won't someone think of the pressure he must have been put under by twitter or whatever, obviously he couldn't really have wanted them and so on

Men are certainly judged by their appearance, David Beckham for example and many women see him purely as a physical object to swoon over, however he makes millions because of this. No doubt as the passage of the years reduces his value as a physical object, he might struggle to accept this and use cosmetic surgery to turn back the clock in a race he must inevitably lose. However men are still far less valued for their looks. We might not like this reality by the evidence is hard to avoid.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#25  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 3:46 am

Tuco, you said,

If she was bullied/trolled over net, its not exceptional, is expected, and perhaps she should resist, in the words of the article: come to terms with her own body image. Other celebrities are under similar scrutiny.

I see plenty of the same behaviour at schools so she is not exceptional in that she felt pressure about the way she looked at school. I have teenage kids and most kids appear to be uncertain about their appearance, even those that are judged to be good looking. I recall Cindy Crawford squirming when told bluntly that she should be OK because she was so beautiful. I have seen this happen a few times with celebrities and they always seem uncomfortable when been told directly. Part of this could be the danger of arrogance if they readily acknowledged their superior looks that so many admire and envy, but part must be due to their own uncertainty that it is true. This is not surprising since we rely upon the judgement of others to decide if we are good looking or not. Social standards decide the standard of beauty and are taken along with this. Its optimistic for us to decide if we are good looking regardless of what others think, since the only reason it matters if we are good looking is BEACUSE of what others think. Without the judgement of others our looks would be irrelevant. This is seen by the pathology we see around women and their weight. It appears that regardless of their actual slimness or fatness, most women appear to talk as if they have a weight problem, when outsiders might wonder why they cannot see the problem. The other issue is the toll that advancing years takes on our looks, hence the massive industry in things that make us look younger. This happens regardless of how good looking you are, what sex you are, as you get older the body degenerates, wrinkles, los of muscle tone, so business cashes in on our securities and I have no doubt some of these things work for a while, but eventually we lose the battle.
At the same time, since I know nothing about Rebecca Adlignton, her boyfriend could pressure her or I dunno competitors. So I honestly did not know
what the years of taunting, trolling and cruel quips meant.

Having kids at school and in sport I see plenty of teenage behaviour. The taunts about looks, clothes, sports and academic performance are part and parcel of kids lives, however much we try and reduce bullying. Girls are better at more subtle bullying, while boys are more direct and obvious which means boys are easier to control and reduce such behaviour.

I understood this part, kind of, but then the link to performing on the same level as her counterparts escaped me, same as this part: If men were to be subject to the same pressures about their appearance as women are .. hence: Who will put them under such pressure? Because if its only hypothetical, then there are only hypothetical answers - anything.

My observation is the that the harshest critics of womens looks are other women, men seem to miss much of the subtle detail, however men certainly appreciate women that look young, healthy and well proportioned. I would say that women take much of the accessories to extreme lengths as an over reaction. Men seem less aware of what women are wearing, what shoes they have on, what handbags they carry etc, while they certainly notice short skirt lengths and cleavage. Women notice and judge the finer detail and are in competition to look their best.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#26  Postby igorfrankensteen » Mar 02, 2014 5:12 am

Between the insider comments, and the spoof posts, it's difficult to tell what, if anything, this thread is supposed to be about.

What little I can make out through the noise, leads me to post a couple of observations which may or may not be pertinent, depending on whether this is a joke, a troll thread, or something serious.

* Unless the competition committees for meets decide to weight athletes performance according to how cute they are, there is no validity to linking who has to compete against who, with treating all athletes with equal respect as people.

* There are at least two kinds of competition involved with this particular situation: one for athletic performance, and one for commercial endorsement deals. I suspect that the appearance aspects have more to do with the latter, and that the sexes are equally treated to calls for altering their appearance to please vendors offering endorsement contracts.

* Tweets are again, a separate issue, since they reflect a portion of the general audience, and do not represent the Athletic Authorities. If a given athlete has trouble recognizing the difference between one kind of competition and another, or they tie their sense of accomplishment to the popularity contests instead of the athletic competitions, they will tend to have the kinds of problems that the cited article mentions.

* All in all, it sounds as though the athlete in question wasn't properly prepared by her trainers, to deal with the results of reaching the level of public scrutiny she did. No need to argue for a change in societal structures and habits because of that.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#27  Postby Thommo » Mar 02, 2014 8:54 am

Fallible wrote:I knew you were going to bring up the tennis thing. There have been complaints that the women in certain tournaments receive the same prize money as men, despite them playing less sets (this was not always the case, it was changed recently). What is ignored here is that it's the same amount of effort for them to reach the very highest level as it is for men. Having put in the same effort, it makes sense that they should be rewarded the same. That said, I see no reason why women should not play the same number of sets as men - the fact that they do not seems to be based on the idea that women can endure less. Yet they are able to for example run marathons of the same distance as men.


I more or less agree with you about everything but the tennis, the women earn more for less effort, indeed the lesser stress of women's singles frequently enables top players to enter the doubles in the same tournament (often mixed doubles) and earn a second prize purse. Not to mention sponsorship, which interestingly ties well back into the overall topic - players like Sharapova or Kournikova can earn substantially more in off court fees due to their appearances than say someone like Marian Bartoli (who is an excellent player and quite likeable when interviewed). Indeed Bartoli had to receive an apology for dickish commentary during the last Wimbledon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23214821

Incidentally I'm not quite sure why weight categories in boxing are being compared to separation of men and women in athletics. The reasons are patently not the same ones, if they were there would also be weight categories in (for example) sprinting - there aren't.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#28  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Mar 02, 2014 9:15 am

TMB wrote:
What is also relevant and as commentators point out that these women are not just expected to excel in their sport but also present an expected level of beauty, and the same does not apply to male athletes. However women athletes are not required to perform to the same level as male athletes, and are still able to be recognized with ultimate awards despite the fact they are protected because they are women and have their own event. If men were to be subject to the same pressures about their appearance as women are, something that runs deep in the makeup of both men and women, would we also require that women are treated equally to men in terms of athletic and sports ability. Once again this is unlikely to ever happen, as while it would offer gender equity in terms of events the social impact of disenfranchising women from this sort of protection would not be tolerated.


If you don't mind me asking, what is your main point here?

Are you arguing that giving women their own sport events goes against the idea of men/women equality?
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#29  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 02, 2014 9:26 am

TMB wrote: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.

It's no good, I can't help it. I have to ask, what 'responsibility'?
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#30  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Mar 02, 2014 9:32 am

TMB wrote:Tuco, you said,

TMB, you do know there's a big quote button on every post that you can use? This safes you the trouble of having to type X you wrote, every time and makes your posts clearer.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#31  Postby Fallible » Mar 02, 2014 11:53 am

Thommo wrote:
Fallible wrote:I knew you were going to bring up the tennis thing. There have been complaints that the women in certain tournaments receive the same prize money as men, despite them playing less sets (this was not always the case, it was changed recently). What is ignored here is that it's the same amount of effort for them to reach the very highest level as it is for men. Having put in the same effort, it makes sense that they should be rewarded the same. That said, I see no reason why women should not play the same number of sets as men - the fact that they do not seems to be based on the idea that women can endure less. Yet they are able to for example run marathons of the same distance as men.


I more or less agree with you about everything but the tennis, the women earn more for less effort, indeed the lesser stress of women's singles frequently enables top players to enter the doubles in the same tournament (often mixed doubles) and earn a second prize purse.


I don't know what you mean by ''earn more''. Men also appear in the doubles in the same tournament. Andy Murray won a silver medal in the Olympics with Laura Robson, as well as winning the gold in the singles event. He also takes part in the Wimbledon doubles competition, but he's crap at it so tends not to get very far. Perhaps you can put that down to the singles taking more out of him, but Federer got to the quarter finals in 2000 in the doubles, so I'm not sure. My opinion is that once you reach a certain level (freakishly fit), it doesn't make much difference whether you play 2 sets or 3, 3 sets or 5. Both men and women have played matches that have gone on for hours. For me, there's no reason why women shouldn't do 5 sets like the men.

Not to mention sponsorship, which interestingly ties well back into the overall topic - players like Sharapova or Kournikova can earn substantially more in off court fees due to their appearances than say someone like Marian Bartoli (who is an excellent player and quite likeable when interviewed). Indeed Bartoli had to receive an apology for dickish commentary during the last Wimbledon.


Andy Murray, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal...these people have all taken part in advertising campaigns and endorsements. Are women earning substantially more than them? Federed gets $10 million a year from Nike alone. It's reckoned he got $71 million between 2012 and 2013. Maria Sharapova, the most highly paid women's tennis player in terms of endorsements is second to him, and it's not a close second, she earns less than half what he does. The next two highest earners are men - Djokovic and Nadal. Then it's Serena Williams, with $6.5 million beteween her and 4th place. The top 10 is split right down the middle between men and women. Federer is top dog for a reason, and it's not just because he's an excellent tennis player. He's also extremely good looking and gives off an air of sophistication. As for dickish commentary - I've seen a fair few remarks about Andy Murray's pasty and glum appearance. Stepping outside of tennis for a moment, Peter Beardsley, anyone? I don't think your comments stack up.


Incidentally I'm not quite sure why weight categories in boxing are being compared to separation of men and women in athletics. The reasons are patently not the same ones, if they were there would also be weight categories in (for example) sprinting - there aren't.


I'm not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#32  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:02 pm

Fallible, you said
Perhaps, but I don't know. It's the situation as it is at the moment at least.

I read your first statement as being very certain that women were in no way capable of performing athletically than men giving the 100 metre example, however your later statement appears to be less certain. Which is it?

The reason I ask this is because others on this board have argued that womens lower performance could be due to cultural mechanism rather than innate biological difference. I disagree and consider that women are biologically less able to run as fast or faster than men over the distances we consider relevant. Likewise javelin, high jump etc

I don't really understand how you get to that from what I said. I can't see that the two are connected.

I have connected the two because if women are given their own events because recognise that they are unable to compete with men on equal terms with men in these areas, they why is it an issue if men and women compete on unequal terms when it comes to being judged on your looks? Both of these are based upon innate biological mechanisms

The awards usually have lesser value because overwhelmingly those who are the best are adult, able bodied men.


My point is that you use the word ''protection'' to describe something that happens across every group, even that of adult able bodied men, who are ''protected'' from taking part with the best performers if they can't manage a certain time/height/length, and are left to compete lower down the scale for lesser rewards.

Also you keep referring to ''protection'', but I'm not sure that's what it is. It would seem to make sense that you pit those of comparable abilities against each other for various reasons - to ensure the contest is fair, to make it more exciting for the viewer, etc.


OK let us remove the word ‘protection’ and lets describe the mechanism that is in place for these. Looking at the 100m metre sprint, if there were only ever one event open to all ages, genders, etc, we both seem to agree that it will be won by an adult male, and will reward them for being the best in absolute terms – ie. No one does it better than Usain Bolt at the moment. As you point out the vast remainder of society will never be given the opportunity to win medals or gain recognition under these terms, so we provide people with lesser ability an event with lesser recognition where they can excel in non absolute terms, ie. Women can be regarded as the best among the women, men between 40-45 can be regarded the best in that group, then you create geographical and other ways to divide this up. What is also relevant is that certain categories people are barred from competing against these lesser categories. In the Olympics it means than men (though some have tried) cannot compete against women and ‘unfairly’ win the gold medal. Neither can a 20 year old enter a race for 45-50 year olds because that is ‘unfair’. To me this is all protection, but I am not attached to that term, we can call it what you like, it does not change the mechanism that is operating.

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.


Again, the word ''protection''. You need to argue for why this word should be used. I don't understand much of what you said there about boxing, but those who perform the very best of all are obviously seen as the best - it just happens to be the case that built as they are, that's men the majority of the time. It seems to me that you are labelling any measures which enable anyone other than the very tip of the group called "able bodied, adult men" to compete in sporting events as protection. That seems an absurd stance to take.


Like I said no issue avoiding the term, lets just describe what is happening. In other words people with less ability have events from which people who have unlimited (in the sense that they compete in events with no barriers to entry) ability. In boxing the best heavyweight will beat the best bantamweight, flyweight etc, so lighter boxers can usually compete upwards but heavier fighters cannot compete downwards. Older competitors can also compete in open events but younger competitors are restricted from competing in older groups.

Again, that word.
I do not understand your issue with the word it does not seem to have a any political baggage and it describes rules that are out in place to keep competitors from competing against others with defined and known differences of gender, age, disability etc.


Because they represent the best of their group. Are you suggesting the fact that men out-perform them means that women should never be able to perform at the highest level, and that they are able to means they're being ''protected''?


I do not understand why you are asking this question or the logic behind it. I have no issue with women competing with women and declaring the best woman sprinter, tennis player. However by definition they are not the best a human being can be because males will sprint faster, jump higher and longer etc. The fact that men are not allowed to compete against women in these events means that women can be recognised as being the best woman in a specified discipline. If you recall the original post, a top female swimmer has an issue because she is being judged upon her appearance and has an issue that this does not happen to male athletes. I simply pointed out that she is only considered an elite swimmer with equivalent status as an Olympian because events have been created so that women can be given the same status – note Wimbledon purses are the same for both men and women, implying that they are equally good at the sport of tennis.
Since these concessions are already in place, why not point out that people just don’t value male looks as much as they value female looks?

They're still elite athletes who have had to make qualifying times, etc. over months in order to gain a place on the squad.

They certainly are elite FEMALE athletes, if however they removed sex discrimination from the Olympics and simply had a 100 meter sprint and awarded medals to the fastest person of either sex, then women would not make the qualifying times and would disappear totally from the quantitative track and filed events.

I knew you were going to bring up the tennis thing. There have been complaints that the women in certain tournaments receive the same prize money as men, despite them playing less sets (this was not always the case, it was changed recently). What is ignored here is that it's the same amount of effort for them to reach the very highest level as it is for men. Having put in the same effort, it makes sense that they should be rewarded the same.


We do not award tennis awards based upon peoples efforts, all these are based upon merit regardless of how hard they have to work to get there. We might admire their hard work to achieve it but if they cannot play well enough to get there we have little interest. The fact remains the same, remove sex discrimination from tennis and have the best singles player in the tournament and all elite women would be eliminated. Women are given their own category because they have less ability than the men, yet the tournament exists to find those with greatest ability. If this is not so, why should womens events be paid the same as the mens. The stuff about the number of sets is just noise, the issue is the discrimination on the basis of sex in these sports. However the women are also there based upon their appearance, some of the top female players make plenty of money because of their good looks, once again not something that is given to males. I have no issue with separate womens events, or judging women based upon their appearance. I have an issue when people overlook an obvious case of sex discrimination that hugely favors women, and then people complain that they are not getting as much money as men or that people are judging them on their appearance and that THIS is sex discrimination.

That said, I see no reason why women should not play the same number of sets as men - the fact that they do not seems to be based on the idea that women can endure less. Yet they are able to for example run marathons of the same distance as men.


I agree with you, women appear to be able to do the same events as men, just not as fast in the case of marathons, sprints etc, but endurance seems OK, however for endurance swimming women and closer to mens results than in short swimming events, whereas with track the difference of 10% holds consistently trough events up to the marathon distance.

What are you talking about? They're judged on and rewarded for their sporting achievements when they are competing.


Women are certainly judged upon the merits of their sport, be it tennis, golf etc, but they also get informally judged by the greater community on how they dress, how they look etc, far more than males do. These are not formally defined in the sport itself but are still very real. In the same way male celebrities are judged by significant numbers of women as being someone desirable to have sex with. This is of course the groupie phenomenon, something that is far less prevalent when it comes to female celebrities (ie. Far fewer male groupies trying to get into bed with them), when compared to male rock stars, film stars, F1 racing drivers, David Beckham types etc.

You're mixing up how they're seen by the general public or media with how they're seen by those within the sporting arena, as far as I can see. Unless you mean to suggest that women get medals for looking nice, which is obviously crap.

You are right it would be crap, but I am not suggesting that women get medals for looking good in sport, the world of sport is just another human institution that reflects human nature. Sport defines its parameters but humans are not machines so their emotions and desires still remain and so we see this reflected in sport as we do everywhere else. Also note that women do get awards based upon their appearance in other social institutions, this time men get far less opportunity to be judged this way than women. Beauty pageants and modelling are both dominated by women contestants who are there to be judged specifically upon their appearance, and if they win they get plenty of prizes. It seems there is not a big market for judging men on the same basis.

Nope, it's no good. I've read and re-read this and it still seems to be a big non-sequitur.


Then break it down and tell me where my logic is flawed.
There is clear sex discrimination in the field of sports, and it is done to allow women to achieve similar status and rewards as males, despite their lesser abilities. There is also sex discrimination in that women are judged by their appearance more than men are. In every case the winning females in the looks department take advantage of this fact.
The OP was about a woman swimmer who was OK to get the benefit of the sex discrimination that allowed her the status of an elite swimmer (which she would not have had in a non sex discrimination sport), but was not OK that people judged her on her appearance, something that also shows sex discrimination, this time to her disadvantage. Should she have it both ways?
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#33  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:13 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
TMB wrote:Tuco, you said,

TMB, you do know there's a big quote button on every post that you can use? This safes you the trouble of having to type X you wrote, every time and makes your posts clearer.


Thanks for that but I prefer doing it my way.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#34  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:21 pm

Ihavenofingerprints wrote:
TMB wrote:
What is also relevant and as commentators point out that these women are not just expected to excel in their sport but also present an expected level of beauty, and the same does not apply to male athletes. However women athletes are not required to perform to the same level as male athletes, and are still able to be recognized with ultimate awards despite the fact they are protected because they are women and have their own event. If men were to be subject to the same pressures about their appearance as women are, something that runs deep in the makeup of both men and women, would we also require that women are treated equally to men in terms of athletic and sports ability. Once again this is unlikely to ever happen, as while it would offer gender equity in terms of events the social impact of disenfranchising women from this sort of protection would not be tolerated.


If you don't mind me asking, what is your main point here?

Are you arguing that giving women their own sport events goes against the idea of men/women equality?


I am asking why a female swimmer considers it unfair that she feels pressure to look better because she is female and men are not subject to the same judgement, while at the same time the only reason she is considered an elite athlete is because women have been given their own event because if sex discrimination was removed and sex neutral events only existed - ie. fastest 100m freestyle, women would be eliminated. It seems to me she want her cake and eat it to.

The underlying fact is that there is sex discrimination in sport because women have lesser ability, so yes of course it goes against equal treatment of the sexes.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#35  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
TMB wrote: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.

It's no good, I can't help it. I have to ask, what 'responsibility'?


Thats a good question. If women are able to use their appearance to get benefits when compared to women who do not have the same good looks, or compared men whose looks are not seen as valuable and appealing as womens looks, should those women not acknowledge this and be accountable for any negative consequences upon others?

I see that women who do benefit from their looks do so with little conscience, women who do not benefit from having good looks rail against the fact that men dont have the same issue making it a direct gender issue, when it is primarily an issue between women. I accept that men are fundamental to this conflict between women, but the issues that become public seem to place responsibility squarely with males. Men and women should be equally accountable for the trials of human society, yet men are usually held responsible and women are seen as the victims.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#36  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 02, 2014 12:31 pm

TMB wrote:I am asking why a female swimmer considers it unfair that she feels pressure to look better

Can you show us where she says that this pressure is 'unfair'?
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#37  Postby Thommo » Mar 02, 2014 12:34 pm

Fallible wrote:I don't know what you mean by ''earn more''. Men also appear in the doubles in the same tournament. Andy Murray won a silver medal in the Olympics with Laura Robson, as well as winning the gold in the singles event. He also takes part in the Wimbledon doubles competition, but he's crap at it so tends not to get very far. Perhaps you can put that down to the singles taking more out of him, but Federer got to the quarter finals in 2000 in the doubles, so I'm not sure. My opinion is that once you reach a certain level (freakishly fit), it doesn't make much difference whether you play 2 sets or 3, 3 sets or 5. Both men and women have played matches that have gone on for hours. For me, there's no reason why women shouldn't do 5 sets like the men.


I don't agree with your assessment of the regularity with which men and women compete in the doubles, it's somehwat common for top women to do well in the doubles, it's incredibly rare for the top men to do it (or even enter in normal prize money tournaments - admittedly the olympics is perhaps a special case). I also don't agree with the difference between best of 3 and best of 5 set matches being small, it's a well identified phenomenon that player's performance often dips after a tough 5 setter, last year Djokovic was markedly more sluggish in the final, for example.

The last line I agree with. There is no good reason women should not play 5 sets as well, this would be the equitable solution - same work, same pay.

Fallible wrote:Andy Murray, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal...these people have all taken part in advertising campaigns and endorsements. Are women earning substantially more than them? Federed gets $10 million a year from Nike alone. It's reckoned he got $71 million between 2012 and 2013. Maria Sharapova, the most highly paid women's tennis player in terms of endorsements is second to him, and it's not a close second, she earns less than half what he does. The next two highest earners are men - Djokovic and Nadal. Then it's Serena Williams, with $6.5 million beteween her and 4th place. The top 10 is split right down the middle between men and women. Federer is top dog for a reason, and it's not just because he's an excellent tennis player. He's also extremely good looking and gives off an air of sophistication. As for dickish commentary - I've seen a fair few remarks about Andy Murray's pasty and glum appearance. Stepping outside of tennis for a moment, Peter Beardsley, anyone? I don't think your comments stack up.


My comments pointing out that better looking women earn substantially more in sponsorship than the not so good looking ones in a number of high profile cases? I think they do. What's your explanation for Sharapova getting better sponsorship deals than Serena Williams? She's had a far less successful career and is lower in the world rankings. What about Anna Kournikova's famous success with sponsors?

I don't think these are non-factors.

Fallible wrote:I'm not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?


Boxers are separated by weight so they don't kill or seriously injure one another. Athletes aren't. The reasons for weight division in combat sports and martial arts is distinct from the reason for gender division in athletics. TMB was making a false comparison.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#38  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:35 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
TMB wrote:Tuco, you said,

TMB, you do know there's a big quote button on every post that you can use? This safes you the trouble of having to type X you wrote, every time and makes your posts clearer.


Yes I know and I have just used it, however I find it easier my way when trying o address multiple points in the same post.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#39  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 02, 2014 12:36 pm

TMB wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:
TMB wrote: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.

It's no good, I can't help it. I have to ask, what 'responsibility'?


Thats a good question. If women are able to use their appearance to get benefits when compared to women who do not have the same good looks, or compared men whose looks are not seen as valuable and appealing as womens looks, should those women not acknowledge this and be accountable for any negative consequences upon others?

I see that women who do benefit from their looks do so with little conscience, women who do not benefit from having good looks rail against the fact that men dont have the same issue making it a direct gender issue, when it is primarily an issue between women. I accept that men are fundamental to this conflict between women, but the issues that become public seem to place responsibility squarely with males. Men and women should be equally accountable for the trials of human society, yet men are usually held responsible and women are seen as the victims.

:picard:
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#40  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2014 12:36 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
TMB wrote:Tuco, you said,

TMB, you do know there's a big quote button on every post that you can use? This safes you the trouble of having to type X you wrote, every time and makes your posts clearer.


Yes I know and I am using it now, however I find it easier my way when trying to address multiple points in the same post.
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