The Forbes List of Highest Paid Women Athletes

Although compared to men, women athletes do not make as much. It appears that there is a change though. These women in the Forbes list are making millions.

  • Maria Sharapova  $27.1 million
  • Li Na $18.4 million
  • Serena Williams  $16.3 million
  • Caroline Wozniacki  $13.7 million
  • Danica Patrick  $13 million
  • Victoria Azarenka $ 9.7 million
  • Kim Yuna $9 million
  • Anna Ivanovic $7.2 million
  • Agnieszka Radwanksa  $6.9 million
  • Yani Tseng  $6.1 million

Looking at the list you can see that the athletes with the highest wages are tennis players. The availability of endorsements can make a world difference. Let’s hope they use that financial power to inspire other young women.

Advertisements
The Forbes List of Highest Paid Women Athletes

Men’s Irrational Rejection of Women’s Strength

A vast majority of men reject women who are physically strong. There are numerous reasons that explain this irrational behavior. Strength has been a maker for masculine identity for so long, that women who display such a quality are considered to violate gender norms. There are also men who fear physically strong women. As ridiculous as this seems, they consider them a threat. Other men are disgusted by their appearance. The reason is they do not fit into the aesthetic model society values. Men are not always the culprits, but women themselves. There are women who also reject this idea of physically powerful woman. At the root of these negative feeling are sexist conventions that are still prevalent in society.

Strength has been a symbol of masculine identity. It ties into the idea of provider and protector. Femininity is the opposite, presented as dependence and weakness. This is an old fashioned view of gender roles and gender norms. Not all men are built like Hercules and not all women are helpless Disney princesses. When women play sports they challenge these roles. When they do this the “natural” order is upset. Women with bulging biceps, strong legs, and powerful mid-sections make a statement. They do not need men to survive. This ruins the idea of chivalry. At first it seems harmless, but in reality it perpetuates the idea of female incompetence. The world is too dangerous for women, so they must be protected. Men must be in charge of their safety. This notion puts women in a position of being prisoners to men. Women are capable of defending themselves, if they are willing to.

     Another issue is men’s fear of women’s strength. Many times when seeing such visibly strong women a number of responses are exposed. One for example is “she could beat me up ” or “her biceps are bigger than mine.” Then there are more vitriolic responses in the line of “she’s a man” or questioning her sexuality. These sexist and homophobic demonstrate some men’s fear of women’s strength. Some men cannot handle the idea of a strong woman. stock-photo-funny-muscular-woman-holds-a-thin-man-118641973   This is a piece of clip art. Although meant to be humorous, it does represent some         fear men have 

The reason that fear emerges is that it makes some men question what it means to be a man. Insecurity is a hard enemy to defeat. A man insecure with his masculinity will behave in odd ways. One way is to disparage  or degrade women in general, not only strong women. Sometimes it is not insecurity at all, but fear of the unknown. It is rare that men would meet a woman that could challenge them in some form of physical contest. Seeing something new like that could be overwhelming at first. A woman with such a powerful physique can produce such awe struck reaction. Another dynamic to the fear element is that there is a perception that women are going to take revenge on men for centuries poor treatment. This at first seems comical, but there are men out there who believe this. Just because a woman has physical strength does not mean she will use it to abuse men.  This prejudiced assumption is that stronger women are more violent and would be willing to use force. It is interesting because women through out most of their lives have to take into consideration of the possibility of physical abuse from their boyfriend or husband. Here the tables are turned.

new3

There will not be Amazon woman take over anytime soon 

There is no reason to be fearful. The only thing it means is that women are allowed to participate in activities that were once restricted to them. When women started advancing in education and the professional world men did get nervous. Sports was seen as the last male dominated domain, but that has been eroded.

      The other reason men object to women’s strength is related to ideals of beauty. The current mainstream ideal of beauty for women is a thin figure. The mass media, fitness industry and fashion industry continually present this ideal as normal or the standard. Yet, it is an unrealistic beauty standard. It excludes larger women, muscular women, and even average looking women. Men raised in this type of culture get a distorted view of body image. The subtle message is that women are suppose to be one body type. Women even encourage this as well, by excessive dieting and attempting to slenderize constantly. Women will even avoid weight training for fear of looking “bulky.” One should ask what is wrong with bulky? The idea is that it makes a woman “mannish.” More liberal minded people have challenged this, but do not go far enough. They rephrase weight training as “toning”  or “body sculpting” so women will not be afraid of weights. The reality is the process still involves building muscle. Normally, women will not become massive, but some have the ability to do so. They should not be shunned.

weightsThis may seem  like an endorsement, but not really. The message here is to just make the woman more suitable for the man. Strength and power are not valued in women 

At the root of this body obsession is man making women in an image more pleasing to himself. The woman on the right represents in the mainstream view an acceptable level of fitness. Past that level the woman on the left is no longer considered normal in the traditional perspective of femininity. Such attitudes reduce women to objects only valued for their physical appearance.  Men reject the idea of muscular woman, because it means the woman is no longer a controllable and passive object. Also, they challenge the traditional conformity in regards to gender roles.

        The root of this rejection is based in sexist and misogynistic attitudes. Phrases like “you throw like a girl” reveal much about a particular mind set. It shows that some men think of women as less than, weak  or not human. They will always be second rate compared to men. This has been proven false, as women advance in society. These attitudes must change. Men need to have a more positive view of women in non-traditional fields.Women should be allowed to engage and develop there talents to the fullest.

Men’s Irrational Rejection of Women’s Strength

Lenda Murray

Lenda Murray was the first female body builder to win the MS.Olympia contest eight times. She was born in Detroit Michigan in 1962. During high school she participated in track and field and was also a varsity cheerleader. She was a graduate of Western Michigan University majoring in political science. She continued to perform cheer leading with the Michigan Panthers, but the real turning point came in 1984. She joined a gym and enjoyed weight lifting. After realizing her body responded well to it she entered her first competition in 1985. She gradually moved up the ranks earning her pro-card in the 1989 IFFB North American Championships. She would later dominate the 1990s with numerous Ms.Olympia wins. She won the 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002 and 2003 Ms.Olympia. Her body is the standard in which female bodybuilders are judged. Large upper and lower body forming a small waist is the physique model. She retired  from competition in 2004. Iris Kyle would break her record with ten wins of the MS.Olympia contest.

137643157lenda5

                               1989                                                                       1990 

download (1)619810880

                        1991                                                                                      1992

images

 Her last competition in 2004 

Lenda Murray

Why Are Some Men Attracted to Athletic and Muscular Women ?

There are many reasons why some men like athletic and muscular women. One reason is that power is sexy. Men do not want to admit openly, because our culture believes only men can be strong. It can be a positive attribute in women as well. The woman athlete mixes both power and beauty in an elegant fashion. Another reason is that these women are unique. It is very rare that their is such a woman who could demonstrate such amazing physical prowess. It is a remarkable site to behold. Women engaged in athletic activity do so against the mores of society. This is very inspirational and another reason men would be attracted to them. Working hard to achieve a goal is something that should be praised. Another reason for this attraction appeals to certain tastes in aesthetics. Some men prefer thin women, larger women, or in this case muscular. A body trained to its maximum physical potential can be very attractive.

         Power can be an attractive attribute. Some men find this intimidating or unattractive in women, but others do not. Whether it is mental or physical it should not be considered something negative for women. For a long time it was not considered feminine to demonstrate power, because that was believed to be exclusively male. Not anymore, with rise of women’s professional athletics. Women can display strength and it does not make them less female. Strength is not just shown, but speed, agility, and endurance. These women have developed the most powerful bodies on the planet.

flojoLaila Ali v Gwendolyn O'Neil

natalie-burgener

Here are examples of speed strength and agility in action 

The idea of a woman gaining such power does have an appeal. There is a very graceful elegance watching female track stars run as fast as they can or seeing women swimmers.

Besides the power dynamic, their performance is magnificent. Women usually have little strength to start with, but when you see women such as these it is amazing. Through diet and strict training regimens they gain an immense amount of strength. This takes an enormous amount of dedication and focus. Their physical prowess surpasses many average women and men. They are a unique group of women. How often is it it that you meet a woman who could beat you at arm wrestling or literally lift you off the ground? Quite rare indeed. Seeing as women are on average smaller than men in size, seeing women with such physical power becomes even more astounding.

Britt_Miller_Unaltered_by_TheBrink

This is Bodybuilder Britt Miller. It took her ten years to build a body like this 

      Women athletes constantly challenge societal mores. Strength has been associated with male identity and the concept of provider and protector. Female identity was associated with weakness. Thankfully, this is being challenge by the women who decided to develop themselves to their physical maximum. This is a positive characteristic. It shows that a woman can think for herself and not have someone dictate what she can or cannot do. That level of individualism and independence can be very attractive. She does not care what people think. She just does something she loves.

The aesthetic qualities are another reason why men like these women. When looking at the lower body athletic activity accentuates certain areas. The posterior and legs become beautifully sculpted. A large posterior has become a beauty mark. Nice looking legs as well. These are the traditionally highlighted areas of beauty. A new model of beauty has been formed with the muscular woman. Large biceps, full chest, strong legs, and powerful buttocks creates a new look. It as if you are seeing a living statue a work of art in some respects. The upper body development does not subtract from the feminine aspects of the woman. One way it enhances it by creating an exaggerated hour glass figure.

952394689

Lenda Murray has a huge upper body and lower body which makes her waist look smaller creating an hour glass figure 

Female bodybuilders do aim for this shape. There is something enticing about a woman than can match you physically or in some cases surpass you. This is  part of a particular type of fetish. The term for this is known as sthenolagnia meaning arousal from displays of strength or the muscles. To some extent most muscular  and athletic woman admirers have this. This is not the sole reason some men find these women attractive. The most important reason besides the aesthetic is they are impeccable and talented in their craft.

Why Are Some Men Attracted to Athletic and Muscular Women ?

Are women really the weaker Sex ?

To some this is a simple question to answer. Men are on average physically stronger than women. Sometimes this is not the case. Although basic sexual dimorphism dictates that males in the human species are larger, it can be flexible. Through weight training and isometric exercise women can gain considerable strength, but not the same amount of muscular hypertrophy as a man. The reason is based in endocrinology. Hormones, specifically testosterone play a significant role in the growth of type II muscle fibers. Estrogen is a hormone that stores mostly fat. Men and women produce both of these hormones, but produce more androgens . This not only enhances the strength of muscle, but the skeletal structure. Before puberty, there is very little difference in male and female strength. Girls actually mature slightly faster physically. Teenage boys will have a late growth spurt in which they develop their secondary sexual characteristics. From that point there is a gap. However, it can not attributed completely to biology alone. Men are encouraged to develop themselves physically, while women are not. Women are presented with the mass media image that thin is beautiful. Men are now encouraged to be muscular as an ideal. Yet, this is slightly changing, because more women are engaging in some form of physical activity. Certainty we can see that a woman who trains vigorously would surpass an average male. A man and woman who engage in the same training would result in the man being stronger. Then also there are exceptions. Mysotatin is a protein encoded by the MSTN gene. This is an important protein, because having a low level of it can enhance one’s ability in increasing muscular hypertrophy. Women with low mysostatin levels will be able to become strong. This shows that biology is not destiny.

download

Lenda Murray eight time Ms.Olympia is most likely stronger than a lot of men

It should also be noted that there is no difference between muscle fiber of the sexes. One advantage women have is that type I muscle fibers contain more endurance. Genetics also play a role in how much strength an individual can acquire. Women tend to be more flexible than men. Men tend to have a large portion of their strength concentrated in the upper body. Women come closer to men when examining the lower body. When a man and a woman are compared who have the same weight, women are about 80% as strong. The lower body advantage explains why some women could run as fast as men. When examining the records of weightlifting, men surpass women. Olympic records indicate that there is a 10% gap between men and women in all events.

lenda_murray_02

Women have wider pelvises, but that does not stop them from performing well in Track and Field  

Testosterone allows men to have larger hearts. The hormone allows for more production of more red blood cells giving men greater aerobic capacity. Women will excel at long distance running and swimming, because they have more fat to metabolize. Women seeing as they have type I muscle fibers are more fatigue resistant. Looking at the biological data suggests that the idea of “weaker sex”  is ludicrous. Strength is not male only as women’s sports has demonstrated. The concept is an old fashioned stereotype designed to make it seem as if women are helpless and child-like. Women with enough effort can at least surpass an average man when training.

tumblr_mbsc7dRQnu1qhodd8o1_500ReneeWest

Here is another example. Most would assume that the man is stronger just because he is male. The woman we see has a muscular body and could be stronger. The man who is thin could not generate enough power to be on her level. 

Comparisons between men and women in sports are fascinating. The interesting part is the amount of progress made in such a short period of time. Before Title IX, women were not given the same athletic opportunities as men. This legislation enabled women to participate in sports and develop their bodies to a new level. For most of the 20th century, they were held back and conservative social mores were a barrier. With the barriers removed women could challenge the weaker sex stereotype.

JG9R4982

This woman looks like she could be as strong or stronger than the man she is next to 

True, the athletic  and or muscular woman is rare. Testosterone is produced thirty times more in the male body, which explains the strength advantage. What also needs to be taken into account is the genetic factor. Some women can inherit a mesomorphic body type. Women are not the weaker sex, but different. Saying that men are superior because of their strength is laughable. Women’s type of strength is clearly based on durability. On average women will surpass men in terms of life expectancy. The question still remains have women reached their maximum potential? It seems unlikely that women would over take men in terms of strength, but it is possible they could get close.

Are women really the weaker Sex ?

The Modern Amazon

More women now are competing in sports than we have seen in the past. The London 2012 Olympics saw a high number of female competitors. Ever since Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, women’s participation in sport has increased. This is not to say that the muscular woman is some anomaly or something new. Now they are more visible creating a host of reactions. This site shall serve as both an archive, news source, and place of discussion about the new powerful women emerging in the 21st century.

The Modern Amazon