Lora Garrick: Women Afraid of Being Physically Stronger Than The Men They Date

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Women Afraid of Being Physically Stronger Than The Men They Date

Dating was once thought to be fun. Yet, it seems more like an algorithmic match making. Instead of meeting new people, dating apps select for people a match. The worse part is that men and women deprive themselves of something genuine due to their prejudices and bias. There are challenges that come with courtship. Men have to make the first proposal and women may find it difficult to know what they want. The change in sex politics has impacted courtship and marriage. Issues related to appearance, social status, race, religion, culture, and  personal belief system become complications. Women who are active in certain arenas that were considered male only face challenges in dating. Female athletes may get find dating a little more difficult due to bias from potential bachelors. The unfortunate aspect of this is that women may internalize prejudice. There are women who strength train or are athletes who are afraid of being stronger than men. The lugubrious post from a female weightlifter on a forum demonstrates this fact. Lora Garrick writes about this phenomenon. Garrick even reveals women avoid wearing certain types of high heels so they will not be taller than the men they date. It is sad that in an age that preaches women’s equality and girl power that this remains a debate. If a woman were to say she is afraid of being more intelligent than a man this would cause criticism. This an observer can see is from another time period. The topic of strong women and dating brings into account various difficulties. Devoting one’s self  solely to one preference could limit options. There is a problem judging a person by their appearance and using that as a measure of their worth. Modern dating has become nothing more than a business transaction, rather that a joyful event.

            When people talk about a partner, there are certain attributes they find attractive.  Generally, men and women have a preference. This could be related to body type, structure of the face, or height. The unfortunate part is that the mass media gives a distorted image of what beauty is. Beauty can have different meanings depending on personal opinion and culture. Society demands that both men and women follow the specific beauty standard. However, men and women who do not conform are often ostracized. There is resistance to rigid standards, yet the desire to have rigid  personal preferences  remains in tact. There is nothing wrong with having a personal preference or standard. The problem is rejecting a potentially good relationship with someone who does not fit the preference. The weightlifter that Garrick mentions may lose a relationship or have trouble finding others if she is more devoted to preference. She says she only wants a big strong man and rejects men who are weaker than her. She feels that the only man she needs is one that lifts. This is limiting her options for potential relationships. There is no reason our female weightlifter can date an average man. Thinking like this is superficial and shallow. Thoughts have been articulated by men who find strong women unsuitable.

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There are men who say they do not want women with bigger biceps than theirs. Certain comments are either produced from either close mindedness, insecurity, or myopic views of women. The men who say this have never dated such women, but make judgments. The strong woman should not be so quick to dismiss a man different from her. Otherwise she would be imitating the detractors who constantly disparage her athletic accomplishments. Preferences should not stop a person experiencing different people. It also from a point of statistics limits the dating pool. Ultimately, it is the individuals choice who they select, but the process could be sabotaging a relationship.

        As awful as this behavior is many people judge people by their looks. Other behaviors that are more blatant such as shallowness are condemned, yet this behavior is more acceptable. Concepts of beauty or ugliness are subjective and relative to a certain taste. Women might fin thin men attractive, while others do not. There are men who like the idea of a strong woman. The reason women may be afraid of becoming stronger than their boyfriends or husbands is that they will reject them. The notion is that if a woman becomes too powerful in any sense it emasculates the man. The male body for a longtime was a symbol of strength, power, and might. Muscles were the symbol of male strength and authority in terms of visual representation. While all men did not fit this image it is the one associated with traditional masculinity. Strong women have created a new aesthetic. Strength and muscle is no longer male only. Women have been advancing in various fields and sports is just another. The traditional femininity was meant to emphasize a woman’s weakness. Women had to appear delicate and helpless. Even with the feminist movement women still either promote or internalize this restrictive concept of femininity based on appearance. Muscular women even have doubts about themselves. If a man is truly confident he will not be concerned if you are stronger than him.

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Looks do not last forever. We eventually age and do not look the same. A relationship based on looks is fragile. If people want something substantive, it would based on a person’s character. However, people are too blinded by appearance to make these give these matters serious thought.  A large portion of men and women value people only for their appearance. The worst part of this is that they treat people they perceive as more attractive better. The people seen as undesirable are treated worse. Behavior like this may be difficult to detect, but victims of it definitely feel the effects. Rejection is common place in the dating market. Some people just may never find anyone. The reason may be people’s immediate repudiation of others based on appearance.

         Modern dating seems more like a business transaction, rather than an enjoyable outing. Technology has to a degree been managing our lives. Now it has control of our interpersonal relations. Dating websites and apps use algorithms to match couples together based on data collected from user profiles. Searching for a date or starting  a relationship seems more like looking for a job. The process seems more like an interview, rather than a friendly exchange.  There are qualifications that are both physical and personality based that a person has to meet to even be considered. Even if a small dialogue is established nothing may come of it. Technology cannot be completely blamed for this phenomenon. A world that has become too materialistic and obsessed with consumerism had an unintended consequence. People only value one another for their status. This does not effect men and women on an equal level.  Men need to have higher status than the women they date otherwise they will not get attention. Women with high status are criticized if they date men of lower status. Some may not even think they are worth it. This partially explains why men struggle more to get relationships or married. It also explains why highly accomplished women could  find themselves lonely. Men either feel intimidated or insecure when attempting to approach them. More so it is a feeling of not being good enough. This dilemma between men and women make them not even try. Nothing will happen unless an attempt is made. Sadly, some get so hurt they give up or go to a negative place psychologically. Loneliness is now become a public health issue. Incels and femcels are becoming organized groups of  people who are frustrated with their failures with the opposite sex. This problem is barely discussed or even recognized as an issue. People must start valuing one another again. If not this could have devastating social consequences. Divorces are more likely to happen due financial strain, rather than irreconcilable differences. The reason being is that people are marrying based around status and resources rather than actually loving one another. This is a good reason why dating should not be modeled like a business transaction.

            One should also stop and wonder why is a woman who is stronger than a man seen with so much negativity. There may be some unspoken fear that their will be a female take over or women want to get even with men for past abuse. So far, there have been no amazon matriarchies emerging. Certain men may feel that sports and physical strength is the only thing they have left in world of constantly changing roles. Even when they see a woman who is physically impressive they either mock them or disparage their accomplishments. Women also hide their talents believing if they show off too much it will scare men off. Women even pretend to be less intelligent to not offend some insecure men’s sensibilities. Men who claim to be liberal minded, even draw the line with women who have significant strength.

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Being different or not following the status quo can limit the dating candidates, but at least a person can be happy with themselves.  It seems strange to give up what you like or change yourself to satisfy a person. Real love is liking a person both faults and strengths included. The strong woman does not deserve such intense vituperation. The problem with this world is people love too little and hate so much. That must change. Everyone deserves love at one point in their life. For men who reject women because they are too strong, you could be missing out on a fun and unique experience.

        Lora Garrick concludes her article with some advice to women strength athletes. The first point she mentions is that physical strength has advantages. The improvements to health have been scientifically conformed. Physical protection is the least discussed. Garrick states that women would be in a better position to fight off men who get physically aggressive in a relationship. Domestic violence is too common in both dating  and marriage. Women are in this regard at a disadvantage seeing as men have more physical strength on average. Strength could ensure women’s personal safety, yet do not underestimate the importance of self-defense. One could be strong, but not an effective fighter. On a more positive note having more strength can also help your significant other. If a man unable to move or needs physical assistance, this would not be a challenge for a strong woman. Garrick also in a facetious manner says just go to gyms and find strong men there. The women may want to expand their horizons, but that means sometimes going outside their dating preferences. Women have an easier time starting relationships, because it does not require as much effort. Men have to pay for dinner, approach, and make plans. The issue is not the amount of effort. The problem is that is not equally distributed among the sexes.

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This seems like a dated form of social behavior especially for a society that makes gender equality a top concern. That proclamation should extend to social mores. To the strong woman the best advice is to select a man based on his character. If appearance or social status is the only focus of a relationship, then it is always fragile. These things can easily go away with time. True feelings last forever. While the man your with may not reach your athletic feats, he may be wild about you. That seems more important. Sadly, none of us may never experience genuine love. We go through life struggling to find the warmth of another and many times it does not take off. This is no reason to quit or be blindly optimistic. Finding happiness starts with personal introspection. Attempting to get that from relationships can only lead to disappointment. Do not make this an excuse to isolate yourself, because of a few rejections. Going out of your usual comfort zone can be a great start. The female weightlifter that is afraid about getting stronger than her boyfriend is comedic. Date thin, fat men, or men who are not into sports. There are plenty of bachelors out there, you just have to pick. Having many selections can be hard if you do not know what you are looking for. Being stronger than the man you date is not the worse thing in the world.

Lora Garrick: Women Afraid of Being Physically Stronger Than The Men They Date

Lauri Braun : I Don’t Want to Get Too Big (2011)

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Don’t Get Too Big

Lauri Braun the founder of Female Muscle.com wrote about a common phrase that women work out commonly hear. The warning is do not “get too big.” For too long women have been dictated how to behave or what to do with their lives. Even more nauseating is the comment “you should smile more.” It is worse enough that someone demands that you look a certain way, but to feel a particular way is more infuriating. Braun calls her discussion a rant, yet it is just an observation of a known double standard. Strong women are constantly criticized for the muscles and power they have gained. The odd aspect about this is that women internalize this subtle form of sexism. They do not lift anything heavier than five pound dumbells. There still is a misconception that they overestimate their ability to gain muscle. Such a process takes years along with specific training and diet. Lauri Barun being a personal trainer herself had to explain on multiple occasions that this would not happen. It is like saying if you hand a woman a tennis racket, they will gain the skills of Serena Williams.  Much of this fear stems from ignorance of the sport, the women, and basic human anatomy. The phrase “don’t get too big” should be retired from fitness discussion.

           Often the phrase “too big” is used for women with the highest amount of muscular development. Female bodybuilders are targets for such ridicule. Unwanted commentary is either expressed as insults, bullying behavior, and sexist abuse. The double standards are so obvious, because men with muscular physiques are not subject to such ostracism. Women should have the right to look however they want to regardless of society’s expectations. It seems so perplexing in an age that is seeing more women rise to positions  of power that this concept has not been accepted. There is a body positivity movement, but it seems to exclude athletic bodies in favor of larger ones. It really is not inclusive as it sounds. Muscular women are either absent or not visible in this social movement. Then again it really is not an organized mass movement, rather a loose association. Women are partially to blame for body image conformity. This is mainly through being involved in the beauty and fashion industry. Businesses like that are kept alive by women focusing on their appearance. The beauty industry is estimated at being worth $532 billion dollars. If consumers had a positive body image, sales would decline. The muscular woman challenges notions of female weakness and passivity. A woman’s beauty in this view should be defined by being dainty and frail. Thankfully, women can define femininity on their terms rather than some dated ideals.

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Bulky

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The “too big” or “too much” is a matter of taste. A woman who is a track athlete my be too big for some. Having an opinion is not the problem; disparaging people who are different is. Even people who may not advocate the muscular development on a female physique can at least admit it is impressive. There are also a portion of people who appreciate the aesthetic. The lugubrious element of this is that there is a demand for people to look alike and think the same. Getting “too big” is more about perception not anatomical reality.

       Women being too big is not anatomically possible. The only way that could happen is if a woman reaches a body weight that would be classified as morbidly obese. At this stage the ability to walk and have a healthy circulatory system is not possible. The strain on the skeletal system is so great joint issue can occur from being overweight  or obese. Women who are muscular are called bulky. That implies colloquially being of large size. The women on a bodybuilding stage or just muscular women in general do not weigh that much. The average man or an out of shape woman could weigh more. Comparing a muscular woman to a muscular man their is a difference in the morphology of the physique. The upper body of women is smaller, compared to men. The pelvis is wider giving women a distinctive shape. When muscle is added to the female frame it enhances the form. The irrational fear for some women is that their body will become block like. The reality is that the torso of the male is more block like than women. Female bodybuilders still aim for a version of the hour glass figure although they used different methods to attain it. By developing a muscular upper body and lower body  the waist on women appears smaller. Detractors claim that they are attempting to emulate men, but what they are really doing is developing a new aesthetic of female beauty.

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Although women do have big muscles, bodybuilding is more than just about size. Symmetry, conditioning, and definition are what contribute to quality physiques. This is where the body becomes a living art piece. This may be hard to understand if you do not admire sculpture or physique sports. The women are not large massive blobs of flesh. Examining the weight of various bodybuilders from the past to present only further demonstrates the point. Rachel Mclish weighed only 135 lbs., while Corey Everson was 155 lbs. Kim Chizevsky was 160 lbs. The body weight of these three Ms.Olympia champions is less than what would you would think by just looking at their pictures. Few women have reached the over 200 lbs mark, which a vast majority of male bodybuilders reach. Two of the greatest athletes Iris Kyle and Lenda Murray would not be considered bulky simply based on weight. Iris was 165 lbs of muscle and Lenda was 153 lbs.

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The biggest female bodybuilders do not even compare to men of the same fitness level and size. There can be overlap, but it is not possible for a woman to get man size. Lesa Lewis competed at 193 lbs during her athletic career. Maria Wattel has a weight of 198 lbs. The reason why Lesa and Maria are bigger is due to their height. They are both tall with Maria being 5′ 7” and Lesa being 5′ 10.”  The skeletal frame aids in size. The bigger the skeleton the more muscle can be housed on a frame. Muscular hypertrophy is regulated by myostatin and the MTSN gene. This explains why muscles do not continue to grow endlessly. Getting to the size of the Incredible Hulk would not be possible in relation to human morphology. Women have to work harder to build muscle and strength due to how the endocrine system influences physiology. Reaching this level of muscular development takes much time, effort, and an intricate understanding of nutrition.

       The perplexing problem about the “too big” concept is that women utter this more among themselves. Lori Braun observed that some overweight women do this. The reason for such unwanted commentary could be jealousy, envy, or closed mindedness. Harsh critics could be internalizing some of the messages of body image conformity. The negative response from some men one would assume would be obvious. Coming from other women remains a conundrum. Women being physically strong seems to bother a number of people, yet this would not apply to other areas. If a person said to a woman gaining higher education that she has become “too smart” it would immediately be challenged. Women’s bodies society believes need control. A woman can never be truly free until she has complete control of her body. This remains the last bastion for women achieving equality. Education and employment are essential measures,but control of one’s physical self is imperative. One step is to have reproductive rights strengthened. What should also be part of the process is women being allowed to look like whatever they want to without insults or harassment. The first step requires women to stop sabotaging one another.  Lori Braun describes an instance in which a client insulted a picture of one of her friends competing. Lori  rationally explained that her friend weighed less compared  to the woman making the offensive remarks. Women should not be insulting each other’s appearance. This only aids the system of misogyny based around a single beauty standard.

         The ignored element of this discussion is the false idea that people do not like the image of strong women. The argument is that if a woman gets to big men will not like them. There are men who have a vast variety in what is attractive. Muscular women to some men are the greatest thing ever. The exact number is not known. Many men hide this love due to fear of what friends and family might say. Fans might collect pictures, books,videos, and then hide them. The internet and by extension social media has exposed that there is a bigger following than previously thought. Even if this was not the case, some people just enjoy something that is not mainstream or widely accepted. Female muscle does have more exposure compared to the past considering there is more media. Yet, it started off as a small group of fans of female strength sports.  The irritating claim by detractors is that no man likes a muscular female physique. The growth of divisions in strength sports and the increase in women’s athletic participation just demonstrates there are fans. There also is a potential for  growth. The conversation about women being “too big” just needs to end. Doubtless of what people think, the women will continue to compete, train, and challenge prejudiced assumptions.

Lauri Braun : I Don’t Want to Get Too Big (2011)

Female Supremacy : A Sub-Genre of The Female Muscle Fetish

The female muscle fetish has more elements than many realize. There can sometimes be overlap with other fetishes. Normally,the association is with mixed and fantasy wrestling. There is another aspect that is part of the female muscle fetish. Female supremacy is both an ideology and  a fetish genre that has emerged on the internet and private spaces. It is the idea that women should have complete control of society and civilization. Women are presented as the superior sex.  Female supremacy originated from the radical feminism of the 1960s and 1970s. It was then adopted by dominatrixes in the BSDM  fetish culture. Female supremacy then made its way to the female muscle fetish culture. Female supremacy can now be identified as a part of the female muscle fetish. There are BSDM aspect present to it,but it cannot completely fall into that definition. The emphasis is on women not just having social and political power rather being physically powerful. The female muscle fetish presents female supremacy in either art, writing, or video. This is not a serious political or social movement for women to dominate or take over. Rather it is a fantasy that can be both sexual or entertaining. Schmoes who are more so focused on wrestling and muscle worship are not all followers of the female supremacy genre.  The total numbers remain a mystery and there still little known about the female muscle fetish fandom.

            Female supremacy stems from a hypothetical concept about what society would be like if  it were female dominated. This idea has appeared in both science fiction literature and popular entertainment mediums. Matriarchies have never existed in human history. Literature, film, and television  have explored what society would be like without patriarchy. The trope is that women have all the power,while men are second class citizens. Sometimes the genre even advocated separatism as a solution to sexism and discrimination. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland  (1915) describes a society ruled by women free from war and social ills.They have no men and reproduce asexually in this novel. The assumption is that a female dominated society would mean that men could be an underclass. Women would be the political and business leaders. The only way that would occur would be that women would have to become more competitive.

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Star Trek the Next Generation (1987-1994)  had an episode “Angel One” in which women were the dominant sex in society. The women had all the political power and sexual dimorphism was reversed with the women being physically stronger.
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The female supremacy genre loves to make materials that dabble in exaggeration.
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When some think of dominance they associate it with physical power.

Women being physically stronger would not mean a female take over. There are plenty of men who are not strong,but hold enormous influence over society. Real power comes from finance,politics, and land ownership. Women were traditionally excluded from these areas, however there were a few that were able to navigate the restrictions placed on them. The study of matriarchy has been regulated to anthropology. This is not the same thing as female supremacy. Matriarchy can have multiple definitions. It can mean a system of government ruled by women. Another description can be a system of social organization in which descent and relationship can follow through the female line. The problem with this definition is that it sounds too similar to matrilineality. The last definition describes a role of being a powerful and older  female member  in a family and group. Female supremacy is about women’s complete control of the power structure. It goes a step further claiming women are superior to men and society should be structured around belief. Considering that this idea came from more radical feminist roots, its comedic that it evolved into a fetish genre.

          During second wave feminism, the radical faction did espouse concepts of female supremacy. Extreme radical feminists preached ideas of society being run by women only. Valerie Solanas articulated that men should be eliminated and the government should overthrown in the SCUM Manifesto . Radical feminists did not distinguish between men who were misogynists and men who condemned sexism. Andrea Dworkin went further by attempting to get pornography banned on the belief it condones the sexual assault of women. This brought her into conflict with sex positive feminists who saw sex expression as part of human nature. Mary Daly believed destroying patriarchy was more important than focusing on equal rights. Her views on transgender people were prejudiced, expressing they were aberrations attempting to imitate women. Monique Wittig wanted to dismantle gender roles completely. The radical faction of feminism also had another branch which included lesbian feminism which attacked homophobia with in the movement itself. Gender roles and human sexuality the major figures had problems with. Once they were a small faction, but some of their ideas have been adopted into mainstream feminist thought. The comedic irony is that the female supremacy concept has become a part of fetish culture that they would have condemned as oppressive to women.

           Mixed wrestling  came into existence around the 1970s. Simultaneously, the first female bodybuilding competitions came into existence by the end of the decade. Mixed wrestling was a part of professional wrestling. During the 1990s and early 2000s it did gain some resurgence. Intergender matches still occur today, yet television network censorship is imposed with restrictions to the depictions of violence against women. The matches are staged and scripted so this seems pointless. The fights are fake, so it really is not violence against women. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 allowed more girls and women access to sports and fitness than ever before. What emerged was a female body more developed in strength and power.

When female bodybuilding emerged what eventually came was male fans. The hyper enthusiastic male fans are known as schmoes. They formed a groupie culture in which muscle worship and session wrestling  became common place. It it more so an open secret in the female fitness culture. Seeing as women were paid less even in female bodybuilding’s golden age women got creative with how to generate income. By providing session wrestling and muscle worship then allowed them to continue athletic pursuits. The development of the World Wide Web in 1989 allowed individuals to communicate with one another all around the globe. This was the perfect medium to enable subcultures to emerge on the internet. Female muscle fans began to produce websites, speak on forums, start blogs, and share pictures. Mixed wrestling was given wider distribution and seen by millions across the world. The fantasy wrestling genre got a significant following and with it came female supremacy.

           Female supremacy appears in some literature and art of  female muscle fandom. The noticeable theme is the projection of women’s power that is not just physical, but also mental.  Often most of the storylines revolve around women using their physical strength to dominate or control men. Centered around an alternate history or distant future women are physically stronger than all men, even the fittest ones. This goes far beyond mere role reversal in some art and writings. The female characters could be presented as antagonists or oppressive in nature. Sometimes art and stories can get too violent for some fans. Others may just be to embrace the fetish. These do not have long or intricate plots compared to other female muscle fandom art or writing. Not all female muscle related materials are female supremacy. It is just a smaller section of the female muscle fandom.

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The materials are mostly just for the sake of an erotic thrill. There are also cases in which they are more so meant to be comedic. Entertainment could be a goal as well, rather than just sexual arousal. The idea of a female dominated global society may be a turn on to some men. Although they may not want this in reality, a temporary fantasy is just fine in written or artistic renditions. The  expansion of the internet allowed this to be more accessible.

      The female supremacy genre is a small section of the female muscle fetish. It could possibly expand into new genres of the wider female muscle fandom. The existence of female supremacy tells us much about the complexities of gender and the roles assigned to them by a culture. Men are expected to have all the power and women should be subordinates. This obviously can no longer be the case in a freedom loving society in which a person has a choice in aspects of their life. Gender roles have dramatically change due to historical and social circumstances. Women all over the world are fight for equal rights and have been successful to an extent. While there still is more to be done, its clear that women have attain more social and political power than in past centuries. Female supremacy may be a goal of some radical feminist, but really it has become an aspect of fetish culture. A matriarchy or female supremacist  type of society could emerge under extreme conditions. War or a general collapse of civilization could in the aftermath be more favorable to women if they seek to monopolize power. It would not last because there is one aspect that keeps women from doing this. There is an expectation that men either do everything for them or be providers. If  total gender equality were to be realized most women would not favor it. Alimony, the draft, and divorce demonstrate how women even under sex bias still have an advantage.  Keeping female supremacy just fantasy is fine for most fans. Many would rather see a socety in which  the sexes are equal.

 

Female Supremacy : A Sub-Genre of The Female Muscle Fetish

Please Stop Praying At Sporting Events

Religion still remains a large part of people’s lives even in a highly technological and information based post-industrial society. There remains the debate on whether science and religion can coexist in a civilization. There are obvious extremes in the spectrum that can be seen in religious fanaticism and scientism. Blind devotion to a single ideology can be dangerous, if it suppresses critical thinking skills. Whatever belief system an individual adopts, it should be subject to rigorous analysis and criticism.  For the believers in a higher power, there is one practice that should be stopped. Praying at sporting events should not be done. The problem with this is that it merely makes faith seem nothing more than wish granting from an unseen genie. If one is going to make a plea for for an event to change, why do something out of a selfish motivation ? Organized religion survives in the modern world due to the fact it is a meme that is transferred from generation to generation. The discomfort of knowing at some point life will end makes some want to believe that their is immortality of the soul. People who suffer under extreme conditions like the idea that their is some God protecting them from harm. There is no evidence that such a force or creature exists. Faith is just the conviction that such a God exists without any factual basis. Prayer to the pious acts as a communication link. Athletes and fans that pray during sporting events almost take this act and cheapen its value.

          Athletes and fans tend to pray at sporting events with the hope that it will reverse their fortunes. The question remains why would God care about a sporting event ? It seems devoid of all logic. Why would an omnipotent and wise being care about a simple game. It would make less sense for such an entity to care about a regular person. Few people care about the ants  that they step on walking down a street. God and humanity can be compared in the same manner. The more power something has, the less it will care about a being below it.

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God has nothing to do with where you got in life. Too often people say they are “blessed” when when something positive happens to them. People can end up in various situations both good or bad, but divine intervention has nothing to do with it. An athlete praying for success or the strength to continue seems more comedic, when other factors are considered. Diligence, talent, support from family or friends are the keys to an athlete’s success. A good coach provide motivation and guidance, when stress or disillusionment can be fall an athlete. People rather thank some entity they have never sensed  than the people who moved them forward. Praying too much almost reduces its relevance. Praying over meals, celebrations, and before bed becomes  a ludicrous practice. There is nothing wrong with people having a religious belief system, but there is a point when it becomes excessive. The more dangerous cases result in extremist thought.

         Praying at a football or basketball game does not hurt anyone. Yet, religious fundamentalism is a serious threat to freedom and basic human rights. States that cling to religious law will not adhere to the rule of law. Fundamentalist religion seeks to impose one ideology on everyone and devalues other systems of thought. The Christian right in the United States attempts to undermine science and open debate of ideas. The reject human evolution, climate science, and women’s reproductive rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocracy in which one religion is law. Israel although it has democratic institutions is a theocracy in the sense that it is  a state for Jews only. The ethno-religious centrism of the Likud Party sees only Jews as citizens with Arabs, Somali, and Ethiopian   people in the state not be true citizens.  Islamism and Zionism are examples of the perils of fundamentalist religion. The Christian right in America are also on a crusade to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The traditional academic theology is also under attack beaten down by extremist voices.

article-0-0257341100000578-258_468x286 Theology is a rich philosophical discipline. Over time as the major monotheistic religions became organized religion. Organized religion is designed to control a population and prevent a disturbance in the status quo. The establishment of the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation are cases in which organized religion was used to control the political affairs of states. Islam was used by the Ottoman Empire to keep subjects unified. Even in countries that are secular organized religion still has some influence over politics. The fact that appears in sports also show its hold over culture.

         When prayer is done it is assumed that it is a direct communication to God. Thinking critically, this poses a logical problem. There is no one who answers and believers say God only communicates indirectly. The claim is either there are miracles or possible supernatural forces ( angels).  Faith is not fact. Simply believing in idea does not make it true. It can be verified that certain animals exist. Microorganisms can be detected by microscopes. Subatomic particles can be detected by linacs and cyclotrons. God cannot be detected or proven to exist. The concept of faith would not be acceptable to people if someone said ” I have faith your operation will be successful” or  ” I have faith you will be paid for your work .” The answers people would want are either a definite yes or no. Obviously,  faith and logic cannot not coexist so people selectively use logic depending on the situation.

406368-bfdc47b7d77d641d3af6bcfd5e875fa6.png   Cognitive dissonance can be found in followers of religion. At a greater extreme some may be just contradictory or hypocritical. The closed minded either say the heathens, gentiles, or infidels are going to face eternal damnation for not following the right religion. If  God never told a person what the “right” religion was, then such a claim is ridiculous. Religious texts are not authored by supernatural forces; they were written by people.  There cannot be cases in which a person demands evidence and others not. Religion is not just something followed by the credulous. There still a large portion of the world population that follow multiple faiths.The reason why religion still remains in a world that become more technologically advanced is due to humanity’s fear of uncertainty and death.

         Uncertainty is something that most do not like. Many want to feel in control of their fate or destiny, but can be random. Life may not turn out the way one expects or misfortune can occur. Uncertainty only adds to fear. It can be potentially a pathway to a better life. The reality is that there are no simple answers to major questions of life and existence. This takes an immense amount of thought and introspection. The existentialist approach is that life is what you make it. Instead of seeking answers from a religious system or political ideology an individual charts their own course. The biggest uncertainty in life is the end of it. Death comes for all living things. Age, disease, and violence are how human beings reach their end. The idea of dying or simply no long existing bring fear to one’s thoughts.

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The religious believe that the soul can be immortal. A soul as it is described does not exist. There is a life force that is  driven by biological and physiological functions. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. The energy of the human body merely transfers back to the environment. Spirits and souls are not matter. When human beings die, their consciousness vanishes. The brain becomes inactive and with it it all the functions that make a person unique. Death is part of the natural process of biology. This is one thing that cannot be stopped. Immortality may not be a biological possibility. As far as it is known this could be beyond the powers of biomedical science and genetic engineering. Doing this would have unintended consequences. If  people lived forever healthcare systems could not cope, overpopulation would become an issue, and  the economy could not adjust. The fear of death is the reason that some cling to religion. Everyone fears  it. The idea that a worshiper can go to heaven or be granted a reward is comforting. The problem is that we only get one life and that is it. It should be lived to the fullest. Embrace uncertainty and learn to find purpose on your own terms. A person that prays for something to happen will never see change. A person must take action to take control of life.

       Religion should not be banned nor should praying. The only concern should be to question a belief system. It is very important to be critical of ones that you support. Religion is one of  the belief systems that thinks it should not be criticized. Praying at sporting events only cheapens the significance of a sacred ritual. The lugubrious part of this practice is that it used for wish fulfillment. The world of hyper consumerism and advertising has spread to religion. Like any other product it has become packaged in marketed to a specific demographic. Religion has become just another item to be sold. There are individuals who are lost, but don’t know they are. This explains why some join either extremist movements or follow a demagogue. Cults are able to attract people who do not have direction, seek purpose, or want some sense of community. While it is rare that individuals go to this level, there remains mental chains that cannot be broken. Praying may be a good coping mechanism for a time. Yet, it does not solve problems because no one is listening. The all powerful entity is simply not there. There have been many Gods that man made throughout history. Zeus, Ishtar, and Aphrodite are no longer recognized. Gods and mythology change overtime. This is the product of human imagination.    Athletes can pray as much as they want. Yet, it should be remembered that God or Gods did not have anything to do with their success.

Please Stop Praying At Sporting Events