No love for women’s sports? RT Segment (2011)

This segment from Russia Today exposes the often sexist treatment women face in sports. While men’s teams normally get invited to the White House, while women’s teams on rare occasions do. There is also structural challenges. There are no professional leagues for women’s baseball or  American football. These are the team sports which get much attention and commercial investment. Then there are those on the extreme end of the spectrum that say women should not play sports, because they were designed for men. James Preacher a  religious fundamentalist believes that women should not be involved based on scripture. Such archaic ideas are still prevalent. There is a level of misogyny that has been a part of the sports world and women’s entry as professional athletes has not erased it. Only when women become owners of teams, develop their more organizations, and challenge the pay gap can women reach equality in sport.

No love for women’s sports? RT Segment (2011)

Amazon Feminism Erasing Biology as A Barrier to Equality

Amazon Feminism Erasing Biology

This writing from the Being Feminist Blog examines what is amazon feminism and its wider meaning. At first this term and ideology may be perplexing when first heard. This type of feminism falls under the third wave and promotes the idea that developing women’s physical prowess is a means to achieve gender equality. Its origins are ambiguous, but some link it to ideas by Ayn Rand the 20th century Objectivist philosopher. There is a dedication to the image of the female hero and female physical strength. Like any belief system it has particular flaws. Sexists tend to use the fact men and women are different as evidence that women are inferior. This is a fabrication, because human evolution disproves such notions. The other end of the spectrum wants to believe that men and women are not different in terms of their biology and physiology. Thomas Gramstand explained this belief ” Amazon feminism is concerned about physical equality and is opposed to gender role stereotypes against women based on assumptions that women are supposed to be, look, behave as if they are passive, weak, and physically helpless.”While it is rational to challenge gender stereotypes, the concept of physical equality has issues. It assumes that women are in their natural state are physically inferior and therefore must work to compete with men on a physical level. There is a misconception that the reason men dominate society is that their greater physical strength allows them to do so. Some third wave feminists believe this too and think if women were as physically strong as men this would erase inequality. This is not true due to the fact it is property ownership and unequal incomes  are the root of much of the oppression in society. Taking such a position in the concept of physical equality means one assumes the female body is biologically inferior. There are plenty of physically strong women, but they are still subject to sexist discrimination like other women. Amazon feminism is great in the belief that a physically strong woman is not an abnormality, but an admirable role model.

          The Randian origins of amazon feminism are questionable in regards to whether they are really progressive. There are some interpretations in which Rand is described as  rejecting gender role collectivism and embracing absolute freedom. The basis of Rand’s Objectivism was that pursuit of one’s happiness is paramount  and that our reality is independent from consciousness. This emphasis on self over others and absolute freedom does not seem as enlightened as one would assume. Rand ideas have become popular with American libertarians and conservatives, even though she may not have described herself as such. Maybe women who do develop themselves physically to an extend are following a path of objectivism. Many women participate in sports or nontraditional jobs doubtless of what society thinks. To them they are pursuing what makes them happy or making rational self interest a priority. However, man is not an island to himself, people are part of communities and wider societies. These bonds cannot not be broken, simply because humanity is a social species.

This extreme individualism could be applied to how some women do not want to conform to societal expectations of what a woman can be or do. This takes on a version of heroism that Rand exalted in her works.  The hero struggles to produce art or achieve a goal in which society may reject, but ultimately the individualist will triumph over the collective. This was emphasized in The Fountainhead  in which Howard Roark would not sacrifice his architectural artistic vision. From this perspective women athletes and those in physically demanding professions seem like a paradigm of a Randian hero. It should be understood that Rand was not a feminist. Ayn Rand said that she would never vote for a female president. It seems that she believed that type of job would not be suitable for women based on their nature. She once stated that “women ruling over men  puts them in a very uncomfortable position.” Clearly she believed that that would be too much for women to handle. There have been other nations that have had female leaders both in the past in present. Good leadership comes from reason, patience, perseverance, and understanding. One’s sex would have nothing to do with these qualities. Rand also thought that feminists were looking for hand outs and were harming men.

This is an example of how some ideas from not so progressive people are either adopted or used for other ideologies. Rand would probably not agree with amazon feminism entirely seeing as she would think its just women trying to compete with men for the sake of it. However, she might agree with the concept of not being conformist or part of the collective perspective on women’s proper roles according to society. While amazon feminism does have elements of objectivism, it cannot be counted as a Randian philosophy.

        Sex differences cannot be counted a barrier. They are not going to be erased unless human evolution or genetic engineering make that possible. The only way physiological and biological differences create barriers is in physically demanding occupations. The average woman will have a more difficult times passing physical tests, especially ones that require upper body strength. The average man has more muscle mass and greater aerobic capacity giving them advantages in jobs that require high levels of physical fitness. However, with training women can reach physical fitness targets or requirements. The fact that they are female does not stop them from either becoming firefighters, law enforcement officers, soldiers, or athletes. There will continue to be lower numbers of women in these professions.

There will be in the future more women in athletics seeing as they compete in their own leagues. Still some sports for them have to reach a level of development. Baseball and football is a small area compared to other sports for women. It should be understood women’s lower numbers do not have to do solely with biology. There have been historically jobs that women have been banned from. Front line infantry is one example . Women even if they were qualified were not allowed in combat jobs simply on the basis of their sex. The weak sex stereotype was influencing officials’ decisions, but since it has been reversed. The idea of female frailty is still stuck in peoples’ minds, even when there are physically strong women who refute this idea. Yet, biology cannot be ignored entirely . The average male has about 40% muscle mass compared to women’s 30%. Women contain a higher body fat percentage, which also explains the differences in strength. Estimates vary, but women can have close to 60% of the upper body strength of a man and 80% of the lower body strength when the size is held constant. Other that maximum physical fitness capacity, women still experience muscular hypertrophy under an exercise regimen.

When one see women in professions that require physical skill this proves that biology is not a barrier. Their are eugenic concepts that are still presented as fact about women’s bodies. The persistent belief is that women of such a physical fitness level cannot have children or that it damages the reproductive system. Women’s bodies were never designed to be strong or powerful. These ideas that developed during the Victorian age in medical circles have since been discredited. There still is a work to be done studying how design the most effective training regimen for women in terms of exercise physiology. Most studies have been conducted on male athletes. Sex differences are not proof of inferiority, rather the product of evolution.

       The physical equality concept seems to fall in the realm of power feminism. This faction of the ideology believes not in equality, but that women should just amass as much power and challenge men at every level.  This is nothing more than gender antagonism that is promoted by men’s rights advocates. This hostility is attempt for one group to either impose patriarchy or matriarchy on society. If gender bias were their real concern they would favor a sex equality movement rather than feminism or men’s rights . While women in some countries have made progress in business, science, and politics there is one arena that power feminists want to infiltrate. Sports and the fitness world are areas they want to compete with men directly. Some claim that women’s divisions in sports is an example of sex segregation and differences in women’s performances are sociologically based. The power feminists think that women’s lack of physical strength is the only aspect that is holding them back. This view point has multiple problems.It assumes that all men are stronger than all women and that is how men maintain control . Society is controlled by economic and political structures, which women have been excluded from in various periods of history. The hostility to basic anatomical and physiological science mirrors religious fundamentalist hatred of evolution. Prior to puberty girls and boys are similar in their physical fitness capacities.

Puberty Growth Pattern

Boys and girls development

The changes in the endocrine system alter the bodies of girls and boys. While boys are slower to develop , ultimately they become larger in size and have more muscle mass. By the end of the process males have 150 % more muscle mass and twice as many muscle cells compared to women. Lung and heart size also effect aerobic capacity with men having more hemoglobin. The bone, ligament, and tendons are larger adding to total body strength. Women’s physical capacity would not match that of the highest performing males. There are exceptions to this, due to the fact there is variation in human populations. These developments are a part of sexual dimorphism. While it can not be ignored that there are sociological factors such as body image, access to exercise facilities, and lack of opportunity  that contribute to a difference in women’s athletic performance biology does play a role. The highest performing women still do not perform to the level of the highest performing men. Having women play with men would eliminate large portions of women form sport. This would be true of sports that involve more upper body strength such as weightlifting or boxing. If a woman is strong and skilled enough to play on a men’s team there should be no reason to prohibit her from doing so. Power feminists have brought up perspectives that contradict proven scientific knowledge.


There are sports that have already have done mixed competitions. Tennis, korfball, race car driving,  and bodybuilding have done competitions in which have male and female players together.This has not generated any controversy of any kind. It should be realized that the physically fit woman would be stronger than the average man. Considering that it would seem the goal of physical equality has been achieved. Women participate in  just about every sport that exists.

The biggest problem is having equal coverage and sponsorship in media outlets. That seems to be the biggest challenge to women’s sports. The internet has helped in many ways in which the older media outlets have not.  Media coverage and fair portrayals could improve the financial situation in women’s sports. Women’s divisions are not sex segregation in the vein of apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow America. They were made so that women have a fair chance at athletic competition. It is the same for weight divisions. This is not discrimination against smaller people, but making sure they can compete on an equal basis. A 120 pound woman would be at disadvantage against a woman who 150 pounds in a particular athletic contests.

   There are other factor that are are part of athletic performance which include skill, speed, and experience. This could possible negate some of the advantages, but not all of them. The strongest women would struggle to compete with the strongest men. The desire to compete with men in that sense does not seem possible, despite power feminist  rhetoric.

This book asks can women be equal as long as men are stronger? Well it should be noted inequality had nothing to do with strength. Property ownership, job security, and education were out of reach for women. The lack of freedom and independence kept women subordinate.

The reason for this perspective is that women of think like this believe that men would use their strength to violently subjugate women. Self defense and strict laws against domestic violence can prevent such events from occurring. Part of this is overcoming some women’s fear of men. There may be an element of internalized self hatred that induces an inferiority complex. This may explain why some women may feel the need to constantly prove themselves, even when it is clear they have ability. There could be a small and extremist section of power feminist who seek to see men treated awfully. They merely want to acquire power form themselves with the intention of abusing it. It seems that the power feminists have a desire to replace patriarchy not with an equal society, but with matriarchy. This is the wrong pathway and has caused many to reject feminism entirely. Women who even believe in women’s rights do not want to use that label. The stereotypes of angry woman or man hater then appear constantly in media, which also causes people to reject the ideology.

Rational arguments and debate is what is needed in society. It is not sexist to say that men are stronger than women . It is misogynistic to say this gives men the right to rule over women. This is why physical equality is a bizarre concept. There are obviously men that are stronger than other men and women who are stronger than most men. Equality does not meaning being the same. People vary in their abilities and talents, but that does not mean any one group is superior. Maybe the term physical equality is more of a misnomer. The accurate description is that women are gaining the benefits fitness and  control of  their bodies.

       Amazon feminism is having an impact on society. The vision of heroic womanhood is emphasized in the acts and bodies of women of great physical strength. There is a new image of power that celebrates sportswomen, soldiers, astronauts, firefighters, and women of great power. It has cultural roots in ancient myth and modern day pop culture .The amazons of ancient myth were warrior women who lived in societies apart from men. These myths did not always glorify the bravery and strength of women. Scholars of literature and the classics believe it was a way to deter women from independence. Greek myths have male heroes either defeat or kill amazons in most of their adventures. Hercules combated amazons and specifically to Hippolyta’s girdle. Theseus was said in one Greek myth to have encountered the amazon queen. One version was that he was able to abduct and marry her after being defeated in war. Another notable myth was that of Achilles and Penthesila during the Trojan War. Achilles kills her and falls in love with her. He lamented what he had done sobbing over her cadaver. The creation of the amazon in myth represents man’s desire for a strong woman, but also simultaneous fear . There have been cases in which women warriors have appeared in history in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is only now that nations are officially letting women in combat positions. The image of powerful female is radical because at no point in history has it been so visible. This is the first time in history women have developed themselves physically to a maximum extent.

There is a slow, but gradual acceptance of women developing themselves in a way that was not considered appropriate. As women gain more freedom and independence, they no longer fear doing something that challenges traditional culture. The most fascinating element is that strength and physical power are no longer considered a male only attribute.Women who are strong are not considered unfeminine. While their resistance to change, it is clear it cannot be stopped. As for popular culture, there are more female heroes that appear on television and film. Women characters are becoming more diverse in personality and roles. It seemed that the only role was the commonly used trope of damsel in distress. Wonder Woman one of DC’s popular characters was one of the first successful female  superheroes. Other existed before, but none reached a high level of success.  The new type of female character is no one dimensional and does not need male assistance to complete a task.

      While there is change in the world of entertainment and fiction, there has been in perception. There are a group of men who are finding the idea strong woman attractive. Although there is not a specific number, the physically fit woman has gained attention. The internet has given the female athlete more exposure. Although the traditional media outlets such as television have failed to cover their sports, athletes can use social media to  promote their sports and themselves.Maybe these women could be considered modern amazons. To say that women were victims of man-made or biological circumstances does not seem to be accurate. It is just that women now have more control of their own bodies. Yet, there still is a battle for women to maintain basic reproductive rights. Access to contraception and abortion are still out of reach for many women in the world. The last stage of  women’s complete liberation is control of the body. Relevant to the amazon feminism concept, women are choosing how they should. Societal beauty standards are ignored in favor of a woman’s own version of beauty. This emphasis on fitness and exercise had a positive effect on women ‘s health.  Diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease are risks to women in later life. Title IX was a major opportunity for women to get involved in sports, but it as became an important measure in public health. As more women engage in exercise and physical fitness activities this has changed how women view their health and image. Most importantly, it done for themselves rather than to please men or satisfy society.

The female athletic body is making an appearance in sports magazines and advertisements. This mainstream exposure is becoming larger, even though many do not seem to notice.  There could also be some boost from a loose movement of body acceptance. It is not just the presence of female athletes, but women are now more active in gyms. There women in personal training and their are women’s only operated facilities. This however is not even distributed. Nations that are developed economically  have more time for leisure compared to one attempting to modernize or industrialize. There is a female fitness culture that is developing and it is having an international reach.

      Human evolution produced immense variety in the world’s population. This can be said of human body size. Sexual dimorphism could be the result of sex selection and environment. Early primates may have selected mates based on particular features. Therefore propagating sets of genes. An environment with more food would mean better nutrition and more growth. The more fossils discovered the more humanity learns about  itself. The genus homo had other members which included homo erectus, homo habilis, homo rudofensis, homo floresiensis, homo neanderthalensis, homo heidelbergensis, homo antecessor, homo nadeli,  and homo sapiens. All these organisms had sexual dimorphism. The fact that males were stronger did not account for the rise in inequality. This can be discredited, because there could have been women stronger than men but did not seek to inflict violence or domination.


 Hunter gatherer communities needed the labor of both men and women. These societies required more collaboration. There was not a system of hierarchy that labelled people as subordinates or lower status. With the rise of agriculture, permanent settlements, and land ownership this created the inequality that persists to present. Women were excluded from this process by law and discrimination. The formation of government also contributed to societal inequality. Civil and human rights are a relatively new concept to human history. The citizen of the ancient to medieval past had limited legal protection from the state. Human evolution proves that their is no inferior group of people. Men, women, and people of different ethnic backgrounds belong to one human species. While it is difficult for religious fanatics and racists  to accept this, it is more puzzling why some third wave feminists also reject science in a similar fashion.


Sex differences or understanding sexual dimorphism is not being anti-woman. There exists a faction of third wave feminist who see it as endorsing the idea of male supremacy. This wrong if anything the study of biology, physiology, anthropology, and anatomy prove that female inferiority is a myth. These critics often confuse actual science with social darwinism  and eugenics. These ideas born out of Europe and North America were produced by individuals who were not even scientists themselves or scientists that were motivated by political agendas based on their prejudices during the late 19th to mid 20th century. Such mendacious theories could not sustain the process of the scientific method. One should not confuse being the same with being equal. The reason why the human population is diverse is that it protects from genetically inherited diseases. This may explain why humanity has become such a successful species. When some see a strong woman they say it is “unnatural.”  Nature is in fact very random, erratic, and unpredictable. Ecosystems can change and human beings are still evolving. What is natural could just be relative. Women come in all shapes and sizes, which is just part of natural human variation.

The concept of body image distorts what bodies can be and  what they should look like. Everyone will look different, however there is a drive to present beauty or what is natural as one paradigm. Women’s biology is not a barrier to advancement. It is the societal structures surrounding law, politics, and finance which keep women in a subordinate position. When barriers to education, employment,  and equal justice are removed then women can advance in society.

       Biological and sex differences are not barriers to equality, but human made institutions are.  Amazon feminism may not be as notable as other ideological factions of feminism such as the socialist, radical, or liberal version. This body of thought has had an impact on world culture as more societies across the globe want to mobilize women in the economy and public sphere.  The march of progress is slow and transformation will come. There is another battle that remains and it is women gaining full control of their bodies. This has been historically denied to them with lack of contraception or reproductive rights. This has been challenged in nations in the West and continues through out the world. Not only did women not have control of the state of their reproductive health, body image was rigidly defined. Through out history men were dictating beauty standards to women. Now there are a portion of women defining it for themselves. Women are embracing an image of strength and it is more visible. It is a small movement in the sports and fitness world. Women are discovering the benefits of physical skill and prowess more so than in the past. Amazon feminism can be considered  more of a cultural revolution rather than a political one. The image of woman has been changed forever.

Amazon Feminism Erasing Biology as A Barrier to Equality

A Woman’s Goal :Afghan Women’s National Soccer Team

Despite US imperialism, war,  NATO occupation, and tensions with Pakistan there are still tales of hope. A Woman’s Goal follows the soccer players of the women’s national soccer team for Afghanistan. They have to battle sexist prejudice, poverty, and conservative attitudes to play the game they love. Since the fall of the Najibullah government in 1992, women’s status has decline immensely. Football offers an escape from the hardship of a discriminatory society and provides the public valuable entertainment. This could be the first step in women improving the condition of the country and their own lives. Afghanistan can only have a bright future when it provides equal rights to all of its citizens regardless of sex or ethnicity.

A Woman’s Goal :Afghan Women’s National Soccer Team

Girls’ Participation in Physical Education Why Girls are Disengaged in P.E & School Sport

It is no secret that girls do disengage in P.E. and they are gender based reasons. At this age women are starting to develop issues with their bodies. Girls may not be engaged for reasons of peer pressure and gender role stereotypes. This could have implications on women’s health in the future. If girls have a negative view of physical activity in youth, health habits may not be conducted in adulthood. Health risks such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes could be problems later in life. To avoid these some level of moderate exercise should be done. There also is the issue about femininity and physical activity that still remains dated. Physical skill and prowess continues to not be viewed as feminine, but gradually these attitudes are changing. This clip from 2011 shows the Ysgol Maesteg school in the UK promoting fitness week. Their intent was to change girls’ attitudes  in regards to P.E. and hopefully participate in sport.

Girls’ Participation in Physical Education Why Girls are Disengaged in P.E & School Sport

MGTOW Misogyny

There are numerous extremist movements emerging. While the racist and anti-government movements get more attention, their are others coming into existence by social media. Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) is one of these movements that came into existence online. This movement claims that society has been damaged by feminism and that it is more gynocentric at the detriment of men. This movement is not a faction of men’s rights advocates, which also has issues with women. Third wave feminism like any other ideology should be criticized and debated, however this group merely tries to intellectualize their misogynistic convictions. Politically MGTOW can fall into libertarian, alt-right, and some ideas extracted from philosophical anarchism. There are double standards in family law, gender roles, and how gender equality should operate. MGTOW blames all women for the power structure that was created. This lack of logic attracts individuals who are frustrated or vexed at the larger society. This group has sworn to not only be anti-feminist, but to cut women out of their lives. They claim that women’s oppression is a myth, men are at a disadvantage in marriage, and that large portion of men are subject to false rape accusations. What MGTOW is a reaction to women gaining power and status in a changing society. Simultaneously, it attracts men who have difficulty figuring out what masculine identity is in the world of the 21st century. This would appeal more to angry white males upset that they are losing their privileges in a society that once gave them everything. This partially explains why Donald Trump became so popular among this demographic. Their votes were not only out of anger directed at other ethnic groups, but women as a whole. This misogyny spreads through all aspects and topics from the MGTOW movement. They condemn women in fields or activities they consider male only. Sports, science, or anything they think violates a natural gender order they direct their rage at. A series of  Youtube videos best summarizes this fringe movement’s perspectives produced by a user known as Sandman.  videos best  MGTOW states that they are not sexist, yet writings, videos, and posts on various websites reveals an underground online hate.

       Women and physical strength has been a controversial topic. This becomes a complication when discussing women in physically demanding occupations. Firefighting , law enforcement, construction, sports, and military combat have more men employed relative to women. This is part biological and sociological. Women have been traditionally banned or faced job discrimination from these occupations. There is also the challenge of meeting the physical fitness requirements, which means women would have to work harder due to physiological differences. The MGTOW explanation seems like dated rhetoric  of the 1950s.

They claim that when women work in jobs that require physical strength, women attempted to get the men to do the work for them. All women do not do this, but lack of work ethic does become a problem no matter what occupation. MGTOW never considers how gender socialization effects this. Men are taught to be chivalrous almost to their own detriment. Women are raised to believe even attempting something that requires physical competence they will automatically fail at. These ideas must be discarded when women and men are working in physically demanding occupations. MGTOW claims that women use their feminine charms to get men to do more work for them. While this may be the case in some instances, the fault should be with the employer. Physical fitness standards should be the same for both sexes to prevent negligence and an atmosphere of hostility. The sameness feminist argument is that the physical standards should be altered to increase the numbers of women. This is both reckless and an insult to capable women. There are women who can do such jobs and meet the standards. Yet, MGTOW believes even if the woman is qualified it makes no sense for her to be participating. This is the flawed argument justifying sex discrimination. There are many who believe even if women are qualified their are just some jobs they should never do. It would seem as if more people would be okay with an unqualified man, rather than a capable woman.

      Women have to work harder to gain acceptance and respect in male dominated fields. The thought of a capable woman must be threatening to some. Women who enter these occupation are often accused of “having something to prove.” Misogynists are convinced that women are trying to compete with them for power and control. Women are not seeking to dominate men or take over when entering such occupations. The Sand man video demonstrates this irrational idea. It states ” women want the power and the money, but none of the responsibility.” A good employee wants a job because they want to make a difference and do something they have passion for. The video then goes into a personal anecdote claiming ” whenever I go to the gym I see women lifting those blue tiny  girly weights , so that they can add tone and definition to their arms.” He pontificates further saying ” they are so desperately trying to prove they are equal to men, but god forbid one of them lifting their little dinky weights.”These women are probably not training to be an athlete, cop, or firefighter. They could be just average women wanting to maintain health. Their are a portion of women who are afraid of building muscle, because it does not fit into the commercialized  media produced image of beauty. If a woman is going into physically demanding work they will need to lift heavy to build the necessary upper body strength. Apparently, the video maker seems to think women of a particular size and body type do not have a “sexual value.”  He goes on to say ” if a woman’s arms get to big, then she is perceived as less feminine.”  Women can be strong and feminine, but MGTOW does not accept this. As more women become active in fitness, they are no longer afraid of appearing or being physically strong. There are women who workout with small weights or large ones. MGTOW associates physical strength with men only, when men do not have a monopoly on it.

There are plenty of women who do not workout with “dinky weights.” A women’s fitness culture has emerged in the sports world. This argument lacks cogency. It also subtly implies women who work in these occupations are either lazy or come apply merely for the income. There are plenty of safer jobs that have higher incomes. There are times when women have even volunteered in times of emergency. The anecdote examples of women not volunteering in firefighting seems to ignore several factors. Women who do may not feel welcomed or some men attempt to have them removed. if you can not ban women completely their are methods to undermine them. There are women who risked being disposable. They are forgotten in many cases and made a historical footnote. Thankfully, women’s history attempts to correct this mistake.

Women firefighters at Pearl Harbor  this was not taken during the actual attack. These women had joined because of the outbreak of the World War II conflict.
British Women volunteers
British women training as firefighters. Hitler bombed Great Britain mercilessly during World War II.

There was a history of women volunteer firefighters in the UK. The bucket brigades were women firefighters of the 19th century. The unfortunate aspect of this was that sexist prejudice prevented them from advancing any further. A woman seeking to do this would meet many obstacles. Today there has been progress, but women are still underrepresented. The reality is that women will face ostracism, sexual harassment, and particular health risks. While women can increase their physical fitness levels, The higher amount of physical exertion the greater possibility of physical strain. Stress fractures, hernias, and the risk of ACL injury could be more detrimental to women. Even the strongest women will be pushed to their physical limits. Besides these challenges, women have to deal with gender stereotypes. These can range from women being both emotionally unstable, physically weak, or incompetent. Women who are in these physically demanding occupations have to refute this on a daily basis.

Women have to train hard to meet the requirements of a physically demanding occupation.

These negative stereotypes still persist even when they are proven false. Sexists often point out that seeing as there are few women in these jobs they obviously must be unable to do them. This argument has flaws for a number of reasons. First men were preferred to fill these positions which already means their numbers would be higher. Second a system of job discrimination and limited legal pathways to challenge it maintained the status quo. Also economic decline can hurt women as well. Women working in construction when the recession hit were left out of work in the United States .This is an example of how social factors influence labor outcomes. When the barriers were lifted more women were involved in construction.  The US Department of Labor documented the increase from 1985 to 2010.


Sometimes sexism is not always the answer to why there are less women in certain occupations. It also come down to personal choice. People choose jobs depending on their interests, talents, and the possibility of advancement. Income is a factor and if one has a family it is essential. One thing third wave feminists will never admit is that there are some jobs that women simply will not do, even if they are capable. Being a garbage collector  would be one job that women would not do. Only 1% of garbage carriers are women. There are probably more women janitors than their are garbage  carriers. This shows that society determines status by the jobs and income one has. There is constant class conflict, yet is at least controlled under the theory all citizens are equal under the law. Some third wave feminists confuse equal under the law with equal ability.

Not all women will be able to do physically demanding jobs. Similarly, not all men will be able to either. Women numbers may even remain lower in physically demanding occupations, even if institutional barriers are overcome. Women’s physiology in terms of muscle mass, bone structure, and aerobic capacity mean they would have work harder in terms of physical performance. This is just a static average in the differences in physical strength. Fitness levels can vary among men and women. There are strong women who can perform. Yet, strict notions about femininity, gender roles, and masculinity continue to be persistent challenges.

      Women who gain power ( either in the mental or physical sense) or enter male dominated spheres are often accused of “acting like men.” Traditionalist have strict view about what a woman should be. The association with power to them and MGTOW  is something men should only have. Women entering these spaces are not attempting to be men. They are enjoying themselves in activities that deliberately excluded them. There are some men who hate the idea of women entering certain fields such as sports, politics , science, technology,  or business.

If a woman in politics presents herself in a forceful fashion she is either considered “nasty” or “unpleasant .” If a woman wants to move up the corporate ladder she is considered ” a ruthless career woman.” This double standard applied to women reveals that society still wants to keep women passive. It also shows how some men either fear or hate powerful women. Objections have been expressed that women should not be in these areas, because it destroys the natural masculine character of the fields. These fields were not “masculine” fields. History has had many women scientists, athletes, leaders, and entrepreneurs. The world of science produced women such as Hypatia, Mary Grace Hopper, Jane C. Wright, and Emmy Noether. Their fields ranged from mathematics, biomedical science, and computer programming. Mary Grace Hopper was responsible for the compiler for COBAL programming language making computers more user friendly. Jane C. Wright developed safer cancer treatments, when chemotherapy was only experimental. Emmy Noether pioneered abstract algebra. Hypatia was the astronomer, philosopher,  and scientist who amassed mathematical works of classical Greece. Murdered by a Christian mob, this marked the end of a golden era of classical Greek science.

Women were a part of science during various periods of history. They were doing this even when popular prejudice believed that women were not mentally capable. Myths such as women are less intelligent or cannot master mathematics are still prevalent even when history demonstrates the opposite. The women entering scientific fields were not trying to emulate men. There love of discovery and natural phenomena drove them to success. Their goal was not drive men out or undermine them. They were looking for the opportunity to be useful contributors.

Annie Easley
Annie Easley was a computer scientist and mathematician   who  developed the software for the Centaur rocket stage.

 Women had to fight hard and deal with bullying when entering these fields. Business and politics are a greater challenge although in some areas of the world women are making progress. What MGTOW and its sympathizers want is a return to the 19th century cult of domesticity. This product of the industrial revolution and the rise of the middle class confined women to their homes and excluded them from the public sphere. Only men should work, because they have to support the family. Women ( mostly of the upper classes) were told they should not be financially or socially independent. The reason men objected to women working was that it would mean they would have to compete with them for jobs, while losing control of them. As the 20th century passed, more women got involved in the workforce. Nations that kept women out of the workforce suffered economically. This explains why some Global South nations struggle to develop. When a woman reaches a certain level of power some men react in certain ways. They either object to it, are fearful, or spiteful. These feelings may be based on insecurity in regards to their masculine identity. If for so long masculine identity was based on power, strength, and domination this would distort a man’s view relative to women. Femininity was culturally constructed to be weak and submissive. When a woman does not fit into this opinion schemata, then the larger society reacts negatively. This explains why when women do something like sports that radically change their bodies,  the reactions are more vituperative. MGTOW believes women entering mostly male dominated fields is an attempt of women to weaponize their bodies. This paranoid conspiracy constantly is repeated.

The common argument that MGTOW argument is that women only get involved in these occupations because men are doing them. Women have multiple reasons for selecting a career, but “acting like men” is not one of them. How one behaves is related to personality. According to psychology their are various personality types. There are the shy introverts and the extroverts who are more gregarious. Some people have more dominant personalities or a combination of various attributes. It is just in women assertiveness or a dominant personality is not accepted. The concept of “male spaces” were developed to keep women out of certain activities.  This is changing now. A woman  is still a woman no matter what she does. Concepts of masculinity and femininity vary from cultural  and change overtime. Gender is a social construction, while sex is a biological fact.

     MGTOW reacts not only to women entering male dominated areas, but has issues with women who are fans or followers. Sports is one of the areas in which women are not only active participants, but dedicated fans. American football has in the first time in its history has a growing number of women fans. Combined with a growing number of female athletes this has caused a backlash.

female sports fans are accused of merely attending events for looking for husbands, being disruptive, or just trying ruin a male bonding experience. There is no plan to take over this activity. Historically, there were periods in which women were banned from sporting events. The ancient Olympics did not only ban women from competition; it forbid them from being spectators. Doing so would result in execution. There were some instances in which women were only spectators, if not athletes themselves. Women were spectators of boxing matches in America during the 1800s. English women were also players and spectators of cricket in the 1700s. While it is difficult to estimate how many women spectators there were in the past, it is clear that it was something that interested them. Modern day sports fandom has become a family affair. Their are parents that put their children in sports and the whole family attends events. This is the product of modern marketing, demographic tastes, and society’s desire for escapism. Women do not become fans just to be with men; they actually enjoy watching the games. If there is a fan base that grows that shows that the subculture or field is thriving. Women’s entry into subcultures or male associated areas  such as video games or sports is not a negative development. It shows these areas have life and can still attract many people. A male sports fan disparaging a female fan is only harming sports. The image of sports is one of a misogynistic culture filled with women hating brutes. This image must be dismantled, due to certain setbacks in areas of publicity. The NFL has handled domestic abuse issues poorly causing public concern. Women do not go to sports events to become gold diggers , find a man, or just ruin the fun. The vexed feelings of men who want to keep sports male only is directed viciously at women athletes.

There is a huge wage gap in sports. Other occupations at least acknowledge the problem or make attempts to change it ( although unsuccessfully). There still remains a persistent resistance to pay female athletes  equal pay. Several arguments that are either sexist or pseudoscientific  in manner are used as justifications. One reason that is stated is that women do not perform on the same level as men and therefore should be paid less. The problem with this argument is that sports performance varies among male athletes. Not every man is going to run like Usain Bolt. An athlete can perform well, but they have to be at the same time an entertainer. Fans want to see a level of show boating and humor. If an athlete does not do this, they will not get notoriety. To say women are terrible athletes is false. There have been many women who shown this from all over the globe. Physiological differences are not an indication of inferiority and certainly is not a justification for lower pay. The problem comes down to economics. If attendance numbers are low and tickets sales are dismal this will effect income. The solution to this problem is to have more advertising and broadcast more women’s events on television. Then one must consider demographics. A good target audience would be either children or women themselves. This should not exclude the young male demographic. This may be the groups more accepting of women athletes and willing to pay to see events. The pathway is clear; the business model must change to help advance women’s sports.

The problem is that the corporate gatekeepers select what they think people would like. if they want to be innovative and longtime business success they have to try something new. If the sports world does not attempt to do this they could face economic ruin. Women’s sports could be a large revenue generator if you give it a chance. There are growing number of female sports fans who are a potential large consumer group. Sports organizations should be fast to tap into this market. The claims of this being “socialism” or “cultural Marxism” are deluded far right fringe thoughts. Equal pay for equal work does apply in this case. Women athletes play just as hard and rough as their male counterparts. They hit the same balls, lift weights, swim, and run. As for tennis, women in Grand Slams should play up to five sets, rather than three. When this happens there will be no excuse for the pay disparity in that sport. Women could create their own sports organizations as another solution. Doing so would show independence and could break the strangle hold of longtime sports organizations that dominate the market.

        The fitness world also is one place women are becoming a force. MGTOW and the traditionalists also  reject this also. One space that continues to be perceived as a male only space is the gym. Even within the fitness culture there suspicions of women in that space and subculture. The gym traditionally was a place to display male strength and athleticism. Women who were of great strength and had athletic ability were largely excluded until the late 20th century. Women entered certain gyms they were many times denied access to the weight room or other facilities. These women faced ostracism, harassment, and harsh treatment from their colleagues.When women entered weightlifting and bodybuilding they had to confront gender stereotypes and sexist prejudice. Physical strength or large muscles on women still are not completely accepted, even when there are more women in sports and fitness. They present a new image that is either impressive or shocking to some.

The gym can many times be an unfriendly place to women. There can be times of unwanted attention, feeling uncomfortable, or general harassment. This lead to the creation of women’s only gyms . There women who champion this as progressive. It is understandable that women would want a comfortable place to exercise, yet this creates segregated spheres. No good has ever come from segregated societies as the Jim Crow South demonstrated. At the same time there is a double standard, because if there was a man who created a man’s only gym there would be objections based on sexist discrimination. Both women and men should share the fitness space. These women only gyms may not help dispel particular stereotypes or myths. The idea that all men in the gym are just predators looking to pick up women needs to be discarded.

Women go to the gym just to work out. They are not going there to find a boyfriend or a husband. Men should understand this is not a venue to get dates. Men complain that women are there, but are not serious and hog machines. This stereotype of fitness culture developed from people who thought a gym was not a place for women to be. There is a combination of intimidation and a hostile atmosphere in some gyms. other times it is women’s discomfort may come from ideas surrounding the frailty myth. they may feel that they are physically inferior and not attempt various forms of exercise even when physiology disproves this. Women’s muscles do respond to training stimuli and at the cellular level there is little difference. The differences in strength are related to endocrinology,  physical size, body composition, and the rate of muscular contraction. There are obviously many strong women that exist and continue to develop their athletic skills. The female athlete during the past was largely excluded from training facilities and gyms. Only with Title IX did this change with women getting access to training facilities and equipment.The women’s only gyms may be a separatist answer to continued discrimination with in the fitness world. Separatism was once advocated by radical feminists in the 1970s  as solution to women’s issues. This answer will not produce gender equality. This also comes down to another subject of co-ed sports.

MGTOW says its women invading a man only space, but co-ed sports developed during Title IX. If a school does not have a girls sports team, then a girl is allowed to try out and play on a boy’s team. Many girls particularly in America have been on wrestling teams with mostly boys. There are even some girls on both high school and middle school football teams. Title IX compliance has been hard to promote especially with smaller schools. Eliminating  boys teams is not a solution, but allowing girls to try out for boys teams. Recreational co-ed sports has become popular in some areas in which men and women may play soccer, softball, kick ball, or hockey just for pure fun. It takes adults back to a time of carefree childhood. This is not some form of battle of the sexes as MGTOW proclaims. Yet MGTOW has a problem with men in women cooperating in the same activity. There is another end of this spectrum in which some third wave feminists claim having separate teams is naturally unequal. This is not entirely true. These separate teams for professional athletes are due to anatomical and physiological differences. There is a differences in women’s athletic performance, which means if there was to be co-ed competition many women would be shut out. The few women that are above average would remain in the competition roster. Women respond differently to training stimuli and it is not completely environment based. While women can reach high physical fitness levels, men’s gains in strength and speed are higher when both are on the same training regimen. It would seem that the third wave feminist desire of women’s performances matching men’s may be out of reach. This is not to say it will not change or in the future it will. New training techniques, supplements, or even biological evolution could improve performance. It is too early to tell. The suggestion to do co-ed professional sports could harm the progress of women’s sports forming its own unique culture.

Up until a certain age boys and girls can plays sports together. When the effects of puberty occur this changes physical fitness potentials.

The their are physiological advantages men gain during puberty, which women do not get. This is why it is important that there are separate leagues that women can compete in. The biggest concern should not be whether there are co-ed professional sports, rather equal media coverage of women’s sporting events. Rarely do women get equal air time on television, which can harm their sports financially. However, if a woman is strong and skilled enough she should not be banned from playing on a men’s teams. It makes no sense if she is qualified, whatever that sport may be. There is a common misconception that women do not take sports seriously or are not as competitive. This is a falsehood because now women are competing harder and at even higher levels in various sports across the globe. Women also are making impacts in areas, people still think as male domains. Space exploration women are certainly going to more involved in. The idea that they are too timid to explore or try something different has been eroded.

There does exist a competitiveness gap. This is due to the current status of women’s sports. Why do all this work for limited financial reward? That could hold women back from going further in a professional athletic career.  When a woman performs extremely well her femininity is put into question. The sexism can even be seen in color commentary, when male sportscasters talk about the athlete’s appearance, rather than their physical feats. Co-ed sports leagues are not meant to be places were women can beat up on men or just be a disruption. They are leisure activities. It is a wonder forum to meet new people and find others who share a common interest. MGTOW exaggerates the purpose of its existence to advance a particular agenda.

         MGTOW claims it wants to challenge the unfair or unequal biases against men, yet it really wants to revert to the past in terms of gender relations. Their arguments either distort or fabricate history. They claim women’s oppression is mostly an illusion and men have an unreasonably hard time in society. Women throughout history have faced various forms of discrimination. Unequal access to education, wealth, property, or healthcare has been a constant theme. Marriage was historically a property arrangement in which women had little say. Women many times were not allowed to control their own finances and when they were married it would transfer to their husbands. Prior to the rise of permanent settlements that would later grow into civilizations, humanity lived in hunter gather societies. At this point in history men and women were of equal status. The rise of agriculture brought the concept of land ownership and this became the root of most inequality seen in the contemporary world. Women were denied access to property. Society became more hierarchical and pyramid structured with women regulated to a lower status. They went from being people to property themselves. There were cases in which women did have freedom. Ancient Egyptian civilization allowed women to own property and Sparta encouraged women’s physical fitness development. This does not mean these societies were feminist or valued women’s rights.

This video has certain fallacies. Sparta was not a Marxist society; it was a strict militarist one. Women did not cause the fall of Sparta, constant warfare did. At some point militarist societies will collapse from constant warfare. 

Sparta’s interest in women’s  physical fitness was eugenic in purpose. They believed that strong women would give birth to strong babies and therefore produce more capable warriors. Although there was obviously more freedom, women were not of equal status in the Spartan society. Obviously, they did not value equality in a legal sense because the state was more important to than the individual. The rise of monotheistic religion also encoded the belief that women should be subordinate. There were times in which goddesses were worshiped, but were replaced by one god. When the Enlightenment thinkers of the Age of Reason challenged religious dogma and fought for rights of citizens women were not included. They only spoke of the rights of man, not women. Many were contradictory in this regard as well as their views on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Africans were enslaved in the millions, while some Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke had financial ties to it. African women were subject to mass sexual violence in the New World. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote in 1792 Vindication of the Rights of Women probably one of the earliest articulations of  feminist thought. Her thesis was that women are not inferior to men by nature, but were kept in a poor condition due to lack of opportunity, bias, and limited access to education. As the 19th and 20th century progressed women were able to gain some rights. Voting, employment, and reproductive rights continue to be concerns for women across the world. The idea that women’s oppression has some how been defeated is a myth. Normally, when an oppressor wants to hide their hate they frame themselves as the victim. Doing so is an attempt to mask their true intentions.

         The current state of  sex politics movements fall under several groups. There are the fringe movements such as men’s rights and MGTOW. They blame women for all of their problems and desire to go back to a time when women had no legal rights at all. This takes an extremist conservative bent and has been energized by a Donald Trump presidency. MGTOW claims they just disagree with feminism, but what they really have an issue with is women in general. There is third wave feminism which has taken such a radical bent it excludes men who do not agree with sex discrimination or misogyny. The existence of these fringe factions  demonstrates the need for a sex equality movement. This would not be third wave feminism or men’s rights, but a unified effort to challenge double standards and injustices in society based sex. The reason such extreme perspectives exist is because a system of oppression has operated so long. Only when this is fully dismantled and destroyed can a healthy society. MGTOW is the product of  white males who are vexed that once oppressed groups are gaining power. While the internet and social media are excellent platforms to spread messages, it can also be a birthplace for abhorrent views and disinformation. Although small in number so far, the best way to counter such perspectives is with facts and awareness.

MGTOW Misogyny

Happy Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day is a celebration of the 19th Amendment. It was established to commemorate the year in 1920 women got to vote in the United States. All women did not get to vote however. African American, Latino, and Asian women were largely excluded from the political process. The civil rights movement allowed women of all races to vote. Remembering history is important especially in the present political climate. There is an obvious attack on women in the US in regards to reproductive rights, employment,  and equal justice. Awareness, activism, and full scale mass resistance must be unrelenting in combating a presidency that does not value the rule of law or its citizens. There is growing reactionary backlash with the men’s rights movement and  MGTOW that was emboldened by the election of Donald Trump. The following weeks femuscleblog will examine this rise in misogyny in the context of sports and the wider society. Although there has been backlash, women do continue to excel in what were once considered male only jobs. There determination and perseverance should be an inspiration to all.  Femuscleblog commemorates this day with images of  female physical power.


Happy Women’s Equality Day

Kate on Sports : Women and Muscle

Kate on Sports was a vlog that was active between 2006 to 2008 that was produced in association with Zennie62 and Sports Business Simulations. Kate Scott was giving her analysis on women’s sports and sports in general. These few videos are of interest, because it is so rare that women give such opinions in regards to women in sports. One particular video that she made was “women and muscle.” This was the best one of the few videos she made before she became a sportscaster for KNBR. However, it does have some problems. There are particular points that should be noted, although the overall argument is cogent. The six minute video explores topics such as body image, Title IX, and what does the new found physical strength of the female athlete mean. The camera operator poses a perspective that society is at a juncture in which sports women have muscle, but are not comfortable with it. The question then emerges what is wrong with women having muscle? The video proceeds to tackle these questions and Kate Scott provides those answers.

        There was a claim in the video without Title IX, this look would not have existed. However, anyone with knowledge of women’s sports history would know that is not entirely correct.  Muscular women existed prior to Title IX. They were either regulated to circus performers, vaudeville acts, or beach boardwalk acts. There was no competitive outlet for their skills and talents due to cultural mores as well as sex discrimination. The documented evidence of muscular women can be seen in photographs. Acrobats, circus strong women, and performers were present in the 19th and early 20th century. Katie Sandwina was known for her feats of strength involving barbells and lifting men overhead. Joan Rhodes also would follow in this tradition of the strong woman act. Out of this emerge a weightlifter culture, which is bigger today in terms of popularity. Crossfit and Olympic weightlifting would not be at the same status, if it were not for the strong women and strong men of the previous two centuries.

Another case at least in art, was how Michelangelo depicted muscular women in his art during the Italian Renaissance. There are vary rare cases in which muscular women are depicted in art history. This does not mean that women were not athletes. Artifacts and artwork discovered from ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Minoan civilization reveal that the female athlete is hardly a modern phenomenon. Women participated in footraces, wrestling, bull leaping, and javelin. The difference is the amount of opportunity women have and the access to fitness facilities.   While there were women of considerable natural strength, there were no opportunities to develop it further. The women of the past either had to struggle around sex, race, and class barriers. These are still present factors, but there is more awareness and willingness to resist such aberrations of society. To say that Title IX magically produced women athletes would be false. There is a long history record of women in sports.

 There are countries in which Title IX does not exist and yet female athletes still emerge. What Title IX did in the US was allow for more female athletes to emerge and enhance their physical skills. Tackling discrimination was the major obstacle that had to be confronted. The reality was that Title IX was not specifically for sports, but part of the Education Amendments of 1972 addressing sex disparities in education. School programs were examined and it was reveal that girls were getting the least resources for sports activities. If  the schools did not adhere to federal policy, they would not receive funds from the US government. The girls who benefited from this would go on to become Olympic athletes or just your average fit woman. This female mesomorph as a paradigm owes much of existence to Abbye Stockton and Lisa Lyon. They actively trained not just for improving physical skill, but to add muscle to their bodies. This was something during their time periods, which was considered unacceptable for women.

   During Stockton’s time in the 1940s she had to battle both prejudice and myths about women and weightlifting. There were myths that said it would cause women to become infertile or harm themselves. Lisa Lyon had to struggle to compete in newly formed bodybuilding competitions, which were limited in number and had less support in the 1970s. These women contributed to overturning the notion that the female body is not designed for strength. The unfortunate aspect was that the women of the past did not benefit from legislative assistance prior to Title IX. As a public health measure it should not be under estimated. Women started to get more involved in exercise, fitness, and sports rather than just for the purpose of weight loss. The analysis is limited, due to the fact that women are competing in sports globally at higher levels. The Olympics, All Africa Games, Pan- American Games, and Asian Games show women athletes from all around the world.

Kate’s and her associate’s perspective only examines this phenomenon from a Western ( specifically American ) perspective. The physically strong woman has become a small, but growing development in the sports world. Confining it to the US would certainly be incorrect.

      This discussion inevitably goes into body image and beauty standards. For decades a tin body type has been idolized to the extent that cases of bulimia, anorexia, and obsessive dieting  have become a normal part of some women’s lives. This has been challenged with an emphasis on a curvy and larger body type as Kate reveals. The muscular body type in this obsession with appearance falls in an undefined place. There is some moderate acceptance for women with some muscle ( “tone”), yet a level of hostility to women who develop their musculature to the highest levels. Female bodybuilders not only are strong, they project a powerful image. This causes either reactions of disgust, lust, or support. Society has concepts of what a woman should be and being powerful both physically or mentally is not a part of that in the traditional view of gender roles. The recent ideal of the female body was to be considered frail and thin, not one of muscle. The muscular woman challenges this belief, by presenting another version of beauty.

According to their version of aesthetics, they are  molding flesh into a living statue. The rise of crossfit and weightlifting as a popular activity has improved the image of women with muscle.  This has been to a limited extent. There is a problem that comes with mainstreaming a subculture. It becomes too common place and loses it unique value, which made it great in the first place. There were women and men who liked the muscular look prior to this sudden mainstream trend. There is also another problem with the new “strong is the new skinny” conviction. Could it be than one unrealistic standard is being replaced by another? It would be hard to imagine in the future that women would be attempting en mass to obtain such physiques. Maybe the best result of this is that women decide for themselves what is a suitable look for them, rather than having society or mass media dictate it to them. Women who are muscular should not be afraid to call themselves muscular. The term toned has been used to mainstream the idea of women having muscle in the fitness industry. The fact is women have muscles and this can be developed to certain degrees. Societies that impose strict limitations on how women should look or  behave expose the level of male dominance and misogyny. Individuals should be free to do as they please as long as it does not harm other people. Why should a woman have to spend her time reaching a societal beauty standard? It would be better to form one to your personal preference.

        kate also acknowledges that their are men who enjoy the appearance of the physically strong woman. She does mention that women have it hard being muscular, but she does not realize male fans and supporters are also ostracized.  This mostly comes from the closed minded, people of conservative thought, sexists, or anyone who cannot tolerate anything different. It is understandable that such a pursuit would just not be someone’s preference, but there is no excuse for vituperation and vitriol. Male fans either are presented as fetishists, eccentrics, and predators. Liking muscular women is no different from liking thin women, larger women, or any other women. At no time will one ever hear the phrase ” you have a skinny woman fetish.”  Another misconception is that fans of female muscle only like this type of woman. Male fans could have numerous body type preferences. Men have a hard time too, even struggling with the fact they find this attractive. Stereotypes and popular prejudices surround fans as well as athletes. These attitudes reflect a level of narrow mindedness in regards to traditional roles in what a woman should be. Female muscle fans may not even prefer the same levels of muscularity. There are some who like a sleeker body, a mid range level, and the more hypermuscular physique. It should be understood within fitness, there are varying degrees of muscularity on women. Even within the bodybuilding sports there is fitness, figure, bikini, physique, and traditional bodybuilding.

There has evolved a wide range in which female muscle fans can choose to follow. kate also mentions that it is uncertain in which direction the muscular appearance will go. At the time of this video many elements of women’s sports were changing. Women’s MMA was just on the rise and crossfit was in its prototypical stage. While traditional bodybuilding for women was struggling, more divisions emerged which included figure, bikini, and physique. The look of the athletic female is evolving, but in different branches. Athletes do not all look the same. The way their body looks depends on both genetics and the specific sport they compete in. Athletic women  could be muscular, some could be thin and other women could be larger in body type.

As for direction, the images presented are going in multiple pathways. Each one presents a radically different notion about what a woman can achieve and be. There are advocates that want to see the female muscular image be pushed to a higher level and other who state that i has gone too far. Kate even says “she’s not a fan of the ones that can brake you over their knee.” Some fans even say some women have “crossed the line” or are “too much.” These accusations lack cogency. If one is part of the bodybuilding sports it is about sculpting the body. However, it is not solely about size. Shape, conditioning, and symmetry are critical elements that must be balanced on a physique. These should be the only legitimate criticisms directed at women in terms of physique sports. There seems to be a level of movement to the mainstream, but there are some elements that will remain subcultural. The mixed and session wrestling element will remain underground. Although harmless, it is too eccentric to find a mainstream audience. I has been present since female bodybuilding’s early years and will not disappear anytime soon.

It seems hardcore support for the larger muscular women will remain in the realm of subculture. This does not mean that in the distant future that the athletic body type will not gain some level of acceptance in the future. Women’s fitness culture has become something unique between its fans and competitors. Merely ignoring how fans play a role leaves out something critical. The less venues for fans to consume, means a large untapped market. The corporate gatekeepers of the fitness industry should recognize this and capitalize on this niche market. The internet and specifically social media has been helpful at exposing the image of the muscular woman to a wider global audience. So, it could be possible in time it will gain a larger following.

         Upon close examination, an answer can be extrapolated from the initial question. There is nothing wrong with women having muscle; it is that people’s limited views of what a woman should look like and be create objections. These beliefs are based on unrealistic beauty standards, subtle misogyny,   and the belief that women should be controlled. This control does not merely extend to what a woman can do with her life, but her own body. More extreme cases include the restriction of reproductive rights, abortion, and birth control. One method to control women was to control their bodies. Symbolically, the muscular woman challenges the notion of female frailty and weakness with an image of strength. This comes into conflict with schemata that was develop from culture or media in regards to attitudes about women. If a society only values for women for how they look or solely their reproductive capacities, women who deviate from this cultural norm will be outcasts. Unrealistic beauty standards idolize one body type over all others, which could cause mental distress and self-esteem issues in young women. This desire for an unhealthy level of thinness effects both physical and mental health. Besides anorexia or bulimia, women could put themselves at risk for osteoporosis if not receiving proper nutrition. This system wraps into a subtle misogyny which only views women as sex objects and not people. Women who refuse to follow this system set an example for others to change this defect in cultural mores. Thankfully, their has been slow change. However, some will have to adjust. Some men may just not be used to seeing women with such strength in their daily lives.

 The woman with muscle is a rarity, but not some anomaly. One of the least credible arguments against women developing strength and muscle is that it is “unnatural.” Humanity has discovered many ways to alter the body through surgery, medicine, nutrition, and one day extensive genetic engineering. We have reached a point in which our biology can be manipulated possibly leading to transhumanism. Nature can be very unpredictable in the evolutionary process, so calling something “unnatural” would be scientifically inaccurate. Genetics, nutrition, and environment can change the appearance of human populations. A muscular woman is no more “unnatural” than a tall person, short person, or thin person. Organisms thrive on genetic diversity, which is why human beings are the dominant species on the planet.  Calling such women “unnatural” is just another way to either exclude or marginalize women who are different. Another argument from detractors   is one of a beauty standard. This is relative according to who you ask and varies from culture to culture. These athletes do not do this for the approval or pleasure of men. Yet, this seems like a foreign concept to many. Although the muscular woman is not completely accepted, but is leading an unnoticed revolution.

Kate on Sports : Women and Muscle