Anthropology: Clothing and Women Essay

Submitted By jimbean123
Words: 1042
Pages: 5

Men and Women in Athletics For decades men and women have been portrayed as being unequal. Claims have been made that men are bigger and stronger than women, and this physical difference supposedly makes them better equipped for athletics, but does this claim have merit? Is there any circumstance that would cause female-male differences in athletic performance to disappear? I believe there are circumstances that would cause female-male differences in athletics to disappear. The circumstances that could lead to this would be when women are given adequate clothing and trained the same as men mentally and physically from birth and in adulthood. From birth girls and boys start being taught their roles and how they should look physically. Girls are to wear pink and frilly things and boys blue. Girls are put in dresses and bows that restrict them from free movement and told not to get dirty. Boys get T-shirts, jeans, tennis-shoes and are expected to come home dirty. Unfortunately these styles of clothing restrict women in every aspect. Think back to 1926 when women started the approach to having more similar physical capabilities and stats as men in athletics. The cause of this was the move away from the vision that women should always dress modest no matter what they were doing. Prior to 1926 women were clothed pretty much from head to toe even when competing in track races. Showing a woman's legs was considered immodest until the Jazz age when skirts became shorter allowing women to run faster, jump higher, and move more freely.(Grahame 2012)The fact that men have had decades of wearing nonrestrictive clothing gave them an advantage because they had decades to train freely which is something women have been doing only since 1926 and are now catching up. If less restrictive clothes were the focus for
Fobbs 2 women involved in athletics then maybe women would do as well as men in sports like swimming where the more clothes you wear the slower you are. If we wanted the differences in athletic performance to disappear we would need to create better athletic clothing for women like for swimming. Better athletic clothing for women who swim would be swimsuits that are made from materials that resemble skin because most men only wear a speedo making them have an advantage over women before the race even starts. Another thing that would make the differences between men-women athletic performance disappear is if they are set up the same mentally and psychically from birth. Boys are taught and trained to be big, tall, tough,and strong and when they lack this appearance they are often teased and referred to as being “girly”. When girls are active, muscular and bigger than the average girls they are teased and called tomboys, but these labels are designed by society and act as stunting agents of women's physical capabilities. If there weren't any societal parameters set for the “right” height and weight and activities for boys and girls then I believe that a race of women that could compete with and beat men would exist. There are men that have smaller statures that would be more comparable to a woman's but because characteristics like being tough, strong, and unstoppable are ingrained in them from birth they tend to be a force to be reckoned with. If women were taught the same things they wouldn't be worried about whether they are the right size or shape all that would matter is how well they play their sport. Mentally women and men are not taught the same when it comes to athletics. Women are taught as girls that contact sports are a boy thing because girls aren’t supposed to be rough, but what if we set girls up mentally the same way we set up boys? What if we taught them from birth that they are supposed to play contact sports and be aggressive and always in competition for the number