larkim wrote:In terms of the sexism, I tend to the view that the best sportspeople (by sheer achievement in individual performances) tend to be male - show me a woman that can run 9.58s 100m? The best golf is played by men, the best football is played by men, the fastest runners are men, the highest jumpers are men, the best tennis players are men. I don't think its overtly sexist to recognise that.
I find larkim's attitude to women in sport really depressing. When you were watching Kelly Holmes winning the 800 gold in Athens, were you really thinking, 'This is rubbish because they're running 1.56 not 1.46'? I was thinking, 'What a fantastic race.' To me it's all about the competition. What women's sport needs is the same kind of media exposure and sponsorship and professional opportunities that men's sport gets. One of the great things about athletics is that women get to compete on the same stage as men.
Sorry, that's not an attitude to women in sport. Its a straightforward fact that of all the humans on the planet, the fastest and strongest are male. Now, in some sports that has a negative effect. For example, I (personally) find women's tennis very dull, particularly in terms of grand slam tournements, because the sport is dumbed down in that they play best of 3 sets, and the sheer ferocity and speed of the game is lower. Ditto football and rugby.
In athletics, women jump over smaller hurdles, so the event is diminished in my eyes (steeplechase most of all). They throw smaller devices. But they run over the same distance, and in terms of one woman's achievement in her sport vs other women I would recognise their relative achievment in exactly the same way as I would recognise a male vs other men.
The reality is that male sport (overall) gets more publicity, TV, attendance partly because the male version of the sport is the pinnacle of human achievement in a given sport. Some sports do lose their appeal if they are not played at a "male" level of speed and intensity. I don't think the same is true of athletics, apart from the hurdling and throwing events (a personal opinion).
I don't know how this can be overcome for me, which does challenge my normally very liberal views!!