Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:01:44 PM
I am off work this week, watching as much of the Olympics as possible. Several months ago I marked down Archery as something I really wanted to catch and I've not been disappointed.
Flipping between sports has made me think about a subject which is often in my head - namely the idea of women competing directly with men.
I have to say that in sports where a tool is used and the skill is in its manipulation, I really don't see why, in this day and age, we can't simply have men and women together. The only sensible [Olympic] sport in this regard seems to be Equestrian (horses are the tool). A female member of the British Royal Family is competing in the London Games and today helped the mixed sex team to a silver medal.
What about a bow or a bike? Awkward. Olympic archery takes place over a set distance and there is no benefit from hitting the target harder. The difference is purely skill so put the men and women together. Performance on a bike is entirely dependent upon the physical strength and stamina of the rider, so keep the sexes separate.
Fencing, then. Hmm. I don't know much about it but on the face of it the girls should be able to keep up with men. If you can offer any insight, please comment.
Of course, fewer competitors would be able to take part in the Olympics if things changed. This would be bad in some ways but would also get things over with faster and probably therefore more cheaply. Maybe the argument that women are such second-class citizens in many countries justifies giving them their own spotlight and chance to shine. Or does it merely feed the idea that women should be seen as inferior?