I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm sure I would have a good time doing Zumba. I used to take those kinds of classes. Heck, I might even get a good workout!

But this post is not about Zumba. It's about gender roles and assumptions.

I try not to talk about work online. I know it's not a good idea. But something stopped me in my tracks today and I had to address it. In short, some students put together a brochure for fitness activities here on campus. They divided it into two categories: male-centered and female-centered. Guess where weight training went? Guess where Zumba was listed? After their presentation, I asked if these categories were determined by their group or the college and they said they did it. They're young guys. Is this what we're teaching them?

I never went to Curves or any other female-centered gym. Yes, there is something to be said for Girl Power, but if we're all about feminism, shouldn't we work out and do the same things as men? Sure, I felt intimidated when I first started Crossfit and I would be the only girl there on a heavy lifting day. You know what I did? I got stronger! 

I love Crossfit because women are generally treated equally as men (despite some remarks here and there). It doesn't seem like it's that way in the overall fitness world. What do you think?

I almost told that group of guys that I was sure I could do more pull-ups than the three of them put together. We'll see.


crystal said...

So glad you questionned them on this! We learn so many things about gender than guide our thinking and most of the time, we don't even catch it! We carve the world up along gender lines, and it limits everyone.

I always told my kids 'there are no girl toys or boy toys, only toys. there are no girl colors or boy colors, only colors.' I guess I need to add 'there are no girl sports or boy sports, only sports!'

Harrow said...

When I was in grade school the boys had shop and the girls were supposed to knit. I complained. But they wouldn't let me in the shop. I have nothing against knitting. But I wanted to work with saws and drills!

April said...

This topic almost always frustrates me to the point of feeling like my tongue is tied.

I think Crystal put it really well, "We carve the world up along gender lines, and it limits everyone."

The limiting part is what drives me nuts.

And yes, you absolutely should challenge them on pullups : )