Women only races / Events

Why and should there be women only races Agree or disagree

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10/05/2013 at 22:59

I think women only races like women only poker tournaments are wrong. In the same way I thiink men only tournaments would be wrong.

11/05/2013 at 09:26
roball wrote (see)

Sadly even in these enlightened days there are still some men how cannot take been beaten by a women, just stand at a finish line and see how many men put in an extra effort to catch a woman in front of them.

As SG says, how can you know that this is gender-specific? Depending on the importance of the race I'll bust a gut trying to beat anyone.  I can understand some people being put off the competitive element of a race as opposed to an "event" (although why race at all then?) but it would be a shame if they felt intimidated by some perceived attitude of men towards the women in the race, when this is probably more to do with their own misconceptions.

11/05/2013 at 09:57

My first race was a 'women only' one. I chose it because it was aimed towards the beginner. It was a race like my later ones. I didn't really notice anything really different apart from the lack of men.

I think that the 'race for life' and others like it are useful to encourage women to be active, when it has been said that girls are more sedentary than boys.

11/05/2013 at 14:06

There's one reason to do a ladies-only race if you are any good - you might actually win it!  Whereas in most races even if you are good you won't, though I think a lady may have won the Farmham Pilgrims marathon last year but such instances are fairly rare unless an elite runner sich as Liz Yelling turns up.  I've made this point before on here, but I was 9th lady at the Fleet 10k last year but about 150th overall.  This morning I was 84th at my local parkrun but 7th lady.  So it is quite nice to do an event where you actually come right up in the front finishers (I was once 15th at a ladies-only race of around 600 participants).  Even at a charity race where I was 3rd lady I was 45th overall!  However, if ladies-only races were discontinued I wouldn't particularly care though I don't agree with Alan that they've had their day - the Windsor 10k last week had around 2000 entrants (and probably would have had a lot more if it hadn't been so expensive - £22 compared with the £12ish I paid for the Shinfield 10k the same day), the Glasgow 10k has around 12K entrants and there's a popular ladies-only race in Newton Abbot each September which is small but well supported.

I don't know why everyone gets so het up about Race for Life - if you are male, run another event or find a different charity to support - if someone doesn't want me, I don't want them.

11/05/2013 at 17:10

[essay alert]

I think the real issue some men (myself included) have with RFL is that it is the main event in the Cancer Research fundraising calandar, yet they exclude 50% of the population from raising money! If you were serious about raising money to beat cancer then surely including the entire population seems the most logical way to do so?

Also I think the attitudes of some women who only take part in women-only races or attending women-only gyms is fuelled by their very existence in the first place. If they didn't have these exclusionary races/gyms at all then maybe those women wouldn't feel that there must be a need to have them (i.e. there is a perceived requirement because of their existence and not the other way around).

Just look at RFL - they claim they decided to make the event for women only due to the feeling among their competitors... however, since their competitors have always been women, who have been spoon fed the notion that all men are drooling, leering, uncontrolable sex-pests as soon as the slightest amount of skin is shown, how can this not be the most biased decision in the history of ever?

They did trial a 5k event in aid of the Bobby Moore Foundation (for prostate cancer, so a male only event for a mens cancer, seems appropriate, if not a bit small fry) but you have to ask why only go to that length and then be so specific? Why not have a full RFL mens event but keep it seperate, if it means that much to have segregation?

As an example a lot of women/girls I've spoken to about the issue (a few that even run RFL every year) wrongly assume it is in aid of only breast cancer and that is why it is kept as women only (and, for now, we shall overlook the fact that men can and do get breast cancer as it is seen as a bit taboo for men to talk openly about). The real kicker is that my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer the other year (thankfully after a double mastectomy she was given the all clear) and it got me thinking... She has no close family to run "for her" as you see people running in memory of loved ones in the adverts - by that logic does that mean our loss would have been less significant because she didn't have a daughter?

It makes sense in my head anyway; afterall most women who claim they prefer to only attend women-only gyms (or in the ultra sexist "women only hours" at general gyms, that men still pay for with equal membership fees) because they feel "self concious" due to not looking "attractive" when they exercise - if they know they're not attractive then why are they assuming the men in the gym are all leering over them? Why? Because these women only gyms and women only hours exist at all, that's why; they're being fed the subliminal message that it is right to feel uncomfortable because ALL men WILL leer over them if they don't, when the truth is no more men will be leering at them than in the streets (and what's next, women only pavements with screens?).

Ironically men often feel just as "self concious" as women (just look at increasing trends of eating disorders amongst men, and the social pressures to have a 6-pack etc.) but we, as a gender, are taught from a young age to repress any fears or hangups (lest we appear "weak"). The result? No men only gyms/men only hours so the vast majority just get on with it, self conciousness and all.



Edited: 11/05/2013 at 17:11

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