Let The Women Jump

Welcome, Eschatonians!

I’ve always wondered why there is no women’s ski jump event in the Winter Olympics. And literally, I have always wondered that, ever since I was a little kid, because it’s obvious women have been doing every other winter sport in the games–luge, downhill skiing, ice hockey, etc. So women’s ski jumping has always been notable for its absence.

It makes no sense: we can fly through the air on snowboards, do back flips on the moguls, yet we can’t ski jump? What’s up with that? Especially since men’s ski jumping has been an Olympic event since the 1920s.

It seems the issue is a hot topic this year and via this MSNBC.com video I finally have my answer. Although some very thin and lame excuses have been floated around, what it seems to boil down to is that the European men don’t want to be shown up by a bunch of girls, one of whom holds the record on the actual ski jump used at the Vancouver games.

Yes that’s right, Lindsey Van beat the men’s record on the exact same ski jump the men will be sliding down to claim their Olympic medals this week. I ask you: how fucked up is that?

This quote cracked me up:

In 2005, Gian Franco Kasper, FIS president and a member of the IOC, said that he didn’t think women should ski jump because the sport “seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.”

Oh my God are we still having that same argument? Seriously? In this day and age? What does Gian Franco Kasper think is going to happen? Vaginas scattered all over the hill? Menstrual blood on the start bar? Boobies flying through the air?

If you think about it, it seems like men with all that stuff dangling around down there would be less “medically” suited to a whole bunch of sports, not just ski jumping. Imagine if one of y’all’s testicles just flew off in mid-air. Someone could get hurt. An eye could get poked out.

Even worse is IOC member Dick Pound, who withdrew his head from his ass long enough to utter this asinine warning to the women ski jumpers:

“If in the meantime you’re making all kinds of allegations about the IOC and how it’s discriminating on the basis of gender,” he warned, “the IOC may say, ‘Oh yeah, I remember them. They’re the ones that embarrassed us and caused us a lot of trouble of trouble in Vancouver, maybe they should wait another four years or eight years.'”

Oh, man. Is that a threat? Are you fucking serious?

You know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see all female athletes stick together on this one–and I mean all of them. Skaters, skiers, gymnasts, track stars, tennis players, golfers, you name it. Because if bogus “medical reasons” and lies about “competitiveness” are still being used to bar women athletes from the Olympic games, then they will be used to bar women from every avenue of achievement. The Olympic Games are not just about medals; for the athletes involved, it’s about sponsorships, it’s about access to gear and training facilities. It’s about validating your sport.

In the meantime, to learn more about the isssue or help the cause, go to Women’s Ski Jumping USA.

Rebel against the patriarchy–and the stupidity!

28 Comments

Filed under Olympic Games, women's rights

28 responses to “Let The Women Jump

  1. >"…Although some very thin and lame excuses have been floated around, what it seems to boil down to is that the European men don’t want to be shown up by a bunch of girls,…." Yes.

  2. >Dick Pound and his ilk ( the Good 'ol boys ) will all die one day ….and yes, they will be remembered as an "embarrassment". No threat is going to stop that now.

  3. >Stop gender bias completely by ending separate competitions for men and women. Allow them to compete together – one event, with everyone participating.

  4. > Allow them to compete together – one event, with everyone participating.Well that won't work. Men have a physical advantage in some sports by being larger. In some sports, that physical advantage might be a disadvantage and favor women. So would we have weight classes?

  5. Jim

    >I am with you on this SB. There is no valid reason women should not be able to compete on the ski jump.

  6. >Dick Pound feels threatened by women? With a name like that, I'm not surprised.

  7. >Dick Pound. With that name I imagine his school days were hell on earth."Pound, Dick; Pound, Dick".Maybe he's suffering from PTSD. On second thought, he's prolly just an a-hole.

  8. >Maybe the members of the He-Man Woman-Haters Club would be less threatened if there were separate men's and women's competitions for ski jump.But I dunno why that would be necessary. There may be an advantage in being lighter, but is there a lower weight limit for the men?The "medical reasons" is just fucking idiotic, but you already knew that.

  9. >There may be an advantage in being lighter, but is there a lower weight limit for the men?They compensate for the weight by shortening the skis to cut back on aerodynamics. Apparently eating disorders are a big deal in ski jumping, lots of anorexia with the men. Read about a top contender who is 5' 11 1/2" and weighs 138 lbs. That's pretty underweight for a guy. Anyway, if you get too light they shorten your skis to compensate.

  10. >so women couldnt or shouldnt compete head to head with men?

  11. >Oh, man. Is that a threat? Are you fucking serious?"Nice gender ya got here. Be a shame if somethin was to happen to it."

  12. >See, men are top-heavy and women are pear-shaped and that would give them an advantage and besides, boobies would be squashed in a face plant and there probably aren't enough countries to compete fairly and we're afraid that we manly men won't look so macho if a woman kicks our butts.So there.

  13. >Even granting the "men's physical advantage" argument for many sports, why are there gender-specific teams in curling? Any sport that can theoretically be played while smoking a cigarette and (for the thrower) holding a beer in one hand would not seem to require separate teams for men and women.

  14. >There are cases of women competing on men's teams. Who was the female goalie of the men's ice hockey team? And there was a famous story of a female high school football player playing on the boys' team.These things seem to happen when girls' teams are not available. There are few (if any) girls' football teams at American high schools.I don't have a problem with women's and men's sports, but I DO have a problem with some old guy saying women shouldn't be allowed to compete in a sport at all for 'medical" reasons.

  15. L

    >I think it is pretty obvious that this one is a case of straight up gender discrimination. That they don't even have separate events because the women's jumps are likely to be longer just makes it more obvious.I'm not too sure about why the luge events are done on different tracks, either. As for Anonymous's comments about men and women competing together – in some sports it seems to make sense, in others not. Some have argued for classifications based on weight or androgen level or any other number of criteria instead of the often difficult to define "sex".

  16. >i remember that "medical" crap from when i was a track athlete. my coach told me that "everyone knows" that women don't have the upper body strength to pole vault. i really wanted to and asked to be allowed to compete, and that's why he wouldn't let me. keep in mind, i hold six records in three different schools and competed at Nationals, and mastered long jump, high jump, triple jump, discus, shot put, and anchored several relay teams. but i was too 'weak' to be a pole vaulter.the day women started to compete in the olympic pole vault event was a very happy day for me.

  17. >1) What ever happened to "Citius, Altus, Fortus"?2 Women are better at jumping to conclusions, so why shouldn't they be better at ski jumping, too? AMIRITE?!? (ducks flying chair)Seriously, it'd be amazing to see the best athletes jumping even farther. Ski jumping is one of those spectacles that attracts interest in these shores only once quadrennially. But Americans succeeding might open the sport up a bit.Also: Piss off furriners? See the best performing at their best? Kind of a no-brainer. Hope progress catches up to the Olympic movement while I'm alive to enjoy its blessings.

  18. >"Boobies flying through the air." I could go for that. Beats the hell out of "testicles just flew off in mid-air." Just sayin'. And Dick Pound… Really? We have to take medical advice from an old troglodyte named Dick Pound? Seriously, I love watching ski jumping. Adding women to it just gives me more ski jumping events to watch. That's a good thing.

  19. >Another example where separate competitions don't have an obvious justification based on the demands of the sport itself is chess.I can still see having separate women's chess tournaments and a separate women's champion in order to develop the sport among women.This might mean that at some point in the future, the separate women's competition sort of fades away.

  20. >I did not know there was a separate men's and women's chess championship.Now that's just stupid.

  21. L

    >Well, given how hostile and misogynistic many chess players are, I'm not too surprised there are women-only tournaments to encourage participation, as was mentioned.But not having world tournaments with men and women? That's just stupid, as you say.

  22. >They wouldn't let us triple jump either…until very very recently.

  23. >L, as far as I know, there are no male-only chess tournaments (at least I've never come across one), and women regularly compete with men. The strongest female chess player in the world, Judit Polgar, was in the top ten of the world chess rankings for several years, and did not compete for the women's world championship on principle, preferring all-gender tournaments.

  24. L

    >Murr – Very glad to hear it. Happy to be wrong.

  25. >In that video Pound was made out to be a sexist IOC apologist but this man has proven his worth by busting up the old European network that ran the IOC for decades. He's a fair man whi NOT an enemy of womens sports. How his words get edited by MSNBC is the fault he blames on a European mind set he is up against inside the IOC. Read his bio and find out whats being said here.

  26. >"Lacking upper body strength" isn't a medical reason, as some above poster mentioned. Lacking sufficient bone density to survive hard impacts is a more pertinent medical issue however. A bad landing is enough to injure any male jumper.I highly doubt that the sport isn't included with the Olympics simply due to gender bias, and that in this case it has more to do with a lack of participants. At some track meets we would have a girl win certain events simply because she was the only girl competing in said event.On paper, I do like the suggestion that some events be co-ed. It would become difficult to weed out gender advantages in some cases, but could make for good sport.

  27. >Greg Davis:"I highly doubt that the sport isn't included with the Olympics simply due to gender bias, and that in this case it has more to do with a lack of participants. At some track meets we would have a girl win certain events simply because she was the only girl competing in said event."That's not logical. The reason there is a paucity of women ski jumpers would have much more to do with it not being a sport where they had coaches, facilities or equipment.It used to be that there were no black American figure skaters or hockey players. It has nothing to do with anything but racism and a lack of adequate facilities and coaching. Obviously, above a certain level both of those disciplines become expensive, but at the entry levels neither is prohibitively expensive. If only the rinks and coaches were in minority neighborhoods…