Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Can anyone explain to me...

...why male athletes in most track events wear a vest and shorts and female athletes wear a bra top and tiny little knickers - for the same events?

Seriously, I can't think of a reasonable explanation.

We were watching the athletics this evening (well...it was on...) and I voiced this question to my companions.

"Maybe it's something to do with aerodynamics? Perhaps there's more speed to be gained from running with more skin exposed?" was suggested. I dismissed that one - after all, if there was any advantage to be had from running with more skin exposed you can bet your bippy that's how the men would be dressed too.

I'd like to know if there is a sport-related reason or if it's just another case of sexing-up and dumbing-down anything women do for the entertainment of the male gaze. So, if anyone can explain to me why men get to compete in their PE kit while women have to do it in their underwear, please enlighten me.

17 Comments:

  • At 11:59 PM, Blogger Renegade Evolution said…

    Many women still wear the full tank top, as for the bottoms, the "swimsuit" style bottom is tight, where as the looser shorts worn by men, well, when sprinting, the woman may actually find herself flashing more. Many men also wear the longer, very tight, bike racer style shorts. Both the swimsuit style bottom for women and the bike style shorts for men seemed to become the norm in track long around the 1988 Summer Olympic games, and seemed to be popularized by the American track superstar, Florence Griffith Joyner, a triple gold medalist, known for her flashy style. Many woman sprinters also claim the swimsuit style bottom is more comfortable.

    You will often see women in the longer, slower paced races wearing more traditional style shorts.

    I ran track for four years in college, always prefered the shorts myself.

     
  • At 12:05 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Reckon you know the answer there hon!

    Besides I thought more of both sexes wore those skinny fit lycra body suits now?

     
  • At 4:22 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Thanks for your input r e - though I'm a tad flumoxed as to how a woman could 'flash more' than men wearing traditional shorts; after all, they're the one's with all the overtly dangly bits - necst pas?

    If the 'swimsuit style' is so much more 'comfortable' for women to run in - how come the baggy shortedness 'ooops it might all hang out' style is still the style de jour for the chaps these days? 1988, after all, was almost two decades ago.

    I'm a runner, incidentally. (Not weanting to put anyone at a disadvantage here and, totally in keeping with radfem ideology, being totally honest about myself.)

    So tell me - underwear/PE kit. The necessary difference.

     
  • At 6:44 AM, Blogger Renegade Evolution said…

    I vote for the shorts myself. I just know a lot of sprinters claim to prefer the swimsuit style. The "flash theory" would come about via the loose fit (as not all runners shorts have the built in panty thing)...

    Personally, I think it would be great if the guys started wearing them, it would give me something to laugh at...

    As I have seen female track & field athletes in both shorts and the swimsuit get up, I suppose it comes down to the runners personal preference.

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    if anyone can explain to me why men get to compete in their PE kit while women have to do it in their underwear, please enlighten me.

    umm, coz the women don't have you for a Mum? Otherwise they'd have had their proper PE kit.

    *grin*

    Disclaimer - please not tongue firmly in cheek here

     
  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    umm, coz the women don't have you for a Mum? Otherwise they'd have had their proper PE kit.

    Yes. With their names sewn in and everything. ;)

    r e - Personally, I think it would be great if the guys started wearing them, it would give me something to laugh at...

    I totally agree! We could start a pressure group.... :)

     
  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger Renegade Evolution said…

    'Female runners for male booty exposure' aka FRMBE...to be nick-named "firmbutt"...hummm

    no, i did not type that with a straight face.

     
  • At 10:50 PM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Haha! I'm smiling now too :)

     
  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger sparkleMatrix said…

    My, now 18yo and her friends made a stink at school and got the “knickers” thing changed. How can you tell she is my daughter? On ya go J x

     
  • At 5:09 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    Speaking of school, sparklematrix, you've just reminded me that way back in primary school, girls just wore navy knickers for gym whilst the boys got to wear shorts. It's obviously been going on for years.

    Women wearing tiny skirts at Wimbledon and showing their underwear, when the men are wearing shorts to their knees bugs also bugs me, witchywoo. I suppose one would hope that when a woman is competing at a high level and that public approval of her ought to depend on whether she wins, she'd be able to put the sex-bot thing aside, but it seems not.

    I always think the athletes running in their pants look very vulnerable.

     
  • At 6:48 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    I was just asking myself the same question...

    Also, why the hell do we have to wear teeny tiny bikini bottoms/ hot pants / swimming costumes when men get to wear nice comfy shorts that don't require hours of pubic area grooming and cellulite analysis combined with hatred of one's body each time they are worn?

    Think I've answered my own question there.

    I'm buying some man trunks at the weekend - anyone fancy joining me?! They'll look great with my hairy legs :) (I've progressed loads, and feel excellent woooo! - shorts at work and everything).

    Lxx

     
  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger Sarah Louise Parry said…

    I know it's once again: one rule for men, an exploitative sexist rule for women.

    It doesn't help mind when female athletes play up to the 'Sexiness in Sport' thing by doing centre-folds for all the lad's wank-rags.

    If they ever wannabe taken seriously as athletes: don't act like a male's play-thing when off the track... regardless of how much cash they throw at you!

    But the running gear is totally out of order. Men don't run with their hairy arses running out, or a testicle protruding during a relay race, so why are women in camel-hoffing excuses for gym knickers?

     
  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    apologies if this is a lechy comment but a female six pack just looks (to me)so much better than a male one. I'm not thinking sexually just aesthetically - if that's possible and I'm not just kidding myself. Male and female athletes all look like fascinating variants on the theme of human being designed for a very specific task (bit like ballet dancers or racehorses). It's awesome, but not quite like 'real people'.
    Please let's have more men 'running with their hairy arses running out' or better 'a testicle protruding' (but why during a relay particularly?). It would get me watching athletics more often. Sorry think I just pissed myself laughing - tremendous image sarah louise parry. You just get the best comments here at witchy's place!

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Why during a relay? Oh, so they have something to grab........

     
  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    you mean their own (for the masturbatorially (?) inclined), or someone else's (just to be friendly, encouraging or trying to stop the opposition in their tracks)?
    not a cofortable thought from where I'm sitting - still, it might appeal to women...particularly if you have a lad's mags' editors' relay.
    there could be a competition in 'feminism today' (a magazine that I assume doesn't exist, but hey...)with the prize being to pick the relay participants.

     
  • At 4:59 AM, Blogger hexyhex said…

    Laura: Go the man trunks!

    I wear more to go swimming than I do to go out dancing... boardshorts to my knees or below, and a "tankini" top. That said, I'm a surf girl pretty much since birth. You just don't wear a bikini in the surf unless your plan is to end up stark naked the first time you dive under a wave.

     
  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    Hey Witchy: Don't know if you've seen "Fear Factor?" Another "reality show" here -- the women compete in binkinis etc. while of course, the men have shorts that reach their knees.

    I can't watch the show.

     

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