Thursday, September 22, 2005

How to Motivate

Last week I caught a few minutes of the new season of The Biggest Loser. The format, at least to start (those reality shows always like to throw in a twist at some point) is the men versus the women. So we saw clips of the first day workout and each team doing their thing. The men's team has a female trainer; the women a male trainer. The female trainer was "motivating" her charges by saying "You can do better than that--this isn't the girls' team." When I was in high school the football team's practice field was, unfortunately, next to our tennis courts. I constatnly heard remarks like this--and far worse actually. It's so depressing, after so much progress in women's sports, to still be referred to as the lesser and to hear it used as a fear tactic: you better run faster, lift more, jump higher, throw farther because if you don't--you might as well be a girl.
And, in this case, it came from a female trainer which made me cringe even more. Because, yes, yes I do expect women athletes to be a little more enlightened (though I do see how many are inculcated into the hegemonic male model of sports in Western culture.)
She was also jumping on their backs and having them carry her while they ran. I don't know if that's a gender thing (well everything is a gender thing of course--I just don't know how to read this one quite yet) but it was weird.
Wouldn't it be great if somehow we could somehow use Title IX to sue the coaches/trainers who use such tactics? And then we could put the money back into women's sports. That would be wonderful. Can someone start working on that?

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