The Thinking 

Equality Still Elusive at the Olympics

July 30, 2012

THOUGH this is the first year in Olympic history that all of the participating teams, even Saudi Arabia, include female athletes, there are still significant hurdles to equality, writes Jere Longman of The New York Times. For instance, the Japanese women’s soccer team flew coach to London while the men’s team flew business class.

On the other hand, among the female participants is a Malaysian woman who was eight months pregnant when she competed Friday in an air rifle event. That’s a sign of progress, Longman writes, as is the lesbian who came out in public.

— Comments —

 James N., who sent the piece, writes:

So, the “fight” for “true equality” is “long from being won.” Okay, let’s do the right thing for a change. End “women’s” sports. Let women run against the men, lift against the men, throw against the men – then we will see justice!

Fred Owens writes:

In the fight for sports equality, it should be mandated and required that all Americans watch equal amounts of men’s and women’s beach volleyball in the Olympics. If you watch one hour of women in bikinis leaping and dancing, you must also watch one hour of men in baggy shorts with closeups of them sweating and spitting. That’s only fair.

Hannon writes:

Your entry on Olympic progress toward equality reminded me of a recent “pressure test” with a very liberal, very smart (PhD) woman friend. Somehow “equality” in athletics came up in the conversation, which involved two other friends who are liberal as well. I mentioned that at least some of the most prominent marathons in the U.S. allow (coerce?) women to take a significant head start so that results at the other end are more or less equalized (probably something I read on your site). No reaction. I protested that this was a grossly unequal state of affairs and actually a push backward for equality for women. Again, crickets and uncomfortable looks.

I have long pondered the curious fact that conservatives tend to welcome vigorous discussion of political subjects while liberals are conspicuously averse to such discourse. This may be because the latter feel culturally in control to the point of complacency. Could they simply be uninterested in contentious issues, even as they are (so we are told) more intellectually curious than non-liberals in general? Silence is an excellent technique in shutting down a conversation. It tells us something useful– that their views are set in steel-reinforced concrete, strong but brittle.

Laura writes:

Yes, that silence or shutting down of the conversation is a common phenomenon. It stems from pride and a refusal to even consider ideas that may entail rethinking basic assumptions, don’t you think? It is a sign of blind faith.

Paul writes:

Allowing females into traditionally male sports and disallowing men to compete on all-female teams is a liberal unprincipled exception to anti-discrimination. If men were allowed into the female sports realm, most women would be unable to engage in sports. So liberals create a supposed separate but equal system that they denounced the South for imposing on blacks.

Why not? What are you afraid of? These are the liberal’s favorite “reasons” for allowing discrimination against men in sports. Why not? Discrimination without justice is wrong. There is no justice when women can compete on men’s teams but men cannot compete on women’s teams because both can, that is, unless both women and men agree to the situation. And maybe that is where we are at. What are you afraid of? Society is going to destroy itself by holding the Tower of Babel as the ideal.

Lawrence Auster writes:

Obama said something about a week ago along those lines, that we must keep finding more inequalities to overcome, more rights to assert. I can’t find the quote, but he made it clear that we have to keep pushing equality for the sake of pushing equality, even against inequalities that we’re not even aware of now. It’s a pure pursuit of emptiness.

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