In the field of endurance sports some women can be prone to exhibit behavior that is overly masculine and ostentatious, which, when we think about it, is really needless.
The perception is that, especially in sports, for some reason some ladies feel the need to beat men in testosterone and muscular competitions. It’s as if to reveal even the slightest feminine trait could be interpreted as an ignoble sign of shameful genetic fragility; something to shy away from and be kept hidden.
Everyone sees it happen to a certain degree at the start of any cycling, running or triathlon race. Girls are determined not to show any femininity. They work hard on muscle development, athletic prowess, raw attitude, crude language, tough appearance and aggressive gestures.
Their relationships with men, whether they are teammates or life partners, are always competitive and challenging. The sweetness, complicity and softness in relations disappears and roles are reversed in a desperate and grotesque attempt to take the title of alpha male. The conversation shifts to the topic of numbers; about how many watts or kilometers per hour on the bike or about tempo and resistance in running.
The sport for some women becomes a golden opportunity to show that they know how to ‘place their balls on the table’ and not fear being compared with the opposite sex; as if this comparison was crucial for survival or winning, or somehow made them more worthy of being part of the team.
As if, paradoxically, to achieve the inhibition of the male, it would be a goal to be desired rather than avoided.
I know some world class female athletes who certainly do not take pleasure in vanity or the shallowness of their flirtatious traits, but who not only understand how to open up with a smile but also be tender, pleasant and comforting. They are sporty women, strong women who make gentleness, prudence and modesty their motto not only in life but also in sports. Their athletic performance far exceeds that of many male athletes but not at the price of sacrificing their feminine qualities.
So, I ask myself what drives many of us to give up a role to which we were genetically assigned and which corresponds to a way of being that is simply nicer and more welcoming. I also ask myself what drives many men to accept this competition which at times seems almost ludacrious. What compels them to accept the challenge and compete with women. If it is true that within biological diversity lies the key to a successful evolution of the species, I think that this difference between the sexes should be considered an asset in sports and not a “scarlet letter” indicating a fault or deficiency.
And what do you think?