Interesting Reads from January

Here are some things I enjoyed reading this month!

Over at LBEB, a post on Controlled Aggression:

My message is this: be brave when you lift. Be brave when you’re going for a PR. Tap into your inner aggression and do MORE than the minimum required effort to move that weight. When you are performing an event for strongman, or going for a PR in powerlifting or crossfit, lift like your life depends on that movement! Sprint like your soul is on the line. Move weight like someone is yelling in your ear, even if no one is. Be your own training partner when one isn’t there. Demand more of yourself.

Fit and Feminist talking about Women and Pull-Ups:

If we want to know what women are truly capable of, we have got to stop with this bullshit that says physical strength and its signifiers will somehow diminish a woman’s beauty and femininity.  (Ideally it would be nice if we could stop acting as though beauty and femininity are the only things women have to offer the world, but baby steps, yo. Baby steps.) This idea that upper body strength is reserved only for men, and that women shouldn’t dare investigate it for fear of blurring the supposedly rock-solid gender binary (seriously, for something that is supposedly so deeply ingrained in nature, it sure does require a lot of hard work and effort to keep it in place), is ridiculous.

While Fit, Feminist, and (almost) Fifty talks about Women-Only Gyms:

I know too that there are some women-only gyms. I have no objection to them and I don’t think they’re sexist. But I would be interested to know whether they are as well-equipped as inclusive gyms, or if they emphasize a certain kind of equipment that caters more “to the ladies.”  I find that assumptions that women ought to work out in certain less intensive ways do women a disservice.  But if that’s the only way to get some women out there hitting the iron, then it’s a good place to start.

The Believer had the most terrific article ever, called Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, and The Spectacles of Female Power and Pain:

DISCUSSED: Weapons Not Used Against Nancy Kerrigan, Factors Likely to Sway an Olympic Judge’s “Artistic Expression” Score, The Triple Axel, Sponsorships in the ’90s, White Trash and Working Class, The Non-Sexualized Female Athlete, Tonya Harding’s Brief Acting Career, Fast-Food Restaurants near the Former Skating Rink in Clackamas County [Ed. Note: if that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.]

And Jezebel took us through the Evolution of Sexy as displayed on Sports Illustrated covers:

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Finally, Sociological Images talks about Athletics and the Political Ambitions of Young Adults:

The authors suggest that the mediating factor is “an opportunity to develop… a competitive spirit.”  Sports, they argue, may build or reinforce the tendency to find pleasure in competition, which may make politics more appealing.

While sports increased both men’s and women’s interest in politics, it had a greater effect for women, shrinking the gender gap in political ambition by half.

What are your thoughts on women-only gyms and/or Tonya Harding and/or the tan lines that would result from that second swim suit?

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