Sweden banned from international lifting competitions due to giving women lifters a choice about shirts

A Facebook follower (you do know we have a very active Facebook page, right?) just sent us this message: “Did you see that the International Powerlifting Federation threatened to ban Sweden from competing internationally because Sweden gave their female lifters the choice between wearing a T-shirt or not (IPF rules state that females must wear a tshirt, men don’t have to)”

Has anyone heard anything about this? Is there anything about it online?

We’ve written before about the injustice involved in different clothing rules for male and female athletes (see, for example, Skirting the issue: women’s boxing and enforced femininity) and about the right of women to go without tops (see The Tata Top, Normalized Bodies, and Feminism0.

This sounds like one more example of that. Surely it’s up to athletes what to wear?

There’s some discussion on Powerlifting Australia’s Facebook page.

They have a status update which reads, “In regards to recent discussion over the suspension of Sweden, the issue was not gender or equality or lack thereof but rather that Sweden had introduced a rule change that was contrary to IPF regulations. The IPF has made it clear that member nations could not unilaterally change the rules of competition. And further the issue has since been resolved.”

I get there are procedural issues here. But how has it been resolved? And why are the rules different for men and women in the first place? Curious bloggers want to know.

I also don’t know very much about the issue and I’m wondering if you do. Is there any online coverage of this debate in the powerlifting community?

Let us know in the comments or drop us a line if you have more news. (Use the “contact us” link on the blog.)


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