Why do girls run shorter distances than boys in cross country? (#reblog #TBT #ThrowBackThursday)

There are issues that you think, as a feminist, might just go away. Because they seem so ridiculous, outdated. Like, how could that still be a thing? One of them for me is the different distances in which men and women, boys and girls, compete. FOR NO GOOD REASON. I’m reblogging this post from 2015 because it’s still happening and it’s in the news again. See “‘I want to run farther’: 8-year-old wants boys and girls to run the same race length” on CBC news. The story is about Isla Morris, a runner. Here’s an excerpt: “At eight years old, she was taking part in the Participation Nation run, where boys and girls run the same distance. She realized in a couple of years, when she is in Grade 6, she’ll be running a distance of two kilometres while boys the same age as her, will be running for three kilometres.

For senior high those distances change to three and five kilometres, respectively.

“People don’t know that girls can run the same distance as boys,” says Morris when asked why she thinks there is a discrepancy between the distances.

Now, Morris and her mother Kristin Pardy-Morris are asking School Sports NL to change those rules so that boys and girls of the same age are running the same distances in competitions.

“It would make me feel mad, I want to run farther,” said Morris,”


Toronto Star Photo credit: Rene Johnson Toronto Star Photo credit: Rene Johnson

This is one of those “because it’s always been that way” things. There is no reason why girls should run shorter distances than boys in cross-country. And yet Kerrie Gillespie reports in The Toronto Star that:

In Ontario, when girls turn 14 they start to race shorter distances than the boys. That doesn’t change until they turn 35 and, in terms of elite athletics, are past their best years. There are similar disparities across most of the country.

It persists all through university as well:

In Canadian universities, female athletes run just 60 per cent of the distance that their male teammates do. There is no medical reason for this.

“It shouldn’t be happening,” exercise physiologist Greg Wells says. “It’s based on very old perspectives that women couldn’t do as much as men but, really, there is absolutely no reason why they…

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