fitness · running

From vibrators to food processors: weird prizes for women’s athletic competitions

Today is Mother’s Day in the US, Canada and lots of (but not all) other countries. If you’re curious, here’s a list of when Mother’s Day is celebrated during the year. To honor mothers, we phone them (according to this site, Mother’s Day is the busiest calling day of the year), take them out to dinner, buy them cards, and of course send flowers.

There are lots of running races held on Mother’s Day. The weather is often warm, and it’s almost summer, which is perfect for an outdoor athletic activity. And, of course, there’s the chance for a nice prize if you win. In Madrid on Spain’s Mother’s Day, there was a 7km race– Carrera de a Mujer– and the grand prize was a food processor.

Yep, you read that right. A food processor.

Hmmm. Women’s Race. Mother’s Day. Food Processor. Am I sensing a gendered pattern here?

Absolutamente no, say the race promoters. Okay– what did they say?

“We apologize but we consider this a product with no sexist character and ideal for any athlete who wants to improve their nutritional habits,” the statement said. “We regret if any woman felt offended.”

The organizers promised to “take measures” to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Yeah, that is 1) pretty unconvincing; 2) one of those irritating non-apology apologies; and 3) avoids responsibility by saying they’ll “take measure” to avoid the problem. The measures they need to take next time are simply to provide the same prizes for for women that they provide for men’s races.

Let me add that the other prizes were 0% fat food products. Oh, and the race in the past featured T shirts with the slogan “Today, the girls win!”

Yeah, my feelings exactly. Thanks for the photo, Tabitha Turner from Unsplash.
Yeah, my feelings exactly. Thanks for the photo, Tabitha Turner from Unsplash.

This isn’t the first time your FIFI reporter has spotted sexist prizes for women who win athletic competitions. Oh, no. In 2019, a regional Spanish squash tournament featured regular sorts of prizes for the men’s categories. But for the women’s division, the top prize was a vibrator. Yep, it’s true. The other prizes including a body hair removal kit and an electric foot file (which I’ve never heard of and am a little worried about). I wrote a post about it, which you can read below.

Clearly, there needs to be some sort of national sports promoter training (in Spain, and elsewhere, too) about avoiding blatant sexism in managing athletic competitions that include women. Seriously, what about cash or general sports-related swag do they not understand?

Not that there’s anything wrong with either food processors or vibrators. They’re both fine gifts for anyone, for any occasion. If you’re giving one or the other (or both) to Mom this year, just make sure to put a lovely bow on them. Happy Mother’s Day!

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