A Tale of Two Locker Rooms, #tbt

Throwback Thursday! Here’s Tracy on a tale of two locker rooms

Fit Is a Feminist Issue


Happy International Women’s Day! In honour of IWD, I thought I’d write about my experience in a women-only space that lots of us who lead active lifestyles spend some time in: the women’s locker room.

I frequent two locker rooms regularly: the women’s locker room at the hot yoga studio and the adults only women’s locker room at the Y. These locker rooms have very different vibes and cultures. The difference fascinates me.

More than half of the women in the hot yoga locker room are under 35. A good majority of these women have youthful, firm, slender bodies that fit the ideal of feminine beauty so prized by our current social context. They take their hot yoga class wearing the shortest shorts and the teeniest crop tops. And to me, they look enviably perfect in their hot yoga clothes.

Yet these same young women hide behind their towels when…

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Throwback Thursday!: Why are painful workouts so much fun? (And other questions about suffering and athletic performance)

From the archives, two years ago, what makes athletic suffering enjoyable?

Fit Is a Feminist Issue

What makes painful workouts so much fun? Or assuming there’s some self selection at work here, we could ask the question a little bit differently: Why do athletes find painful workouts so much fun?

Now not all of the workouts I do are painful. Most days of the week I workout out twice a day and I wouldn’t be able to take that kind of intensity all the time. Nor does it make sense from a training point of view. But still the best workouts, the ones that are the most fun, are the painful ones. And as philosopher, I find this appreciation for pain more than a little puzzling.

But let me begin by describing two of the painful workouts I’ve done this week.

Here’s Monday’s Crossfit workout: The snatch ladder (be mature, no sexual jokes please, we’re all grown ups here)

The snatch ladder from the Crossfit Games…

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Throwback Thursday! : What’s So Bad about Pink Anyway?

Fit Is a Feminist Issue

female_symbol_color_colour_pink_1-999pxLast week’s strength training tips for women drew lots of feminist commentary, as you can see from this and this and this and this, as well as the comments on the original post (to which, for the sake of principle, I have vowed never to link again).

One of the observations made in the original post is that women tend to like wearing pink to the gym. I’m not sure why this comes across as a criticism, but it did.  That might have to do with the rhythm of the piece, in which criticism and misogyny are delivered in disguise, as “tips” and “observations.” By the time I got to the pink comment, I was just waiting for the next blow to women.

Commenters on the post and commentators from other blogs have had varied responses to the point about pink, ranging from “sometimes it’s hard to find something…

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Throwback Thursday! : Your Kid is Not in the Wrong Weight Class (Guest Post)

A guest post from the past, Audrey on kids and weight classes…

Fit Is a Feminist Issue

I was inspired to write this post based on this article about why parents shouldn’t worry so much about their kids’ weight. I’m not a parent, but I do teach taekwondo to kids and have done so for a while. And in that realm a few things come into conflict with each other. I think martial arts are fabulous for kids, and more kids should do them.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with encouraging kids to try out martial arts competition, including sparring competition (and I have a personal soft spot for times when the sparring turns out like this). But just as with other combat sports like wrestling and boxing, taekwondo has weight classes.

In practical terms, that means that kids generally need to register for competition at a particular weight, and will have to weigh in before that competition. So it really is a good idea…

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Throwback Thursday!: Gender Policing of Girls in Children’s Sports

Throwback Thursday here on the blog..here’s Tracy’s thoughts from last summer on gender policing in children’s sports. Enjoy!

Fit Is a Feminist Issue

gender police comic

A friend of mine has an eleven year-old daughter, Maggie, who is gifted at sports. She is good at baseball, soccer, hockey, and has even played football on a boys team. Maggie also has a preference for keeping her hair short.

My friend got an email message from Maggie’s soccer coach the other day. Apparently, not once but twice recently the referees (young men) have literally STOPPED THE GAME and confronted Maggie about playing on U12 (under 12) girls team. Why? Because it’s a girls’ league, of course, and only girls are allowed to play.

My blood began to boil right then and there as my friend told me this story over lunch.

The coach was more than a little annoyed. She was writing to Maggie’s mother to let her know what had happened and how she (the coach) handled it. Instead of dealing with the referees directly, she felt…

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Pictures of Women Cyclists of the 1890s (from our archives! )

Update on the photos. I got an email Alice Roepke
(Website: http://www.tillieanderson.com) who says
“You asked, so I want to let you know that the “pictures of other women racers” belong to me. They are from a PowerPoint presentation i made for The Wheelman back in 2000. Tillie Anderson was my great aunt. She died in 1965 when i was 3, but was like a second mother to my mom since she didn’t have children of her own. I have all her collection of scrapbooks, pictures, and racing memorabilia, including one of her bicycles. Pretty cool. Thank you for helping to promote her story on your blog!”


Fit Is a Feminist Issue


Thanks to my friend Dave on Facebook for sharing these wonderful pictures of women cyclists from the 1890s. He found them on Tumblr. I spent a bit of time trying to track them down to give credit but no luck. If you know where they come from, please let us know in the comments!

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