Women’s CrossFit

It goes without saying that the female sporting world is significantly different than its male counterpart. Although the actual sports and their coinciding rules are the same in both gender divisions, (basketball, volleyball, etc.) the ways in which the public perceives and expects them to function differ greatly. I recently read a BreakingMuscle article talking about these differences presenting themselves in CrossFit. It was stated that male CrossFit competitions are watched for their competitive nature, while female competitions are viewed with hypersexualized expectations.

I immediately made a connection between this point and the Keywords Essay on Tomboy. In the essay it was mentioned that females who display masculine traits are negatively viewed as being a “…rude, or ill-bred girl (or woman): a boisterous noisy girl, a romp…” – in other words, describing or seeing a female as being masculine is generally perceived in a negative, insulting manner.

BreakingMuscle illustrated this point by examining the social media following of “sexy” and “masculine” women. In all the cases that were presented, the women described as “sexy” had larger followings than their “masculine” counterparts. I believe this illustrates the societal favoring of females who follow gender norms while still competing in sport. Although positive changes have been made in the recent acceptance of women into the sporting world, there are still signs of the public favoring archaic gender-norms nonetheless.



2 thoughts on “Women’s CrossFit”

  1. Preston, I enjoyed reading your post. You brought up a very good point on tomboyism and the archaic gender norms. I have a female cousin who participates actively as a competitor and trainer for Crossfit competitions, and meanwhile her husband works as a barista at his own coffee shop (both straying from gender norms) In addition, they both are raising two beautiful children who think their mom “is the best mommy ever.” So I disagree with the argument that these activities showcase women as an “ill bred or romp” because they seem to be going about their “assigned gender norms” and their careers’ norms just fine. It’s hard to read those words when you’re from a family that constantly supports one of their own because she is really good at an activity that didn’t seem to fit a 5’4 past gymnast norm. However, to many girls like me, I consider her an inspiration rather than an atrocity.

  2. Crossfit is a big topic among my group of friends and I love that you brought it up with this article. I have two close friends of mine, a male and a female, that go to crossfit every morning at 6:30AM and they love it. I joined the gym last summer for a few months and also enjoyed the atmosphere but found myself constantly comparing my strength to others. All of the women there love and embrace their strong bodies but I have noticed a trend of both genders always needing to improve, lift more, go to the gym more, the extreme competition can cause some issues. On the issue of sexy vs. masculine, I think that if a sport it empowering women’s bodies, strength and overall health, the level of attention on them vs other body types is unimportant. Once someone is comfortable in their own skin, outside validation is not necessary.

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