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Old 01-07-14, 02:25 PM  
eyefit
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: wisconsin
Women's difficulty with pull-ups is about more than biology

The latest blog post from the awesome Caitlin of Fit and Feminist:

http://fitandfeminist.wordpress.com/...-than-biology/

ETA: She wrote this in response to these articles:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...a3b_story.html

and

http://www.npr.org/2013/12/27/257363...ullup-standard


These quote especially resonate with me...

Quote:
we live in a culture that has glamorized and sexualized female weakness, and so any analysis about the physical limitations of female bodies has got to take that into consideration or else it is worthless. (This is the thesis of The Frailty Myth by Colette Dowling, by the way.)

Women are told it is unfeminine and gross to have muscles and to cultivate strength, which in turn leads them to actively avoid doing things that will build muscles and strength, which then makes them even less capable of doing things that require strength, which the critics then use as proof of women’s inherent physical frailty.

And so the cycle continues…
Quote:
Right now we live in a world where women hear that muscular arms are gross, that we shouldn’t lift weights in case we get too big, that we should only do exercises to elongate our muscles, that we should never eat anything that isn’t a salad, or if we do eat cheeseburgers and steaks, we should make sure we never weigh more than 120 pounds. And then that same culture turns around and says, “Ha! We told you you were weak! This is why you shouldn’t be allowed to do anything but have babies and make sandwiches.” There is simply no way to win this game,
So I begin my next round of STS this week and plan to do disc 2: Back and Biceps tomorrow. I will be thinking of this post and channeling my anger at that infuriating double standard to work on those dang pull ups.
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Old 01-07-14, 04:34 PM  
boukilisa
 
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Thanks for this. Desperately needed critical eye on the subject.
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Old 01-07-14, 04:50 PM  
Jane P.
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I do think upper body strength is important if you want a role in combat, and there are women aiming for that.

I don't think I'll ever master a pull up, and I'm fine with that.
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Old 01-07-14, 04:54 PM  
Sara1000
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
I am in my 60's and in all my life I never heard anyone say it was unfeminine or gross to be strong and have muscles. The only place I have ever heard this is in articles about why women are afraid to build muscles. I have also never heard a woman say she was afraid of building muscles or bulking up except in such articles.

I live in Texas. Maybe things are different here.
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Old 01-07-14, 04:56 PM  
boukilisa
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara1000 View Post
I am in my 60's and in all my life I never heard anyone say it was unfeminine or gross to be strong and have muscles. The only place I have ever heard this is in articles about why women are afraid to build muscles. I have also never heard a woman say she was afraid of building muscles or bulking up except in such articles.

I live in Texas. Maybe things are different here.
I've heard it here on this fitness board.
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Old 01-07-14, 04:58 PM  
eyefit
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I read a disheartening post on Caitlin's F&F Facebook page where someone commented about the pull up standard. She talked about how she was an instructor at a gym on a Marine Corps base. She apparently had several female Marines ask her how to get stronger (so they could meet the pull up requirement) without getting "bigger". She said they would basically ask "how do I do what you do, without looking like you?"

I mean, in the field your life could potentially depend on your upper body strength and abilities. As a Marine, do you really want society's B.S. aesthetic crap negatively affecting your ability in the field?
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Old 01-07-14, 04:59 PM  
eyefit
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Originally Posted by boukilisa View Post
I've heard it here on this fitness board.
Yup. The always present fear of "bulking"
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Old 01-07-14, 05:05 PM  
upperwside
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: On Canada 💗
I can do pull ups.. but I worked hard to do them! I like every body type as long as women are happy and healthy... but I also like big bulky muscles that are developed with hard work and healthy eating.. not drugs. It is bloody hard work.. I work hard to have the muscle I do have... rock on to women who can do pull ups and also to the women who could care less to!
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Old 01-07-14, 05:11 PM  
Sarah-lara
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I find it surprising you haven't heard that, Sara. It's been voiced many times here and used as a marketing tool by several instructors (you don't want to look like a man, you want a long, lean look, etc.)

But if you really want to see some ugliness, try reading the comments section on newspapers when they run articles on fit women (soccer players, Olympians, celebrities, etc.). There will be lots of "eww, gross" comments, and not just from men.
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Old 01-07-14, 06:02 PM  
Sara1000
 
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Yes I've heard it from instructors hawking their 'long, lean' type workouts, but not from regular people I've known or encountered.

OK, fear of bulking on this board - is it the muscles they fear or the increase in size? Anyway, as I recall mostly it was in reference to such fear being silly.

I guess since I have a hard time building muscle and have always aspired to do so if I heard such comments from people on message boards I probably just tuned them out.
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