Friday, February 17, 2006

Let Her Jump

Remember that old Nike commercial "If You Let Me Play"?

"If you let me play sports ... I will like myself more ... I will have more self-confidence ... I'll be 50 percent less likely to get breast cancer ... I will suffer less depression ... I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me ... I'll be less likely to be pregnant before I want to ... I will learn to be strong."

Nike needs to produce a new commercial to support women ski jumpers. ABC's morning program ran a story yesterday that astounded me. Ski jumping is the last sport women aren't allowed to compete in in the Olympics. And it's the old crap, they're looking out for us. Bullshit. Go protect someone who really needs protection. These women are talented, and they're being denied the right to compete. Too medically dangerous? Are you kidding me? I've watched skeleton and luge this week, and sliding down an icy runway at 70 miles an hour has got to be much more dangerous.

When I was in high school, state athletics rules made it ILLEGAL for girls to wear cleats. To protect us. Because we might hurt by being spiked. Meanwhile, I watched girls rip up their knees slipping on wet grass on sneakers.

And you can make all the rules you want, but women will still compete. Because athletics are fun, and competition is a gas.

Let's keep the pressure on the old men gasbags at the Olympics to let the women ski jumpers compete. Let them jump in Vancouver in 2010.

Why Are Women Being Left Out in the Cold?
Ski Jump Is the Only Winter Olympic Sport to Exclude Women

The International Ski Federation has ruled that ski jumping is too dangerous for women, making it the only winter Olympic sport that has male competitors and no female counterparts.

"It's like jumping down from, let's say, about two meters on the ground about a thousand times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view," the federation's president Gian Franco Kasper said on National Public Radio.

Newsday: Rules let a brother fly, but clip sister's wings

The international federation will take another vote this spring on whether women should jump in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. And Alissa said, "So far, we've been told every excuse in the book. That it's too 'dangerous' for girls. That there aren't enough of us. That we're not good enough. That it would damage our ovaries and uterus and we won't be able to have children, even though that's not true. It's so outdated, it's kind of funny in a way. And then it's not."

The ABC story has a left column side bar asking this question:

Should Women Be Allowed to Ski Jump?
Yes, it's the 21st century.
No, it's not safe.

Currently, with 319 votes recorded, "Yes" has 97.8% of the vote. Go vote. It's the 21st century, damn it.

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