Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

August 26, 2009

Changing the Language

Filed under: real talk — Tags: , , — Lady Who Cooks @ 12:25 pm

So besides getting my body hot, I love Crossfit for its equality. It seems as though this extremely masculine workout regiment is very accepting of the female presence, which is a very nice and refreshing change. I love when men not only accept that women are strong but also push them to get stronger. For women of the 20th century, it’s a positive and elating step away from the caveman era. Yet, besides this wonderful progression towards equality, there’s still a lingering problem holding us back, language. For example, lighter bar = woman’s bar. It appears as though anything that is lighter in weight obviously must belong to the ‘women’. Yet, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s purely unintentional. Even I didn’t really notice it till Andrew said something about the woman’s bar and I asked if he was referring to the lighter bar. For centuries women were made to feel as though we are the weaker sex, and it’s only been with the last few decades where we’re beginning to realize that we are a lot stronger than what people have given us credit for. Yet, don’t think I’m man bashing, because women have also been the ones to discredit themselves. I assumed the lighter bar was for the women, that was purely me but now I’m determined to change my mentality. I feel as though as long as I think the lighter bar is for me, I will always limit myself to a lesser weight. I am excited though that Mara and I have such wonderful and supportive guys to workout with. You guys push us forward and I hope we do the same for you.


  1. Too true…

    I like a lot of what you said there, Abby.

    It is encouraging to watch some women on some of the videos using the prescribed weight, throwing that "women's weight" out the window.

    But I have also come to accept that women are indeed, undeniably, scientifically weaker in a straight comparison to men on average. We don't run as fast, and we can't lift as much. So in that light, I don't mind calling it a "women's bar" or even "girl pushups" though that one's a bit more problematic still. So I have come to terms with the fact that I will never lift as much as Josh (unless he get's really out of shape), and I can let go of needing to be equal in that way.

    Nevertheless, I do take some pride in the statistical fact that pound for pound, women are generally stronger. One thing I like about Crossfit is that it tests more than just strength, and it often tests your strength in relation to your weight (body weight exercises). It also tests areas in which women rather than men tend to be naturally more apt, such as flexibility, agility, balance and coordination. So I try to enjoy my abilities where they are, working on my "weaknesses" but also capitalizing on my "strengths" whenever possible.

    Plus, mental strength is a real factor in most workouts, and we KNOW we've got the boys beat on that one!! 😉

    Comment by Maravilla — August 26, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

  2. Yeah I know I will never be able to lift as much as most guys, and I'm not saying that we could ever be on the same strength level. I just think that by labeling the lighter bar to the 'girl's' bar contributes to the stigma that girls are weak. We trust those around us, so if they say to me this is the girl's bar I believe that is my bar, I believe that the lighter bar belongs to me and by that I feel limited in my mind because I'm always thinking lighter instead of heavier.

    Anyways, maybe it won't make a difference if we called the bar something else. Maybe it would. I'm most interested to see how if changing this type of language would alter one's perception as to their own capabilities.

    Comment by Abby — August 27, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

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