From weightlifting to "pussy cyclones"
Jess McCabe // 17 March 2007
Teenage girls in Florida are competing in weightlifting contests, and loving it, according to the New York Times.
“It might not have been the most, like, girly or cool thing,” said Hannah Feliciano, a willowy freshman at Sarasota High School who started lifting last fall. “But I like the fact that I can prove to people that I also have, like, a rough side.”
Or as Sara Hansell, a senior at St. Cloud High School who won her second consecutive title in the 154-pound weight class explained her passion for the sport, “I get to say I’m stronger than most of the boys in my school.”
Florida is the only state in the US to offer weightlifting classes to girls at school. It’s interesting how the sport has managed to involve girls of all shapes and sizes, including those that were not involved in other team sports.
“I find it very surprising,” said Jackie Metcalf, the weightlifting coach at Sarasota High School. “because it’s a great way to get girls involved for gender equity. You don’t have to be a skilled athlete to do this.”
The presence on many teams of cheerleaders — who become better jumpers and fliers after lifting — has helped remove the stigma from the sport, several girls said. Many wear bows in their hair at competitions, and at a recent meet, one wore pearls with her singlet. They share weight rooms with boys who admiringly call them “beast.” T-shirts emblazoned with “Silly Boys, Weights Are For Girls” and the like are de rigueur.
Be sure to check out the video of one of the weightlifting competitions.
Speaking of which, Melinda Casino of BlogHer has put together a post showcasing some of the best of feminist YouTube.
Highlights include Margaret Cho explaining how Bush fears the morning after pill because it will unleash a “pussy cyclone”, and some interesting snippets of a documentary called I Was A Teenage Feminist by Trixie Films. One of these clips asks women Are YOU a Feminist? and gets some great responses. My favourite?
“If you’re breathing, why aren’t you a feminist?”
But then you have another depressing clip where US documentary-maker Therese Shechter gets her male friend to ask the same questions of men, and pretends to be his assistant.
Perhaps predictably, the results are a lot of men sounding off about how feminists are lesbians and women already have all those equal rights n’ stuff.
Photo by The Polstar*, shared under a Creative Commons license