“Snowboarding Women and Unisex Slopes: What’s a Feminist to Do?”, asks Heather Mac Donald, which I think James Taranto would file in the “Questions Nobody’s Asking” department — despite its rather vexing nature to the New York Times and Olympic organizers:
In a preview of the U.S. military’s planned integration of females into combat positions, female skiers and snowboarders have been wiping out at disproportionate numbers at the Extreme Park in Sochi. Unlike traditional ski runs, which vary in difficulty according to whether they are designed for males or females, the course for highflying snowboarders and freestyle skiers is largely unisex: Females are expected to navigate the same jumps as the males. The result has been an avalanche of female falls and injuries: Of the 22 accidents that either forced athletes out of the competition or required medical attention on the final run, 16 involved female skiers, reports the New York Times, even though far fewer females than males actually essay the course.
For the Times, this state of affairs presents both an insuperable puzzle and a painful dilemma. The “question” why females are crashing more is a “difficult one,” claims the paper’s male sports reporter. Really? As a purely factual matter, the answer is simple: Females have less strength and muscular control than males, making them less able to navigate the greater physical challenges of the extreme course.
How to properly respond to the female crash tally, however, is difficult.
Read the whole thing; and then if you missed it, check out Kevin D. Williamson’s related article from earlier this month at NRO:
Feminism is not an idea or a collection of ideas but a collection of appetites wriggling queasily together like a bag of snakes. Feminism has nothing to do with the proposition that women should be considered whole and complete members of the body politic, though it has enjoyed great success marketing itself that way. (Virginia I. Postrel recently denounced me as a “creep” for suggesting that the substance of feminism, if indeed there is any, differs rather radically from its advertising campaigns.) A useful definition is this: “Feminism is the words ‘I Want!’ in the mouths of three or more women, provided they’re the right kind of women.” Feminism must therefore accommodate wildly incompatible propositions — e.g., (1) Women unquestionably belong alongside men in Marine units fighting pitched battles in Tora Bora but (2) really should not be expected to be able to perform three chin-ups. Or: (1) Women at Columbia are empowered by pornography but (2) women at Wellesley are victimized by a statue of a man sleepwalking in his Shenanigans. And then there is Fluke’s Law: (1) Women are responsible moral agents with full sexual and economic autonomy who (2) must be given an allowance, like children, when it comes to contraceptives.
Feminism began as a simple grievance, mutated into a kind of conspiracy theory (with “patriarchy” filling in for the Jews/Freemasons/Illuminati/Bohemian Grove/reptilian shape-shifters/the fiendish plot of Dr. Fu Manchu/etc.), spent the 1980s in grad school congealing into a ridiculous jargon, and with the booming economy of the 1990s was once again reinvented, this time as a career path.
And now it must confront the ultimate slippery slope: the sexist snowboard slopes.
Perhaps President Obama will tackle this issue, now that it’s February 20th, or “White House Equal Pay Day” — the date in 2014 that women working in the Obama White House need to work to earn what the men there earned in 2013.