One Olympic sport I won’t be watching - women’s boxing
I know this goes against everything else I’ve written about women having the same opportunities as men but I just can’t cop women’s boxing.
News overnight it’s been put on the list for the 2012 Olympics has been hailed as a triumph for feminism, as it means there will no longer be any men-only Olympic sports.
But the right to get in a ring and beat each other about the head is not exactly what I had in mind as a great leap forward for equality of the sexes.
To be fair, I’ll admit I’m not exactly a fan of men’s boxing either, which probably compounds my view this development in sports administration is not fantastic news.
But men’s boxing is so entrenched in the sporting arena it’s unlikely to ever be removed. Some of the world’s biggest sporting legends have been boxers, but somehow I don’t think there will ever be a female Muhammed Ali.
On ABC radio this morning Julie Ryan, who is Queensland-based, was very excited about the possibility of going to London in 2012.
She described her training regime and efforts, including sprints and other types of exercises, saying: “It’s just like any other sport.”
I’m sure she thinks so, but I don’t reckon Stephanie Rice’s day involves punching her training partner in the head repeatedly, in an attempt to get her to fall down.
For a long time women’s boxing was banned in NSW, until December last year when the state government announced plans to relax the rules.
At the time the NSW president of the Australian Medical Association Brian Morton said boxing had a different physical effect on women than men.
“Women’s bodies are not as muscular and there’s good evidence to suggest that their bodies are less protected than a man’s,” he said.
If, in spite of this, women want to box, go for it. I just think it’s a shame there will now be gold medals awarded for those women who can inflict the most physical damage on their opponent.
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