Thursday, October 21, 2010

Five Hundred Meters to Equality

Dear Men,

All too often you think you are so much better than your female counter parts. Thinking things like "I can lift heavier objects than women" or "look at me, I can ride my bike faster than my wife". Well friends, it's time for a realignment of our prejudice and our penis centric viewpoints. Our lovely lady friends prove to be strong adversaries, and there is no denying that fact.

Being raised in a family with its fair share of feminists (5: my Mum, Dad, two Sisters and myself), I was brought up to never discriminate against women for any reason. I unfalteringly hold this viewpoint in my day to day life, and so should you. However, despite the upbringing my family has given me, the school yard taught me different things. I can distinctly remember numerous times from elementary school through to high school where young men were made fun of for being beat by girls. Boys are supposed to be faster, stronger, and more skilled at all things athletic. This left me with conflicting viewpoints; to never discriminate, or to put on bravado and testosterone and assume that I would always be better than girls at athletics.

Generally speaking, I was stronger, faster, and sometimes more skilled than girls my age (although, that said, I was stronger, faster, and more skilled than many guys too!). But my first real taste of not being able to beat girls was when I joined my high school swim team. While I was one of the faster swimmers on the team, there was always at least one person faster than me, and more often than not, she was a girl. Looking back now, I can visualize the emotional progression that I went through on my high school swim team. I went from being a pubescent miner niner who thought that it was totally wrong for girls to beat me (because I would get made fun of by my friends on the basketball team), to a (slightly) more mature grade 12 who learned to love seeing the progression anyone made in the pool, male or female. As captain of the team I had to be proud and supportive of anyone who won a race, even if it meant accepting a loss to a girl. Fortunately, I think I've progressed past my high school insecurities and I now see losing to women no different than losing to men, the point is that I've lost and that there is room for me to improve.

What I love about swimming is that this situation hasn't changed since I've been in high school. When I get into the pool at triathlon club practice not only do I know that there will be people that are faster than me, but I know that they will be women, and I'm sure many of you men know that too. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I love seeing people progress and its awesome when everyone is able to progress together on an even playing field.

Men, if you have any doubt as to whether you should share my viewpoint, you need only look as far as the results from the UBC TC FC RS 500m Swim results. It will soon be evident that the majority of the men in the field got beaten by women. So, tuck your tail between your legs and give a big round of applause to the awesome women on the tri-club. There is no doubt that the women dominate the pool.


Two Time UBC TC RS Winner

The results:

Kory Seder 6:58
Rachel Schoeler 7:00
Karin Olafson 7:21
Matt Reeve 7:34
Vincent Lavallee 7:44
Eddy Wu 7:45
Jen Bhatla 7:50
Matt Ridley 8:09
Branden Neaf 8:25
Kywon Kim 8:41
Jorg Winter 8:44
Melanie van Soeren 8:50
Victoria Gilbert 8:51
Kim Seder 8:59
Winston Guo 9:00
Jen Moroz 9:20
Kristry 9:29
John Heinz 9:49
Derrick Lee 9:57
Kellen Kjera 10:06
Drew Senay 10:26
Jesse Chao 10:50
Janice 14:20
Liam Harrap 15:00

Oh, and two UBC TC alumni swam with us as well.

Derek Westra-Luney 6:23
Patrick Waters 6:33

But they don't really count since they both swam on the UBC Varsity Swim Team, so its just expected that they would beat us.


Nathaniel said...

kory seder??

Eddy Wu said...

who knew eh?