Men are strong, like King Kong… everyone knows men are just better at everything athletic, right? Even the men who don’t do any exercise are going to be better than any woman no matter how hard she works because … penis!
Personally, I’ve not noticed too much of this directed at me. But I realise that’s more a combination of my own anti-social and obtuseness, and luck. I’m also not going to pretend that men don’t have some biological advantages – like the male friends I play squash with who don’t do any other exercise and still have a decent backhand, whereas I’ve been lifting for a couple of years and my two-handed backhand is still pretty poor. Damn that upper body strength.
But that’s not what Caitlin is talking about when looking at the idea of being chicked. Rather the idea that any man must always be better at anything slightly athletic than a woman. An idea that is born of misogyny as much as anxious masculinity. If you can only define being a man as being stronger/faster/whatever than a woman, of course you are threatened.
Fortunately, lots of guys, like Brian, reject this silliness. (Here’s another one.) Interestingly enough, athletic men tend to be way more accepting of the prowess of their lady counterparts than are non-athletic men (which is something I’ve remarked upon before). It’s very simple, really – if you are secure in yourself in a human being, you won’t have to boost your self-esteem by dominating people you perceive as weaker than you.
Ahh patriachy, when will you ever end?