07 Feb Boys Vs Girls
I knew there was sexism in the work place, I’ve seen the news articles on the gender pay gap and never really thought much of it. Don’t get me wrong its terrible, women shouldn’t get paid less for the same job and its happened to me before. My first proper job I was a receptionist and they employed a guy at the same time as me to do the same job, except he got offered more money. It was my first job so I didn’t really complain and after a while I got a pay rise to match him (and it turned out he was stealing and got fired so it all turned out right in the end). You pay peanuts you get monkeys springs to mind. I enjoy surprising people (men) with just how competent I am, I enjoy the shock of their little faces that yes I can run for 18 miles and yes a large proportion was up hill and yes I can run further and faster then you could ever dream off, I’m a girl and I’m epic.
I often get asked, so did you run at school? and my answer is always the same, no. I was not sporty, I didn’t even know I could run. I went to an all girls school and looking back our PE classes left a lot to be desired. We really focused on dance and low impact sports like badminton, badminton is great if you want to have a chat and work on your hand eye coordination but its not really active. As girls we were not pushed, we weren’t told we could achieve great thing if we really tried, average was considered good enough for us. We had a vast field with a track but I never remember running on it, for sports day we did relay, apparently girls can’t run that far.
The all boys school however, they had a long cross country run every summer, they had football (I don’t want to play football but that’s not my point), they were pushed, relay was not an option for them. I very much doubt they played badminton.
Up until 1972 women weren’t allowed to run marathons, it was considered that women’s bodies just can’t cope with that distant, that was only 45 years ago which to me just seems mad. In 1966 Roberta Gibbs had to hide in the bushes to run the Boston Marathon, even after completing it she was told her time would not be counted, because she was a women.
I’ve seen on Facebook a few girls I went to school with now run, some to keep fit, some because they enjoy it and some just to push and see how far they can go. As far as I’m aware none of these girls ran at high school, none were pushed to find out how great they can be, no we were all in textiles class learning how to use a sawing machine drinking diet coke so we don’t get fat. It seems mad that in my life time there is still such a gap between what is expected of men and women, it starts at school, boys can run and girls can saw. It works both ways, maybe boys want to saw and never had the option. I feel I’ve missed out on a big part of me for so long because no one thought to push me, I didn’t suddenly get good at running, its always been in me but it was so much easier to teach girls dance then take the time to make them go outside and run. Yes we would of moaned and bitched about it, we did that about everything, and school is all about doing shit you don’t want to do, no one goes to history or geography by choice. We went because the school made us and in my opinion the school let us down by not making every girl realise her potential, whether is be sports or academic, in every way they just settled for average.
Maybe in todays society where child obesity is high and self esteem is low making teenage girls run would not be a bad idea? Maybe then we wouldn’t have to live on diet coke so we don’t get fat, because getting fat wouldn’t be a concern after a 5K run. Our self esteem would be higher because we would know just how great we are and be proud of what we’ve achieved. Women before us couldn’t run marathons because they weren’t allowed, men told them that they couldn’t do it, but now 45 years later we know that girls can do anything boys can do and sometimes we even do it better 🙂