Strong women, part 1: Stop deprecating them

I’ve always found it stupid that women trying to get stronger or more muscular in the gym get so much bullshit about ‘not getting too muscular’, ‘bulking up too much’ or even ‘looking like a man’. This implies three things that bother me.

  • People feel that their opinion is of any importance to anyone but themselves when in reality, it is not or it should not.
  • All strength training is concerned with nothing but aesthetics.
  • There is some sort of ideal or standard that women in general should look like.

The first point is something we see all too often and often best dealt with by ignoring it. It’s just people meddling and their opinions are generally not worth debating and their claims are generally not worth refuting.

The second point is important yet often not emphasized. Strength training has a plethora of benefits for both your body and mind like I have written before. This simple fact alone should be enough to shut most people up when criticizing women who train heavy.

That brings me to the third point which bothers me the most and is probably a special concern if women are in fact training for aesthetics (which they often are to some extent). Criticizing a woman for being too muscular or lean implies that women have to adhere to certain standards. Of course there are health aspects to consider in this topic, but a woman generally does not stand on stage with 9% body fat because of health. Unless she has some sort of disorder, she most likely makes a conscious choice to work hard and achieve something. A trophy, a physical feat, anything. No one does physically extraordinary things for health and a woman should not get shit thrown at her for making this conscious choice. I’m a bit of a conservative when it comes to masculinity and femininity, but I do believe that strength, personal growth and ambition are important for both men and women. Implying that a woman should stay weak, deconditioned and not visibly strong or anything of the sort is an insult to a woman’s dignity, an obstacle in making women healthier and -in the case of a man saying this- a disgrace to your masculinity. Strength plays an important role in the life of a man and a strong man is at his best with a strong woman by his side.

 

Kanae Yagi, a Japanese, female weightlifter, able to get 115kg/+-250lbs above her head. Manly? Bulky? Hm… Looks more like adorable, cute and STRONG┬áto me.

 

Personal opinion on what you find attractive? You have every right to have it and express it through the women you date and the pictures you masturbate to, but that is not the same as perpetuating insecurity and weakness in women through your stupid remarks. This attitude is no better than media stimulating insecurity in teenage girls regarding their bodies.

“Weak men absolutely demand that a woman stays weak as well. Demanding that a woman not have muscle or get strong is implying that you as a man need to exert dominance over the women in question and if you cannot exert that dominance, then she is unattractive to you. Does this sound like a strong man to you?” – Brandon Morrison