Okay. It’s high time I got this off my chest:
Why is doing anything like a girl perceived to be an insult?
I don’t think I’m making this up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Oh, [insert name] does [insert sport] like a girl” — in a look-down-your-nose, dismissive, you-can’t-possibly-be-any-good type way.
Breaking news: the fact that we’re women means everything we do, we do like a girl. It’s a given. And if that means skiing like Lindsey Vonn, or swimming like Missy Franklin, or doing gymnastics like Gabby Douglas, then hey, you can count me in. Anytime.
Which brings me to another pet peeve: women skiers who think they’re superior if they only ski with guys. I hear this a lot. I’ve ridden the chair with women whom I’ve told about TheSkiDiva.com, only to hear, “Cool. But I only ski with men.” Like that makes them better than any of the women on the site. Uh, I don’t think so. There are a lot of kick-ass women skiers hanging out on the forum, as anyone who goes there knows. And to be honest, I’ve seen a lot of men who don’t ski that well. So if you tell me you only ski with guys, I can only conclude that: 1) you have some kind of misplaced snobbery; 2) you must think all men are great skiers; or 3) you have no confidence in women at all, and think you’re rare and uncommon in your skiing ability. All of which are absolutely ludicrous.
Women athletes have a lot to be proud of. Maybe doing it like a girl was insulting when Queen Victoria was in power and women weren’t supposed to do anything but sit and needlepoint. But this is no longer the case, and hasn’t been for a looooong, loooong time.
Ladies, it’s time we took ownership of our athletic abilities. So the next time someone says you do something like a girl, smile and say, “Thanks. I do, don’t I?”
If someone were to tell me I ski like a girl, I would answer “you mean like Lindsey Vonn? Cool!” Because honestly, I think Lindsey Vonn could beat well over half the guys on the WC circuit. She does use mens’ skis, after all!
If a woman tells me she only skis with guys, I must confess that my instinct is to check her ring finger, which will tell me if she actually wants to ski or just catch a husband.
I am late in life to this sport, and have never been particularly athletic, so I just want to be the best I can be. I figure I can learn from anyone who’s good, gender notwithstanding. I’ve run into both male and female skiers who have an overdose of arrogance without the technical skills to back it up!
I figure, if I’m on the mountain and the conditions are reasonable, it’s a fabulous day. The only people I ever have to prove anything to are me and my coach. And we always make sure we’re having fun!