Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Sporting Difference: On Men’s and Women’s Athletics | Public Discourse

From the article: 
Sports and the Pursuit of Excellence
Inequality of intelligence, Tocqueville writes, will always be with us. With apologies to Aristophanes, inequalities traceable to physical beauty and age are also hallmarks of human life. Such inequalities need not affect the principle of equal treatment and they add flavor to life.
Much the same can be said of sports. Sports are a vestige of the age of inequality. We celebrate and recognize excellence. We can identify the winners. We admire them for their excellence.
Teams with too much success—the Dukes, the Alabamas, the New England Patriots, the New York Yankees—are subject to a resentful, envious hatred. "Let someone else win" is a most democratic sentiment. Yet when these traditional powers play, we watch. Excellence fascinates us, and it brings out excellence in others. Nothing very important hangs on whether one team wins or another. We argue about it at the water cooler because, even in our democratic age, human beings admire excellence. Sports scream: "Some playing fields can't be leveled. Some competitors are better than others!"
In this, sports speak the truth. There is no fine line between athletic accomplishments for women and men. Men are generally bigger, stronger, and faster. Where strength and speed and agility are the factors determining success, human beings watch men's sports.
Sports bring out some of the differences between the sexes. Sports are valuable ballast in the American democratic regime. Would that we could acknowledge differences and celebrate them instead of burying them under a mountain of false hopes. Would that we could allow reality to govern our thoughts as they do our actions.
A sensible approach to equality in sports would be to acknowledge differences between men and women. Men are more interested in sports than women. Men are better at sports than women. We acknowledge the second reality through the very existence of women's sports. We acknowledge the first reality in how we act.
 
http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/04/16614/

This is a bit of a long article but he finishes with what I have quoted above.  "A sensible approach to equality in sports would be to acknowledge differences between men and women."  I wonder if this same sensible approach could be applied to women in combat?