In many sports there is rivalry, as there should be, between participants. It is what keeps us charging harder and aiming to achieve more. A little friendly competition is always motivating, but where we fall short is where there is a negative sense of judgement accompanying the rivalry. When mass judgement and a sense of dislike or hatred prevails over the normal sportsmanship and competition. This topic, especially relating to women in sports, has been coming up in conversation a lot recently. Mostly with an emphasis on pitting women against each other not in the typically competitive at their craft way, but in a way that our abilities are no longer the key focus but also our attractiveness. Female athletes are compared to one other on a skill level but also on how they look. A truly unfortunate comparison in my opinion. The result of this, in my opinion, is a sense of dislike towards those who are being compared and a deeper sense of insecurity. Especially if the judgement and comparison is voiced in such a manor or focuses on an area that we already feel as though we fall short.
I have over the past many years experienced women who participate in the same sports that I do whom all of the sudden have a problem with me. Whether it be from my experience, success, failures, outside influence, comparison or other unknown instigators it always left a bad taste in my mouth. The sports I love are very small and the number of female participants are such a small percentage. Although I am competitive I still value connections to other women who share the same passions that I do. Just because there is competition with in the sports world doesn’t mean there has to be an immediate dislike for the other individual. I found it very interesting that this topic kept coming up and this morning I came across an article in the Adventure Journal which highlights the judgement of successful women mainly by other women. I found it very prevalent and a good read. I highly recommend it! The article can be found HERE!
In a perfect world we would all get along with one another, have a sense of respect, celebrate each others successes and still have a friendly sense of competitiveness with one another. Obviously this is a little too Sesame Street of me, but a good thought nonetheless;) At the very least women in action/adventure sports should understand that many comparisons are irrelevant and if we feel insecure about the comparison we should look at the reason why and address that rather than getting upset about it.