Definition- reesespieces

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

The divide of genders has been a stereotype that has circled the world since the beginning of time. The Olympics have been something we view every four years, and have seen no development in inclusion. Time and time again we see men competing against men and women against women, but there has never been any crossover between genders. The only adjustment has been the allowance of transgenders being allowed to compete, if a man transitioned to a woman they were allowed to compete as a woman. The Olympics have never had the crossover of genders in competition due to fairness, but in our world we are searching and striving for equality. How can one define what fairness is? What someone’s fair could be polar opposite to someone else. To be considered fair everyone is given the same opportunity, and will react to the best of their abilities. It is not made easier for one group and harder for another. In the Olympics if it was competed with fairness and everyone had the exact same opportunities, we would see true results as who the elite athlete of that sport is. 

    A popular and well known sport most enjoy watching in the summer Olympics is gymnastics. We have men and women gymnasts to entertain us on all televisions all summer. Switching channels to flip flop between men and women’s gymnasts, with different skills and different events, but still both considered gymnastics. Stereotypically men have said to be at an advantage in sports due to their biological make up. In the journal Classification in Sport: A Question of Fairness it explains the origin of the Olympics and how it started as only free Greek men being eligible to compete in the games. The journal mentions “early twentieth-century sport was primarily a young men’s world.” Olympics were seen as only capable by men, that no women would be competitive enough to showcase their athletic abilities. As females were added to the equation in the 1900’s they were in their own category, with easier events. As years progressed women have excelled in sports, especially in the Olympics. They have dismantled the stereotype that sports are a man world, and have no place for women. But today women still face major equality issues in sports. In The Sports Journal by Joshua A. Senne states “a common women face in the media is gender marking, which represents male athletes and men’s sports as being the norm, and women’s sports as “other.” Yet women have set many world and Olympic records and obtained many gold medals. It is irrational to think men and women can not be in the same competition in the battle for the gold. Creating this sense of equal opportunity and fairness does not go for just gymnastics, but all the sports in winter and summer Olympics. By adjusting all the sports to the same rules and regulations, all genders compete in a larger competition, to see who is the best. Also in team sports, or relays can be made up of equal men and women and participate against other countries of the same team. Gender and biological make up have little to no advantage. 

As we watch men’s gymnastics their events consist of: floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault and parallel bars. While in women’s gymnastics their events are: floor exercise, uneven bars, balance beam, and vault. This is for highlighting different capabilities of the gender, the women’s ability to balance on a four inch wide beam, and for men using extreme upper body strength to complete routines on the still rings. Both male and female gymnasts compete vault, floor exercise, and bars, so they already share the same skill set. It is considered unfair because of stereotypes that the men would beat the women by a landslide. But both genders are given the same circumstances and opportunity and both genders are athletic and strong. It can not be said that the men would win every time. In the article “Why Men and Women Gymnasts Have Different Events”the idea arose that women are capable of matching the upper lower and body strength of a man. In order to compete as one, women and men would have to strive to have the same muscular strength, skill set, coordination, balance, and stamina. But surprisingly enough they already have these assets, now they just need to be combined into one.

If the competition of Olympic gymnastics evolved into a singular sport there would be fairness, but all competing the same events with a mix of events from women’s and men’s gymnast origins. By creating a crossover every male and women would have the same opportunity to perform skills to the best of their ability. As stated in the journal Classification in Sport: A Question of Fairness “athletes and teams are measured, compared, and ranked according to capabilities and skills that the outcomes of their own talents and efforts.” When gymnasts are judged there is no bias on who the judges favor, it is who performs the best routine with the least amount of errors. As this is true men and women should be able to compete together and be judged the same way, with no bias to their gender. Rules in gymnastics are forever changed, regarding skills that are allowed and which ones are band, scores, and more. Why can not rules of who is eligible to compete be adjusted as well, opening up to men competing women events and vice versa, along with transgenders having the opportunity to compete in gymnastics. 

Society focuses a great deal on the difference between men and women, comparing hormone levels, and structure. If all gender structures were dropped we could strictly focus on the ability of the athletes. Fairness of equal competition between athletes will show this. By being open minded to new rules and regulation and creating a new form of competition we will be rewarded with true sports and see their athleticism. Fairness is treating all of the athletes alike, as strong, power competitive humans and being blind to their gender. 


“Examination of Gender Equity and Female Participation in Sport.” The Sport Journal, 29 Feb. 2016.

“Classification in Sport: A Question of Fairness” Loland, Sigmund. European Journal of Sport Science, vol. 21, no. 11, 2021, pp. 1477–1484.

“Why Are Men’s & Women’s Gymnastics Events Different? Look to the Skills They Emphasize.” LaTour, Amée. Bustle, Bustle, 10 Aug. 2016. 

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