Definition Rewrite- 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. The next step is 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 it can be said that both genders are athletic and strong and can succed. It can not be said that the men would win every time. By competing in categories of weight and height class competitors will be competing with those of similar size and strength. For example the uneven bars can be adjust to a range of settings that are allowed to be competed at, to allow gymnasts of different sizes to compete. Within the different events athletes will have the ability to adjust the equipment to their liking, besides balance beam and floor which have a standard setting and size.

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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7 Responses to Definition Rewrite- reesespieces

  1. May I please have feedback on my definition rewrite.
    I would like feedback regarding more specifics of regulations for the different events. For example making uneven bars or parallel bars a range of measurements that the gymnast can decide for themselves the setting they would like to compete at that could benefit their body type and size.
    I would also like feedback about fairness and equity and their relation. Of how we can make gymnastics to get rid of the unfairness factors by eliminating issues that exist now. regarding our conversations of completely getting gender out of the Olympics and brining up arguable way to change the rules and regulations.
    Thank you!

  2. This is a reminder for myself when revising my definition rewrite to focus on breaking down my paragraphs and separating main ideas.

  3. davidbdale says:

    Your first paragraph (and your overall tone) suggests that we’re not making progress in eliminating gender bias, but the evidence you briefly cite proves the opposite, Reeses. The original Greek games pitted only naked men against each other. But Games have evolved. Maybe the inclusion of women in sports occurred reluctantly, but it occurred, and the results have been positive. The glorious history of women in the modern Olympic Games proves that this progress continues and is beneficial. So . . . the next step should be inevitable: naked mixed events. Just kidding. The elimination of gender categories altogether seems like the next logical step in the continuing liberalization of sport. (And it solves the new dilemma of how to welcome and de-stigmatize the inclusion of transgender athletes.)

  4. davidbdale says:

    Your argument will gain specificity and your readers will have many of their questions answered when you spell out how your proposal could be implemented across the Gymnastics category. (Let them worry their little heads about how to handle wrestling; that’s not your problem.) We need to understand that:
    1. Gender categories will not exist in your Olympic Gymnastic events.
    2. Height, weight, (anything else?) and overall physicality alone will determine who competes against whom.
    3. Competitors themselves will determine (within a range that you can specify if you’re very brave) how to, for example, set the bars for their trials.
    4. Floor exercises should be open to all. Do you need to specify anything at all for this event? Could the dimensions of the floor be flexible for different-sized competitors? (A line on the floor—like basketball’s three-point line—might be enough.)
    5. Use your imagination and creativity.

  5. davidbdale says:

    Sport is inherently unfair because Nature is not fair. Some of us are gazelles, and some of us are hippos. But the Olympics, because it has it can set rules Nature does not set, can bring equal opportunity (situational equality) to an artificial triumph-of-the-fittest in certain categories of fitness. To illustrate: put the gazelle and the hippo into a deep pool and suddenly, it’s the hippo who has the advantage! So, the Olympics can—and therefore should—produce equality where Nature fails.

  6. Thank you for you feedback I have edited my definition rewrite, adding what we have talked about.

  7. Hi professor, I have revised this argument, and was wondering if I can have it regarded? Thank you

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