What do female weightlifters and female geeks have in common?

You might not think weightlifters and geeks have a huge overlap or much in common, but it turns out that because we both are interested in traditionally non-feminine things, we’re subject to the same ridiculous “OMG, you should stop what you’re doing or people won’t find you attractive!” comments from people who should mind their own businesses.

Weightlifter Zoe Smith writes a great little piece addressing some naysayers that I think will resonate with many readers here: Thanks (but no thanks…):

As Hannah pointed out earlier, we don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend to your diet guide and use a plus size waist trainer for weight loss in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favorably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.

Next time I need an example of a strong woman, I’m going to think of Zoe Smith!

(Note: Sorry, this was put together before the olympics and then not scheduled to go up for some reason, so it’s a bit past topical but I thought folk might enjoy the quote even if it is late.)

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About terriko

Terri has a PhD in horribleness, assuming we can all agree that web security is kind of horrible. She stopped working on skynet (err, automated program repair and AI) before robots from the future came to kill her and got a job in open source, which at least sounds safer. Now, she gets paid to break things and tell people they're wrong, and maybe help fix things so that people won't agree so readily with the first sentence of this bio in the future. Terri writes/tweets under the name terriko, enjoys making things and mentoring others and has a plain ol' home page at http://terri.toybox.ca.

2 thoughts on “What do female weightlifters and female geeks have in common?

  1. angela

    definitely appreciate this. once I was at the gym lifting and a man said to his friend, while looking directly at me, “I’d never let my daughter lift weights. It makes ’em look different.” ugh.

  2. Philipp

    I agree. It is ridiculous to think that someone spends hours every day in the gym just to impress men. Weightlifting is their sport, their passion and that is why they do what they do and look like they look. It is great that she does not feel the need to follow the culturally dominant body image and just does what she wants to do.
    Same for men, in my opinion. I was told several times in the last few years that I should stop lifting because my legs were already big enough/too big … That those changes were just byproducts of doing something I enjoy, is hard for people to get their head around.

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