"Those girls have too much muscle, they look manly."
Over the month I’ve happened upon, in some way or another, conversations based around women that work out; specifically women that workout and have muscle/tone to show for it.
Of course this has been an “issue” ever since women decided that men aren’t the only ones allowed to be strong.
I hear people throwing out the words “not feminine” in regards to such ladies. It’s unfortunate because femininity shouldn’t be associated with being weak or unfit. And certainly having some muscle tone shouldn’t automatically kick a lady out of the feminine club.
Now, for sure there is certainly much difference in muscle tone and size between, for example, a typical CrossFit woman and a female bodybuilder, but the overarching point remains the same.
In the majority of these conversations I get the overall impression from men that the woman’s size/muscularity/fitness is not the real issue at hand; rather their own. Statements like, “I wouldn’t want a girl more fit/muscular/whatever than I am” are the norm. (Let’s forget the fact that said female has likely never asked them their opinion of her or her body).
Seems to me that if you’re intimidated by the ladies, it’s likely because you’ve got some work to do. You shouldn’t ask women to not be strong, you should just want to be stronger!
Before you say, “but wait, attractiveness is subjective and everyone has their own opinion”, yes you’re right (to an extent, actually by and large standards of beauty are set on a cultural level more than they are on an individual level, but that’s another post entirely). People certainly can, do, and should have different preferences for attraction. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the men so clearly intimidated by a woman’s level of fitness/muscularity that they’re quick to make statements regarding said woman’s level of attraction, femininity, etc. Presumably in an attempt to preempt their own feelings of insecurity.
Women are guilty of the same thing as it regards their more muscular/toned peers. But, the basic reasoning is the same most times: a combination of indoctrination into (overall) culturally defined standards of beauty, with a hint of envy that they themselves don’t have the dedication to search for their physical limits and ignore mainstream societies negative commentary.
Sometimes muscle/tone is a byproduct (as when you’re searching for physical performance), other times it is the thing being sought after (typical bodybuilding style training); either way the goals are noble ones; to find the dedication to shape yourself (physically and mentally) to what you are seeking to become.
The human body is a wonderful thing, and it would be very unfortunate for a woman (or man for that matter) to never know what its capable of.