Friday, February 18, 2011

Sexism Alert!

Look at these two posters. One is a "Weight Training Flexibility" guide, while the other is for "Aerobic Flexibility." What is different about them?

Well, other than the title, really nothing other than the gender of cartoon person modeling the stretches. The stretches as well as the descriptions for them (sorry they're not legible, these are the biggest images I could find for these) are exactly the same.

Both these posters are hanging in the warm-up area of my university's gym. There is a specific weight room (which, admittedly, I have never stepped foot in), but in the section where these posters are, there are aerobic and weight training machines that both men and women use. So why the gender distinction?

There is a stereotype that women are more likely to do aerobic exercises rather than lift weights, and that lifting weights is a much more masculine form of exercise. I just thought it was striking that the posters made such a distinction, when in reality, I see men and women at the gym pretty evenly and they do pretty similar exercises.

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