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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:12 pm 
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Okay, it goes without saying that whatever the status of women in the West, it's probably less elsewhere. So I can sort of comprehend (I refuse to say I understand) why the Olympic events are sexist, e.g., different rules for men than women in AP, no center fire or free pistol events at all for women, etc. After all, the Olympics are a world competition and in some parts of the world, they still live in caves, metaphorically.

But why oh why are the events still sexist in this country?

What set me off on this rant was a peek at the USA Nationals prizes. Huh? What's this? Why are there more and bigger prizes for men than for women? And why no prizes at all for women in some events? At local level we certainly don't do this. When I've shot in local AP matches, no one ever said, "Sorry, Nicole, you only do 40 shots, being as you're just a woman and probably can't hold the gun up for a whole 60." And at the club I just joined, when they discovered I could shoot, they wanted to know if I had any interest in free pistol. No one said, "Oh, too bad you're just a woman, 'cause otherwise we might want you."

For pete's sake, to do real well in most shooting events, all you need to do is stand real still and pull a trigger that takes maybe a couple pounds. This is not wrestling or weight lifting. There's no real advantage to being some big, virile, impressive specimen of manhood.

So why does this sexism still go on here in the US at the Nationals? Okay, the question is rhetorical: We do it because if a woman won in, say, free pistol here in the US, they wouldn't take her at the Olympics and surely we wouldn't want to deny a spot to the guy who could have gone -- even if he wasn't actually the best American shooter. We continue the sexism here because we wouldn't want to deny some qualified guy the chance to compete. The fact that means all qualified women get denied is, well, too bad. But then again, perhaps some people think that's okay. After all, they're just women.

That's just plain wrong and it's time this should stop!

It's time the US just flat-out refused to go along with this nonsense. If there's no anatomical or biological reason why men and women should perform differently in a given event, there should be just one event. And where there are physical differences between men and women that might justify separate events -- and the only shooting event that comes to mind where that might be true is biathlon -- the events should be equivalent unless there's some really clear reason why not. If this isn't acceptable to the Olympic committee (or to troglodytes everywhere), it's time the US simply refused to participate in that event.

My bet is that if we did that, and if a few other Western nations followed suit, it'd take enough luster off the medals that winning them just wouldn't mean so much anymore. Pretty quickly, this sexism would end. And it's time it did.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:06 am 
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Well positioned and stated ...especially coming from one who is on the side of the slighted Craig


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:30 am 
Perhaps Nicole can lead the charge by campaigning to allow men into the HIGHLY lucrative womens tennis and golf circuits...
I'm sure she will get a lot of support from the women in this area.

Porcine Pete


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:41 am 
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Porcine Pete wrote:
Perhaps Nicole can lead the charge by campaigning to allow men into the HIGHLY lucrative womens tennis and golf circuits...
I'm sure she will get a lot of support from the women in this area.


If I actually played either tennis or golf and if men didn't have a physical advantage in these sports unlike in shooting and if it were really true that women's tennis and golf paid more than men's tennis and golf, then I might say you had a point.

As it is, you have squat.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:10 am 
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Interesting points and I certainly concur that there is no real reason why men and women should not be shooting the same competitions side by side.

However if that does happen it would probably halve the number of competitors able to shoot in events such as the olympics. Currently there is a mens event and a womens event (eg Air Pistol). That would be amalgamated into teh one event. Sport pistol may well disappear although women would be able to compete in rapid and free.

Is this likely to happen ? I personally doubt it. Maybe in the distant future but I can't see it happening in the next 10 or 20 years.

Rob.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:29 am 
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Nicole Hamilton wrote:
If there's no anatomical or biological reason why men and women should perform differently in a given event, there should be just one event. And where there are physical differences between men and women that might justify separate events -- and the only shooting event that comes to mind where that might be true is biathlon

Hmmm. Well, as it was explained to me many moons ago, women have a physiological advantage in air rifle (female hip bones being more flared than male hip bones), and men have an advantage in prone rifle (no mammary glands). So for those two events, there is a case to having seperate events (and possibly for 3P as well due to the prone and standing components - though that rather falls over given that 3P was for many years a combined event).

But for pistol, wholehearted agreement here. And I've never actually understood why women's matches were shorter anyway - even in the juniors, the girls are almost always physically larger than the boys from day one, it's not until much later that the boys catch up.


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 Post subject: Ok...
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:59 am 
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First of all, don't make it sound like women don't have any events to compete in at all. I will stick to the pistol events as an example. You point out free pistol...women have an event called Sport pistol you are more than welcome to compete in. Both sexes have the air events. Men do have Rapid fire to shoot in. OK, score a point for you, the men are unfairly allowed to shoot in one more pistol event at the Olympic level than women. Standard and Center fire are not Olympic events so I find the point of mentioning these as examples for your argument to be moot.

As far as the money at Nationals...big deal, the men are allowed one more event to win money in than women. Once again, score a point for you. As far as the difference in amounts...there are less female competitors in the women's events than the men's events. Of course with more competitors comes the task of beating more shooters...a bigger prize is therefore warranted for this...unless you think it's fair that a competitor who beats 15 shooters should get the same prize as one who beats 40.

Just because there is no physical advantage in a given sport does not mean there still should not be men's and women's events. Let's think about Title Nine here real quick. Women got really mad that there were no women's sports. Title Nine allowed the organization of sports for women. You're not saying we should get rid of Title Nine are you? I digress however... There are plenty of sports that there is no real advantage, yet men and women compete separately. I can also think of physical acitivity sports that men and women can compete in against each other. It seems in your argument that if there is any physical activity whatsoever, the men have the advantage...wrong.

The way I understand it, you are mad that there is not the same opportunity in the shooting sports for wowen as there are men. I think there are. Read the USAS Rule book, but if you choose not to, I will post it here...

General Guidelines 3.3 Recognized Developmental Events
USA Shooting recognizes shooting events with courses of fire similar to ISSF events, which utilize special equipment and targets designed for new and recreational shooters. These events are intended to promote mass participation in shooting competitions that offer junior and grassroots development opportunities and which lead to participation in ISSF shooting events.
50 Feet Rifle 3 Positions Men & Women
3x20 shots prone, standing, kneeling
50 Feet Rifle Prone Men & Women
60 shots prone
50 Feet Pistol Men
60 shots
50 Feet Rapid Fire Pistol Men
60 shots
50 Feet Center Fire Pistol Men
30+30 shots
50 Feet Standard Pistol Men
3x20 shots
50 Feet Pistol Women
30+30 shots
Trap Men & Women
300 Targets
Double Trap Men & Women
300 Targets
Skeet Men & Women
300 Targets
Skeet Men & Women
200 Targets

Ok, go ahead and argue that this is for junior shooters. But, it appears USAS is doing something which you claim they are not. Keep in mind there is this organization called ISSF. USAS does have to follow guidelines set forth by ISSF and cannot deviate too much from the program. Think of ISSF as the boss and if the employee, USAS, does not do what the boss says, the employee gets fired. And if there if no USAS there is no governing body for shooting.

On the other hand, NRA events allow for Men and Women to compete against each other. They are called OPEN events...You are more than welcome to compete in NRA events alongside men, if you chose.

The reason for my response to your post is not because I am some heathen "ubermale" or something like that. I feel you are making an argument based on very little thought and substance. Reference the OPEN events as above...When I shot Collegiate Pistol, NRA was the organizing body, therefore women did compete in the OPEN events with the males. I saw very few women near the top of the results bulletins...Do you still want to argue that women do just as well? Be careful what you wish for.

Please do not use the sport of shooting as a tool for your political agenda...and please do not base your points on your opinion, fact is always a better way to go.

Mike Douglass


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:23 am 
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From volunteer fire fighters to the glass ceiling - do you want cheese with that?

Keep life simple and enjoyable. Don't stir the pot to strongly - lest you fall in. Do with what you have and be glad you have it. Help others - the rewards are great. Thank the Lord daily for what you have and ask for guidance in life's matters.

I know - I have been there and done that. Now, back to my cave.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:31 am 
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USA Shooting follows the olympic/international deliniation becuz that's the sports we play in.

I believe a female can enter any event in a PTO, I've seen 60-shot AP entries by women. WE here in Phoenix allow anyone to shoot any of our state and local matches, but I don't know if women would be declared the state champ in a men's event. it hasn't happened yet, but please come down here and shoot with us and try.

as mentioined, by another, in NRA shooting, highpower, smallbore, bullseye pistol, except for typically a top-woman award (for which men are not eligable) are 100% gender integrated. Goto Camp Perry some time.

and often them women beat all the men (the name Gallegher comes to mind)

the odd thing is, I'd say that international style shooting has a GREATER percentage of women participation than NRA shooting!!!! maybe many women PREFER separate events? USAS champs at Ft Benning is full of girls and women, Camp Perry they are noticably fewer.

So if the subject of sexists sports, especially among non-shooters, ever comes up just brag about how the olympics are 100% segregated, but the NRA is 100% integrated!!!!!!!

Poole
http://arizona.rifleshooting.com/

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Bill Poole
Scottsdale, AZ
bill@poole.com
http://arizona.rifleshooting.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:52 am 
Nichole!

Welcome to the real world!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:04 am 
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Nicole Hamilton wrote:
Okay, it goes without saying that whatever the status of women in the West, it's probably less elsewhere.

What set me off on this rant was a peek at the USA Nationals prizes. Huh? What's this? Why are there more and bigger prizes for men than for women? And why no prizes at all for women in some events? ....


Hi Nicole

I think if you look a little harder you'll find that there is a Women's trophy for the woman who shot the highest score, and usually a Youth trophy for the youth with the highest score, BUT both women and youth are eligble for the National trophys. If memory serves, a kid won the Youth trophy AND the National trophy (first or second place). I think you're usually getting an EXTRA chance at a trophy as opposed getting shafted.

Later

Mike
Wichita KS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:15 pm 
The only cash prizes offered that I am aware of at the nationals are coming from the pocket of our esteemed host. I'm sure there is some consultation with USAS but it is in the end his cash on the table. While he is attempting to increase the general pool of competitors, he is also promoting his business via this sponsorship. If you look at the numbers of women vs men who show up at the nationalst for pistol, I believe his disbursement makes good business sense.
I'm sure that USAS would welcome other sponsors, even individuals, willing to put up additional prize money in the neglected events. I think it is fantastic that Mr. Pilkington is doing this at all, and the idea that any sexism is involved in his awarding of the prizes is frankly ludicrous.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:48 pm 
All:

Given how "politically incorrect" the shooting sports are in the international community, I have often thought that by allowing men and women to compete "shoulder to shoulder" this would give our sports great PR power.

I think the ISSF has probably considered just this effect (it's pretty much a "no brainer"). For some reason though, the ISSF has decided that the positive benefit of our sports as being seen as a "progressive bastion of gender equality" is outweighed by some other negative consequence(s).

One of the negative consequences of giving women "equal opportunity" as Nicole suggests is that it simultaneously results in "less opportunity" for both men and women.

To paraphrase (and perhaps even misquote; hey, it's a simile) Solzhenitsyn, "We will all be equal in our misery . . . "

Steve Swartz


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 Post subject: Olympics facts?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:50 pm 
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, and I hope to be corrected if I am wrong, but I believe that up through the Barcelona Olympics the shooting events were not segregated as to gender. I seem to remember that a young Chinese woman won a shotgun event against men at Barcelona, and that 2 Americans - a man and a woman - tied for first in a rifle event at the Montreal Olympics.

Again, if memory serves correctly, the reason given by the ISSF for segregating the shooting events after Barcelona was to give women more of an opportunity to compete. I'm sure David Levene will be able to set us all straight on the facts. In general, however, I would point out that competitive shooting is among the least "sexist" things that one can do.

FredB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:31 pm 
Agreed.

For comparison purposes only, consider:

Mens vs. Womens Air Pistol Scores

Man = Woman

560 = 373
565 = 377
570 = 380
575 = 383
580 = 387
585 = 390

I think both men and women would lose opportunity by integrating the shooting sports However, in my gut I know this is the right thing to do- across *all* olympic sports, including track and field (!).

I agree with Nicole in principle; however, the right thing to do in "principle" is not always the right thing to do in "practice."

Title IX is a perfect example of this- we achieve gender equity by eliminating "opportunity" for men to until we achieve participation equal to the "interest level" of women.

Who could have known that men, in general, would be more interested in organized athletics, in general, than women . . . even after a decade or more of unequal participation/unequal opportunity?

Steve Swartz


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 Post subject: Re: Olympics facts?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:32 am 
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Fred wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, and I hope to be corrected if I am wrong, but I believe that up through the Barcelona Olympics the shooting events were not segregated as to gender. I seem to remember that a young Chinese woman won a shotgun event against men at Barcelona, and that 2 Americans - a man and a woman - tied for first in a rifle event at the Montreal Olympics.

Again, if memory serves correctly, the reason given by the ISSF for segregating the shooting events after Barcelona was to give women more of an opportunity to compete. I'm sure David Levene will be able to set us all straight on the facts. In general, however, I would point out that competitive shooting is among the least "sexist" things that one can do.


At the Olympics in Barcelona Shan Zhan (female) from China won the Skeet with 223.

At the Olympics in Montreal Lanny Basham took gold in the 3x40 with 1162. Margaret Murdoch took silver with the same score.

A list of all of the Olympic Medallists is available online.

As for the official reason for splitting the matches, I've no idea I'm afraid. I would guess though that it may be something to do with the fact that in some cultures women are not allowed to compete with men.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:16 am 
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Just a curious observation.

I shot a 40 shot match today and have done a few times to try and compete with my wife. I shot a 377 today and regularly shoot 370 plus in a 40 shot match.

How come my best ever in a 60 shot match is 559!!!!!!

Mikey


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:28 am 
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Mikey wrote:
I shot a 40 shot match today and have done a few times to try and compete with my wife. I shot a 377 today and regularly shoot 370 plus in a 40 shot match.

How come my best ever in a 60 shot match is 559!!!!!!


377/400 is 94.25%
559/600 is 93.17%

Not a huge difference, possibly caused by tiredness for the last 20 shots (or the fact that you have got an extra 20 shots to make a mistake).


Last edited by David Levene on Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:26 am 
Olympic 3P smallbore Rifle was coed until Margaret Murdock (my hero! :^) pretty well cleaned the clock of the Europeans at Montreal 1976 (and elsewhere I'm sure). The image of Lanny Basham offering to share his place on the Gold podium with Silver Margaret is a classic Olympic moment.
Scuttlebutt was that the Euros didn't like to see more women beating their men, so they were at the forefront of the segregated events movement. USA ladies (remember the USWIRO, anyone?) helped the segregation along by supporting the concept of "more events equals more medal chances for women". Double-edged sword, that. And the shot disparity was simply another way to keep direct men vs women's comparisons at bay.
Maybe separate but equal helps the grassroots, but at the highest level, perhaps a final of best men AND women would make for some good publicity. ;^) But definitely, the best shooters of either or any gender certainly deserve equal prizes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:37 am 
Come on out and join the line for Conventional Pistol.


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