Hookstead’s Hot Take: Okay, Olympics, Let’s Ignore Gender Entirely

Olympics (Credit: Getty Images)

David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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If the Olympics and the world truly care about equality, then they will eliminate competitions split by gender.

Currently athletic events in the Olympics are split into competitions between men and women, and that’s absolutely ridiculous and sexist. True equality will only be achieved when gender barriers are removed from the Olympics and only the best athletes, regardless of gender, show up and compete.

South African runner Caster Semenya is intersex (good luck finding a consistent definition for that word) and absolutely dominated actual females in the 800 meters run. Lynsey Sharp, who runs for Great Britain, had to fight back tears at the idea she just ran against somebody who possibly wasn’t a woman. Other people, who didn’t have to compete against somebody not of their same sex, called Semenya’s victory a “win for women.”

So I propose we really take things to the next level and have true equality. If Semenya’s win is a “win for women,” then imagine how big of a victory it would be if we just let women compete against men. After all, gender is nothing more than an imaginary social construct.

Katie Ledecky is the greatest female swimmer in the world, and she deserves the opportunity to compete against men. Her 1:53.73 time in the 200m freestyle shocked the world. Of course, that wouldn’t even be fast enough to qualify for the men’s Olympics in the same event. But still, imagine the victory she’d feel in her heart if she got in a pool with men and got smoked. This would be true equality.

And isn’t it about time that women were allowed to prove they’re equal in basketball? A woman has never made the NBA or even a Division 1 college for basketball, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to try out for Team USA. Imagine the victory they’d be celebrating while sitting at home and watching Kevin Durant and the all-male teams from every other country competing. Sure, it’s not as glorious as actually winning a gold medal in events split by genders, but a price really can’t be put on equality.

Finally, imagine the victory for women everywhere in the world if they were allowed to run against men to qualify for the Olympics. Elaine Thompson ran an outstanding 21.78 in the 200 meters. Thompson’s impressive score is laughable when compared to guys, despite the fact she’s dominating members of her own gender.

Eliminating competitions sorted by genders is one of the final steps on the way to equality. Every event should take the best athletes in the world, regardless of whether or not they have a vagina. Naturally, this would almost certainly make the Olympics 100 percent male, but that’s OK because we got there through equality and the elimination of social constructs like gender.

It’s time to stop treating women like second-class citizens, and let them compete with the guys. They won’t win a single medal, but deep down we can all smile and pat ourselves on the back for the equality we brought to the world.

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