The 1500 Anna Dahl, Olivia Capocci, Krista Bowen, Constanza Ramirez

Are limits created through societal norms, or are they created through the individuals' choices?

Men continue to compete in more events, and receive more medals, than women. Last year, in Rio, athletes competed in 306 events: 161 events for men, 136 events for women and nine mixed events.

THE OLYMPICS ARE NOT A STANDARD FOR EQUALITY.

“No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks,” the Founder of the Olympics Pierre de Coubertin said in 1896.

Female gender norms will probably always be a part of our world. Gender norms that say women should stay home, shave their legs, be proper and are weaker than men. Even though we've come a long way since 1896, it's clear to see that there are still gender norms in our society that prevent women from excelling in the sports arena.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE 1500 AND THE 800 METER FREESTYLE

There is no Olympic event for the women in the 1500 meter freestyle and no Olympic event for the men in the 800 meter freestyle. An excuse for this is that women can't reach a consensus about whether or not they want to swim the 1500. The same argument goes for the men. However, there are still men who swim the 800 and women who swim the 1500 in other meets and would prefer those events over those in the Olympics.
Katie Ledecky is arguably one of the best female swimmers to walk the earth. She is the current world record holder in both the 800 meter freestyle and the 1500 meter freestyle. However, she does not have a chance to showcase her talents at the Olympics because they do not currently allow the 1500 meter freestyle as an event for women.
As Director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Bruce Wigo frames it, “This difference in distance in the long races today represents the ‘last vestige of Victorian morality’ in a sport where equality has come far over the years, and where a belief was still held by some at the higher levels of administration that women could not go as far as men.”

SOUND ALL TOO FAMILIAR?

Women were banned from running the 800 Meter track event at the Olympics back in 1928 because they were believed to be too exhausted afterwards and the distance too long for women.

Social Constructs examines the development of constructed understanding of the world. The social construct that is demonstrated in the event of swimming is that women are weaker than men, and therefore are unable to perform the 1500 in the Olympics.

THE MEDIA HELPS ENCOURAGE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS

Why does Phelps get recognized with the main headline for an accomplishment that should be shadowed by Ledecky's world record?

However, like stated before, it's not only the women facing this problem. The men don't have the opportunity to showcase their talents in the 800 meter freestyle.

WHY NOT SIMPLY GIVE THE WOMEN A MILE AND THE MEN AN 800 AND CALL IT EVEN?

If only it were that easy. The last individual events to be added to the schedule at the Olympic Games for both sexes in swimming were the 50 freestyles in 1988 with a near unanimous approval. There is a commonly heard reason that the IOC is hesitant to add any other events to swimming because of the generous medal haul already afforded the sport.

SOME THOUGHTS FROM ACTUAL SWIMMERS.

HOW DOES THIS APPLY IN SOCIETY?

Kate Ziegler, who spoke to Excelle Sports on July 28 in a phone interview and who held the world record in the 1500 in between Janet Evans and Katie Ledecky, always viewed not being able to swim her event in the Olympics simply as just another norm. “Like so many things in life,” Kate said, “you just go with the status quo.”

INSIGHT

Society still convinces many that we should just be grateful for what we have as men and women and so most people, even those it affects the most, go along with the social norm and don't question why things are set up systematically the way they are.

THANK YOU

Created By
Anna Dahl
Appreciate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.