Taking the first of many strides in the battle for female equality, the Seneca Falls Convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including organizer and featured speaker Lucretia Mott,

as but a single step in the continuing effort by women to obtain

social, civil and moral rights. To others, the convention in Seneca

Falls symbolized a revolutionary beginning in the struggle for male and

female equality.

Nearly 160 years after Lucretia Mott was making initial strides towards female equality in the US, the 2009 Winter Dew Tour

decided to exclude woman's ski slopestyle and woman's ski halfpipe from

the 2009 schedule of events. Pouring additional waste into their leach

field of 1950's idelism, the 2009 Winter Dew Tour

included female snowboarders. By doing so, the Dew Tour committee is

making a statement that is not only biased against women, but biased

against skiers as well.

By excluding women, the Dew Tour is....

1) Holding back women from progressing their skills

Although

I know mere crumbs of information as to why the Dew Tour is excluding

women, I have heard certain individuals cite ideas like, "women

shouldn't be in contests because they're not as good as men." Well,

something tells me that if women were given the same practice time as

men, the same opportunities for training, competition, weather delays,

and course inspection, they would perform much better in organized

competition. At present, women are given none of these things, which

will undoubtedly hold pack their progress.

2) Showing favoritism to snowboarding over skiing (how extreme of you)

As evident by multiple "extreme" food and cosmetic products including: "extreme doritos" "extreme whitening toothpaste" "extreme pizza" and "x-balm extreme lip protection"

the culture and lifestyle of snowboarding is marketed, processed, and

excreted into mainstream product lines. With so many "extreme"

products, including the ever scrutinized and generally laughed at Mountain Dew,

snowboarding has become so embraced and accepted that it has officially

lost that rebellious, edgy vibe that it broke onto the scene with. As a

result, skiing is infinitely more soulful and people pursue park skiing

not because the box on their Totino's Pizza rolls

tell them to, but because they genuinely enjoy the activity. Evidently,

the governing body of the Dew Tour is just as influenced by the

marketing of "extreme" as the general public.

3) Loosing valuable marketing/ advertising revenue from eliminating two events per stop

The more TV time, the more airspace the Dew Tour has to sell

advertisements to sponsors. Regardless of their feelings about women's

freeskiing, ad dollars speak for themselves. By excluding women, they

are limiting their revenue.

4) Crushing the progress made by the Equal Opportunity in Education Act

The

law states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex,

be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be

subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity

receiving Federal financial assistance" (maec.org).

Although the Dew Tour decision does not fully exclude women (as female

snowboarders are allowed in the tour) form the events, and although it

is in no way related to education or government funding, it does send

conflicting messages to women enrolled in grade school. If you were a

14 year old girl watching the Dew Tour, and happened to love skiing,

you would be genuinely enthused to see your favorite female skiers

competing in the event. Sadly, you don't see any women in the event,

which ultimately fortifies negative messages to young girls. With no

female skiers in the event, the young girl would either a) look up to

snowboard girls, or b) switch to field hockey or another socially

acceptable sport.

5) Making a Mockery of "Equal work for Equal Pay"

With prize money coming in at a whopping $1500 for major competitions (with the exception of Winter X-Games),

women have little to no incentive to throw down and push themselves.

After all, if you are hitting the same features as the men, but getting

paid 50%- 90% less, where is the motivation? Sure, one may consider the

satisfaction of personal triumph as a source for motivation, but when

it's -10 with zero visibility, terrible speed, and blowing snow, safety

and the need to preserve one's body will overcome any desire to try new

tricks.

So, next time someone asks you why female skiers are not allowed in the Winter Dew Tour, you can feel free to embrace 1950's idelism

and perpetuate injustice by bathing in a vat of stagnation, or you can

take a stance, embrace what is right, and realize how much this damages

the ski community as a whole.


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