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
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
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
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
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
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.