Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Bit of History

As well all know by now, David Aaronovitch is running in the London Marathon. Apart from cutting his weight, this will give him fallback columns until after April. For those days when even Galloway=Hitler won't do.

Will he, I wonder, choose to follow Norm's example and note the Lahore Marathon in Pakistan.

Now, I'm not going to deny that the prevention of women's participation in sports is a bad thing. But it's hardly limited to militant Islam. When Roberta Louise Gibb "wrote for [her] application for the Boston Marathon" she "received a curt reply that women were not physiologically able to run such distances and furthermore were not allowed to do so." That was in 1966, and she did run without entering. The following year Kathrine Switzer entered using only her initials and surname:

Now, the reason I signed K.V. Switzer instead of Kathrine is because I always signed my name that way. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer and K.V. was going to be my signature name. It seemed to my young mind then that all the good writers used their initials like J.D. Salinger, E.E.Cummings, T.S. Elliot, W.B. Yeats -- so ever since I was twelve I signed all my papers K.V. Switzer, thinking I was totally cool. It was my signature.

But she also made American history:

Every time a female runner enters a marathon, a small offering should be made to Kathrine Switzer. Through her tenacity, stubbornness and belief that women can too run 26.2, she scaled the male bastion of the Boston Marathon that barred women from its race and helped to open its doors to women, which it officially did in 1972.

Ms Switzer ran at college in Virginia:

The media hype made me nervous and I knew I had to do well to uphold my athletic honor. I finished the mile in 5:58 and was pleased. But I wasn't thrilled with some of the hate mail I received over the incident, telling me God will strike me dead for running with men. I learned a valuable lesson that day.

When she ran the marathon, one of the co-race directors, Jock Semple, tried to pull her out.

The New York Times reported the story but inadvertently said I didn't finish.

So, no change there. That's humanity for you -- same curious admixture of honourable husbands and boyfriends and religious nutjobs.

But "Islam catches up with Western freedom" fits the Decents' mindset so much better.


Blogger fatbongo said...

"Islam catches up with Western freedom" is an improvement on "we must bomb the (islamo)fascists for feminism"

1/31/2006 04:01:00 PM  

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