Separate but Equal

Posted by piphunt on September 17, 2010 in Adventures of Pip |

Elysse Saugstad recently referred to the FWT’s decision to remove women from this years competition as ‘seperate but equal’. I inititally pulled back from this feminist referance, but after several hours of contemplation, I think she has hit the nail right on the head. It is no secret to my fellow competitors that I am frustrated with competing. Yes, big mountain skiing is a judged event, but at the end of six seasons, it is difficult for me to say that I understand the manner in which these competitions are judged year to year. My 2011 season will be my first season out of the competitive circuit since I first started my career as a big mountain skier. The recent news that the FWT has elimiated women, however, isn’t any less unnerving to me now than it would of been a year ago.
The photograph at the top of article on ESPN of Crystal Wright and Jess McMillan is a moment that all of us in the ski community, male and female, can relate to. Checking the multiple lines, watching where our peers go, how the snow moves and the potentail consequences of each move come into play whatever gender is on the slope. Woman are out there skiing many of the same lines as the men are. In some cases, I feel like we are being told to leave the ‘good snow’ in those areas to the men. If you first encourage us not to challenge ourselves and then remove us from the competition all together, where is a place for women in skiing?
I have been a salomon athelete for the past 6 years. Salomon is my family, the people are wonderful, funny, and believe in me more days than I believe in myself, yet, there is still not a room in their marketing budget for women.
Something has got to change. The question is, how are we going to change it? As women, what can we do to make the next step for people to take us seriously is this industry?

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