1967年的波士頓馬拉松，Kathrine Switzer 以較中性的縮寫報名參賽並取得資格，他以女性跑者的身分登上賽道。但就在他跑到一半時，突然出現的男性工作人員企圖妨礙他，並且要他滾出比賽，但Switzer仍然堅持跑完全程。在這次的賽事後，Switzer與其他女性選手試圖說服田徑協會允許女性參加波士頓馬拉松。在他們的努力下，1972年波士頓馬拉松才終於正式歡迎女性參加。現在，女性運動員不再需要掩蓋與隱藏自己女性的身分，鼓吹女性進入運動領域更是國際的趨勢。除了關注女性選手的活躍表現外，也需要更多的女性進入體育事務的決策之中，這也與聯合國永續發展目標當中提到的性別平等目標一致，必須要確保婦女有公平的機會能夠參加各個階層的決策領導。2020年東京奧運的主題是「探索明天」，而我們相信運動界的明天，將會有更多女性的參與―一就如同，Kathrine Switzer在2017年，也就是他從賽道上被驅趕的五十年後，再次站上波士頓馬拉松場上告訴大家：
In the 1967 Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer registered with a gender-neutral name and entered the race officially. She, a woman, participated in a marathon exclusive to men. Halfway in the race, a male race official tried to interfere and have her removed, but Switzer managed to complete the race. After the race that year, Switzer and other female runners worked hard to convince the Boston Athletic Association to allow women to participate in the Boston Marathon. Thanks to their efforts, women were officially allowed in the race in 1972. Today, female athletes no longer need to hide their gender and it has become a global trend to encourage more women to participate in sports. While the active participation of female athletes is worth celebration, policymaking in sports needs to involve more women.This idea is also supported by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nation. It is important for women to have equal opportunities to participate in all levels of decision making. The motto of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is “Discover Tomorrow," and we believe that in the future, there should be more women participating in sports. In 2017, 50 years after Kathrine Switzer was interrupted in the race, she came back to the Boston Marathon and declared that a transformation had been seen in the last 50 years and that it would only get better in the next 50 years.
Taiwanese Women’s Participation in Sports
Female Taiwanese athletes have participated in major international games: Tai Tzu-ying, former world number one badminton player; Hsieh Su-we, winner of three Grand Slam tournaments; Latisha Chan, former world number one women’s doubles player; Yani Tseng, former world number one golfer; and Lin Tzu-hui, Paralympic medalist in powerlifting. Taiwanese pay close attention to their games and take pride in their excellence.
* The Paralympics are international multi-sport events for athletes with disabilities
Passing the Torch Between Generations
Started in 1976, the feminist movements in Taiwan have been going on for 44 years. The feminist movements have fought hard so that Taiwanese women could enjoy equal rights in politics, the household, schools and society and the movements opened different doors to the world for women. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020. In 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women of the United Nations, with this declaration, discussed from various angles how to tackle women’s predicament. As many countries are achieving gender equality, let us look back on the progress made in different generations in hopes of more women’s rights in the future.
1980年代末期，臺灣逐漸轉為消費社會，女性成為重要的消費者。 運動休閒消費開始發展，從「舞蹈社」到專屬女性的「韻律中心」 成立，使得運動中心逐漸成為臺灣都會女性運動休閒的重要空間。
In the late 1980s, consumerism prevailed in Taiwan and women became one of the crucial consumers. The fitness market started to grow, giving birth to dance studios and woman-only cardio classes. Sports centers in the cities created an essential space for Taiwan- ese women to take part in fitness and leisure activities.
Taekwondo practitioner Yi-an Chen won her second Olympic gold medal, setting a taekwondo trend. For reasons of athletic achievement and safety, many parents sent their daughters to taekwondo schools. Self-defense lessons for women became popular as women no longer exercised just to be more desirable.
In the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, female athletes could be seen in taekwondo, weightlifting and archery.
A craze of female fitness hit Taiwan. Women started to challenge the standardized beauty; the vulnerable and slim figure no longer dominated the aesthetic. Weightlifter Shu-ching Hsu excelled in the London and Rio Olympics, showcasing that muscles and strength were not exclusive to men. They could also be the symbol of female strength and beauty.
We strive for a brighter future where women could enjoy more freedom, more confidence and more equality. In this time, no dream is too big for girls and their future is boundless.
Sports and Women’s Life
世界上第一位正式登記參賽波士頓馬拉松的女性Kathrine Switzer，在被工作人員驅趕後，記者問他追求的是什麼，他說:「我只是想要跑步而已。」 女性「只是想要跑個步」 曾經就是這麽困難的一件事情過去，女性的身體被認為是不適合運動的，不乏有人疾呼女性運動會導致子宮下垂， 月經閉鎖或影響骨質密度。看到1920年代女性在室內運動的照片，現代的女生應該會覺得非常不可思議，為什麼運動要妝髪完整，穿著裙子、高跟鞋踩腳踏車? 當時女性不能拋頭露面的想法，深深影響了女性在運動中的穿著和空間，不但只能夠 在室內運動，而且要把身體包著嚴殿實實。更重要的是，在運動的過程當中，仍然要 「像個女人」。 直至今日，在身體，服裝跟空間這三個層面上，依然是婦女運動和性別平等的重要議題，讓我們一起來看在運動這個領域的不同層面當中，產生了什麼樣的改變呢?
Kathrine Switzer was the first woman who registered in the Boston Marathon. When she was removed from the race, a reporter asked her what she was after. Her reply then was: “I just want to run" It used to be so difficult for women to just want to run. In the past, female bodies were considered unfit for sports. It was widely advocated that sports could lead to uterine prolapse, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. Photos of women exercising indoors in the 1920s might shock women in our times. Why would women with full make-up and hair cycle in skirt and heels? It was believed at the time that women cannot be seen in public, which greatly influenced women’s options for sports clothes and space. Women could only exercise indoors and their bodies needed to be fully covered. More importantly, they needed to look “like a woman" even during exercise. Even till these days, body, clothes and space are still three crucial aspects when it comes to women’s movements and gender equality. Here we are having a closer look at the changes in different aspects of women’s sports.
從瘦身到追求健康 From Weight Loss to Fitness
1980年代開始，以減肥塑身作為主要訴求的美容廣告大量出現，臺灣女人開始被瘦身產業召喚。但目標並不是肌肉與線條，而是纖細白皙的體態。 在當時的審美觀底下，因為對於皮膚白皙的需求，女性往往不大參加戶外運動。因為害怕成為「金剛芭比」，女孩在健身房多半不會踏入重量訓練，或 是急忙按摩運勤部位，深怕長出肌肉。 然而隨著時代的演進，陽光腐色與健美曲線逐漸地也被認為是一種美，以女 性為主的健身中心紛紛開啟。 當代流行的女性運動不再標榜極端繼細的體態，甚至不再以美作為健身的唯 一訴求，轉而強調肌肉對於身體健康的重要性，其中重量訓練、拳擊、武術 等課程，更是為許多女性所喜愛。
In the 1980s, a large number of beauty advertisements promoted weight loss products. Taiwanese women were motivated by the diet industry. Their goal, however, was not muscles and fitness but slim and fair figures. The aesthetic of a fair complexion kept most women from exercising outdoors. To avoid the figure of a “muscle barbie", most women stayed away from weight training in the gym and would massage sore body parts right after exercise to prevent muscles from building up. It was not until later that the tanned complexion and muscled figures gradually became a form of beauty, leading to more openings of gyms catering to women. Today, a slim figure is no longer the mainstream goal for women who do sports. They do not hit the gym just to be more desirable. With more emphasis on muscles and fitness, many women enjoy weight training, boxing and martial arts.
運動員所面對的「月經」Athletes in the Face of the Menstrual Cycles
In the 2012 London Olympics, a Chinese swimmer said that she was on her period in a post-competition interview and stimulated a series of discussions. Even though menstruation is a part of female biology, athletes often avoid talking about it. In Taiwan, female athletes usually do not learn about practical knowledge of menstruation in their training. Most of the time they have to rely on one another or themselves. It is agreed that training means gaining better control of your body, but somehow a common biological attribute is left out. This is why the crowdfunding of “the Female Athlete Support Kits" was initiated. Young female athletes and students could take menstruation classes for athletes to learn about their bodies and the options for menstrual products.
從繁複服裝中解放 Free from Layers of Clothing
If a woman wears a dress and heels to a hike today, she would probably get a few disdainful looks. However, it was the norm of female sports clothing in the past. At the time, few designers were doing sportswear for women. Most women still wore long thick skirts to exercise and needed to wear bloomers and long black socks for swimming. The first woman in a skin-tight swimsuit was even arrested.
從禁忌到時尚 From Taboo to Fashion
The invention of modern bras among other clothing encouraged women to participate more in sports, creating more needs for female sportswear. More women wore pants to exercise and it was no longer a taboo to show female figures. After aerobatics became popular, women started to wear skin-tight clothes and sports bras. Some of the sports clothes for gyms even turned into street fashion.
女人該在哪裡運動? Where Should Women Exercise?
Gender movements have led considerable discussion on gendered public space, including sports space. Public space might seem gender-neutral. Yet, the gender typing of women prevents them from staying out as it is considered dangerous for women to be out and women are expected to be home after a certain hour. Revealing female sportswear and certain exercise movements might make women feel unsafe and uncomfortable to exercise outdoors or in a male-dominant sports space. As feminist movements gathered strength, more discussion was made on women and sports space. University pools started to offer monthly memberships tailored to the needs of women’s menstrual cycles, In the gyms, the needs of female-only sessions and female-friendly space are discussed. Even though such arguments were countered by some, it has shown that the gender revolution in sports has advanced from the discussion of body and clothes to that of gender-friendly public space.
為什麼女人不運動? Why Don’t Women Exercise?
Apart from physical space, social expectations for women also limit their mental space for sports. Sports and leisure never seem to be a legitimate reason to leave children behind. Overwhelmed by housework and work, most women do not have time for sports. To participate in sports, women need both physical and social space. It is not just the space that matters here, but women deserve an opportunity to regain control of their bodies.
Revolution in Women’s Sports
Women’s sports have been liberated in all three aspects in the past decades: body, clothes and space. The days when women exercised indoors fully covered, with only slim figures in mind, are over. Sports are now more liberating; female-friendly and diverse. It was no accident that this progress was achieved. It was the result of the accumulated efforts of many activists and women from former generations, Women’s sports are undergoing a revolution.