Sport and images of masculinity: the meaning of relationships in the life course of "elite" male athletes.
This paper is based on a research project that investigated the
social construction of masculinity in sports. Elite level male athletes
from the sports of triathlon, surf lifesaving, and bodybuilding were
interviewed in-depth to develop an understanding of the phenomenon of
what it is like to be a man involved in sport and how it influences and
impacts on other areas of their lives. The paper highlights the way in
which sport, men, and relationships are uniquely interrelated.
Specifically, men's relationships with women, fathers, peers, and,
finally, other men from different sports will be explored and discussed
in relation to elite level sport. It will then be discussed further with
respect to men in general and related to men throughout contemporary
Western culture. Sport has long been perceived as a masculine domain and
is one of the primary sites for the social construction of masculinity
in contemporary Western society. Sport can offer its young male
participants many pleasurable experiences. However, it can also create
crises within their lives. Utilizing life course theory within a
psychosocial perspective, this paper identifies some of the changes that
emerge throughout sportsmen's lives and the effects these changes
can have upon personal identity and subsequent relationships. By using
sport to identify the problems associated with masculine identity, it
provides a looking glass for the problems associated with the social
construction of masculinity for men in contemporary Western society.
Key Words: sport, life course theory, relationships, social construction of masculinity, masculine identity
Athletes (Psychological aspects)
Interpersonal relations (Analysis)
|Author:||Drummond, Murray J.N.|
|Publication:||Name: The Journal of Men's Studies Publisher: Men's Studies Press Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2002 Men's Studies Press ISSN: 1060-8265|
|Issue:||Date: Wntr, 2002 Source Volume: 10 Source Issue: 2|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
Standing at the base of the tallest building in Melbourne, about to
embark upon a race that entailed running up 74 flights of stairs, not
only did I question my ability but also my sanity. Along with 149 other
men I had to race up the Rialto tower in a narrow stairwell to determine
who would be the fastest upon reaching the top. The winner would be
crowned "State stair climbing champion" and receive $1000 and
an airfare to New York to compete in the world stair-climbing
championships. The interesting part in all of this was that the women
had a separate race on the same day with the same prizes awarded to the
female winner. However, despite being provided 150 slots for
competitors, less than 50 women turned up to race. On the other hand,
almost 100 men were turned away from their event. Up until that point in
my life I had competed in a variety of sports. However, more recently I
had focused on triathlons, ultimately participating at an elite level.
Regardless of the sport played or the level at which I participated,
sport had been an uncomplicated pleasure for me, particularly during
childhood. Outstanding in most sports attempted, I was afforded the
liberty of choosing the sports I wanted to pursue through adolescence
and into adulthood. My parents provided immense support throughout my
sporting youth and became involved themselves in the teams with which I
played, but they never appeared overbearing. I was grateful to them as
much as they were proud of me, but it was my father I most wanted to
impress. In underage football matches he was the only person I
acknowledged in the clubrooms before running out onto the ground, and
his praise and critical comments were the only ones I cared for on
completion of the game. At cricket matches we sat together prior to my
going to bat, and I would be back next to him on being dismissed
regardless of the score made. Despite my intrinsic sporting motivation,
my father was my greatest inspiration.
From a personal perspective sport played an important role in the construction of my masculine identity and the relationship I developed with my parents and in particular my father. Later, as an adult, it helped me to affirm and challenge my masculine identity by competing against other men who were rivals but who would eventually become friends. However, it was not until the stair-climbing race that I began to question the masculine nature of many sports, nor had I critically evaluated the patriarchal domain in which sport was seemingly grounded. It was from this point that sport began to take on a different meaning for me. Further, it was the catalyst that fuelled my quest for knowledge surrounding the taken-for-granted notions concerning men, masculinity, sport, and health.
There are many aspects of men's involvement in sport that can impact upon their personal health and well-being. The very nature of many masculinised contact team sports such as Australian Rules Football, Rugby Union, and Rugby League can have immediate physical implications through heavy collisions upon the brain and torso. Limb injuries, particularly to knee and shoulder joints, are also common occurrences. While these injuries may be remedied relatively quickly with surgery, it is the long-term repercussions that retired athletes often talk about that can seriously affect their lives (Sabo, 1994). However, despite the physical injuries sustained by men involved in sports, there are other less documented issues that have serious implications upon the health and well-being of male athletes. One major concern involves the complex relationship between sport, men, and women. The way in which male athletes perceive women and come to value interpersonal relationships is troubling from a number of perspectives. The hegemonic masculine environment of many sports can perpetuate unhealthy attitudes and behaviors towards women and towards some men. Similarly, the patriarchal domain in which many sports are grounded can influence men's perceptions of women thereby creating serious problems for both genders.
MEN AND SPORT
Despite increasing research on masculinity, there remains a gap between the amount of masculinist and feminist literature being produced. Critical and sociological literature in the past has tended to focus on the achievements of prominent men and men in power, rather than on men's everyday activities and relationships (Bred, 1987). The same could be argued for men involved in sport (Drummond, 1998; Messner, 1992).
Sport has long been regarded as a site for the development of masculine behaviors (Sabo, 1985, 1986). In the 1960s, the belief that sport built character in men was readily accepted throughout society (Messner & Sabo, 1994). Sport had become one of the most important sites of masculinising practice and socialized boys into many of the values, attitudes, and skills considered so important in the adult world of men. Even before the 1960s, history provided evidence of the importance and praise that politicians and military leaders placed upon sport for instilling in boys and young men values of courage and strength necessary to defend the nation (Messner, 1992; Sabo & Runfola, 1992; Whitson, 1990). It was also around this time that sports were intended to emphasize and teach "manly" values and behaviors (Messner, 1992). Further, it was claimed that organized, competitive sports were perceived as being sites in which boys were taught to be tough while creating men who fit dominant forms of masculinity (Messner, 1992). According to Messner (1992), these sports demonstrated that men's bodies could sustain physical punishment and engage in violence (Young, White, & McTeer, 1994) in ways that made them superior to women's bodies. This "superiority" is underpinned by the notion of hegemonic masculinity.
According to Connell (1995), hegemonic masculinity in Western society is equated to male dominance and the oppression of femininities, as well as subordinated and marginalized masculinities. Further, Donaldson (1993) claimed that "hegemonic masculinity" is a term that has been "invented," with its main emphasis placed on the critique of masculinity. Some fundamental tenets of masculine hegemony are heterosexuality, homophobia, and men's sexual objectification of women.
Sport has played a major part in the formation and perpetuation of masculine hegemonic ideology (Drummond, 1998). Organized team sports in particular have often been revered as a central site for the construction of masculinity (Messner & Sabo, 1990). It has been speculated that organized sport develops a sense of male solidarity that encourages men to identify with one another, thus providing a medium for the regular rehearsal of masculine identification (Whitson, 1990). The playing arena at training or in competition, the locker room, or social settings beyond the sporting context, such as bars or night clubs, are all locations in which this masculine identification and solidarity is reinforced. Boys' sport has been cited as a testing ground for uncomplicated admission into adult society. As West (1995) claimed, "Perhaps some forms of sport are the initiation into manhood" (p. 9).
Numerous researchers (Connell, 1990; Klein, 1993; Messner, 1992) have gained significant insights into the underpinning issues surrounding sport and masculine hegemony by carrying out extensive qualitative research on men involved in masculinised sporting subcultures. Connell (1990), in particular, highlighted the importance of life-historical accounts. In his work on a surf lifesaving ironman he argued that life-historical accounts were a "powerful tool for the study of social structures and their dynamics as they impinge on personal life" (p. 84). The caution with this type of research, as most writers point out, is that it is impossible to claim that in-depth interview data from a small number of masculine-oriented sporting sites and subcultures is representative of every Australian male athlete. Further, it must be understood that when investigating interpersonal relationships arising out of sport, these associations are unique to that particular site and subculture (Drummond, 1996).
Through current research on men involved in sporting subcultures, it is possible to highlight the implications of sport upon aspects of men's health and well-being. Sport may enhance physical and mental health. However, the domain in which sport is participated can be questionable in terms of developing and perpetuating negative forms of masculinities, particularly where interpersonal relationships are concerned.
In this section I contribute to the literature on sport and hegemonic masculinity by utilizing a life-history (Patton, 1990; Plummer, 1983) method of inquiry to investigate 12 elite level male athletes. Over a period of three years, elite male athletes from the sports of triathlon, surf lifesaving, and bodybuilding were interviewed as a part of a larger study investigating the social construction of masculinity in elite level sports. These sports were selected because they are widely regarded as being masculinised activities in Western society, and as a consequence, men dominate them in terms of participation rates. The sports were also chosen because of their significant comparative differences in factors such as fitness requirements and desirable body shape and size, which allow for contrasts in the perception and construction of masculinity to be identified. Elite level athletes were chosen in order to minimize the chance of the non-sporting endeavors, such as occupation and earning capacity through non-sporting employment, which may influence one's construction of masculinity. These sports provide an ideal means by which men's relationships can be observed from a sporting perspective. Further, they provide a rich descriptive site for investigation into the hegemonic masculine nature of many sports. This is crucial considering the
notion that sport has the capacity to construct and perpetuate hegemonic masculine ideals within boys and young men.
At this point it is important to identify the sports more specifically. This will help to provide a sense of understanding with respect to the structures that underpin them as well as assisting in illuminating the importance of such sports to the men involved.
Surf lifesaving, with its history based upon the voluntary patrolling of beaches, is perceived as being an archetypal masculinised Australian sport. Pearson (1979) provided a detailed account of the manner in which surf lifesaving established itself as a legitimate form of athletic competition despite its origins in serving and protecting the welfare of the community.
In his life historical account of a surf lifesaving Ironman, Connell (1990) reiterated the notion of contemporary surf lifesaving as a highly professional sport.
The sport of surf lifesaving is important to Australian men because it promotes muscular, suntanned male bodies that appear to be the epitome of masculinity as they are pushed to extreme levels of physical endurance (Pearson, 1979). However, it is also the origin of the sport with its community work ethic that is important to Australian men (Booth, 1991, 1994; Pearson, 1982; Saunders, 1998). Comradeship and mateship are regarded as being intrinsic Australian qualities and fundamental elements of the surf lifesaving movement (Saunders, 1998). Consequently the sport of surf lifesaving is perceived as being a highly masculine activity due to the notion of athletic competition being borne out of men voluntarily patrolling beaches and helping save lives (Pearson, 1979).
Triathlon, on the other hand, is a little different. It is a relatively new sport that has developed specifically as a competitive sporting endeavor. It is a sport that involves open water swimming, cycling, and running. The distances can vary, and this is best reflected in the average time of races for elite athletes that may range from 45 minutes in a sprint race to in excess of eight hours in an Ironman event. The athletes involved generally come from other sports. For example, they may have been elite swimmers or cyclists or distance runners. The sport is just beginning to develop its own "breed" of triathletes through the junior ranks.
Little needs to be said about bodybuilding in terms of what it is. Debate continually emerges in regard to its "sporting" merit. However, we do know that bodybuilders spend immense amounts of time engaged in physical activity to create large muscular bodies. It is this creation of these large muscular bodies, and the association with masculine identity, that has underpinned their involvement in this research.
I hope to identify the social and cultural importance of studying men and masculinity from a sporting perspective. By gaining insight into the lives of elite level sportsmen through in-depth interviews, it may be possible to develop an understanding of how these men come to be exemplars of masculinity to so many people. Further, by way of utilizing rich descriptive text, I hope to illustrate that this exemplary form of masculinity may not be the most appropriate model for young men to uphold. This is central not only to their own personal health and well-being, but also the health and well-being of women and other men.
SPORTSMEN'S PERCEPTIONS OF WOMEN
Regardless of the sport in which they are involved, the elite athletes in this research all espouse the notion of gender equity. However, further investigation proved that these claims are based on socially appropriate ideology, not intrinsic personal conceptions. Thus, the men consciously believed they perceived women as equals, when they unconsciously regarded them as subordinates with whom masculine hegemony could be displayed. As one surf lifesaver claimed:
A common theme running through the interviews of the triathletes and surf life-savers is the intrinsic desire to defeat every woman in both training and races. Several of the men have never experienced being beaten in a race by a woman and treated this idea with contempt. On the other hand, the men who gradually moved up the ranks were initially defeated by women, thereby creating a sense of humiliation for them. As a consequence their foremost goal in the beginning was to beat every woman. A triathlete emphasized this notion by claiming:
Despite having established themselves as elite level athletes, some men still find difficulty in accepting defeat by a woman regardless of her being a specialist, single-sport athlete. It is common for elite male and female triathletes and surf lifesavers to race against one another in team relay events. Athletes specializing in a specific sport, irrespective of gender, may be more accomplished than the multi-sport athletes. They spend the equivalent amount of time training for one specific event while triathletes and surf lifesavers must compromise between a number of sports. It was interesting to note the reasons men used to account for these defeats by women, claiming tiredness and lethargy. A surf lifesaver highlighted this by claiming:
Demonstrating men's "superior" strength and athleticism is a major motivator for triathletes' and surf lifesavers' sporting involvement. So much emphasis is placed on how well their body can perform that being defeated by a woman can significantly undermine their masculine and sporting achievements. The elite men of bodybuilding do not have the same hegemonic masculine anguish where women and bodily performance is concerned. Comparing bodybuilders' physiques to women's is futile because, at the elite level, men are far bigger in size and musculature. The majority of their physical work is carried out in preparation, prior to competition, which means these size differences are established well in advance. Despite displaying intergender, physical masculine power over women, the bodybuilders are more concerned with intragender masculine relationships. That is, they are more interested in dominance over other men, as a consequence of their physical stature, because this is a primary means of establishing masculine identity.
The taken-for-granted, masculine hegemony over women is prevalent in each of the athletes regardless of his sport. Noteworthy are the attitudes held by all of the men in relation to women being ideally suited as the homemaker and men assuming the position of breadwinner. In spite of instances where the athletes interviewed may suggest otherwise, positive affirmation of traditional gender stereotypes eventually surfaces, unconsciously championing masculine dominance once again. Sport appears to both generate and perpetuate these notions of male dominance at the expense of women. In a society where winning is generally afforded the privilege of perceived dominance, sport offers its male participants a number of incentives. All men interviewed are elite level athletes and have therefore attained a degree of success through sporting involvement. Regardless of personal definitions of success, they have, as a consequence, been provided status and recognition. The manner in which this privilege is used varies from one athlete to the next, and whether they attest to it or not, women are perceived as inferior particularly where sports are concerned. It is difficult for these men to limit notions of women's inferiority to the realm of sports.
THE MEANING OF RELATIONSHIPS
Of the four triathletes interviewed, two have been married and subsequently divorced, one was engaged to be married but was doubting his motives, and the fourth was seeking a relationship but had difficulty attracting women all his life. They all claimed that relationships were difficult to sustain for triathletes because of the long hours they must spend training, which ultimately places additional strain on relationships. Both of the men who had been divorced cite this as one of the contributing factors that led to their marriage breakdown. They claimed that it was not the only reason, but it was responsible for them "drifting apart and finding separate interests."
The term "drifting apart" is noteworthy. Men are inclined to be poor verbal communicators, allowing their actions to state much of what they want to say (Biddulph, 1994). Unfortunately some men do not understand that others, particularly women partners, do not realize what they are trying to communicate. If this continues for a lengthy period, the partners tend to understand each other less, thus magnifying problems that may have otherwise been small--hence the term "drifting apart." If a man has a goal to be a successful endurance athlete and aims to share his success with his partner and develop a positive self-image, he may have to train six hours a day to fulfill his desire. Without verbally communicating his goals clearly to his partner, those six hours a day spent training may appear to be self-indulgence at the expense of the relationship or even avoidance in some cases. This was the predicament faced by one of the men whose marriage ended in divorce. He stated:
Sport is sometimes used as a means of escape for men who are insecure about their appearance and have difficulty in forming relationships with women. This shyness is generally established during adolescence, at school, and continues in adulthood. Being good at sport is at least one way of creating a positive self-esteem in the face of other perceived adversities. Additionally, some young men view sport as a method of outwardly promoting a positive self-image, thus producing popularity and sexual attractiveness through sporting prowess. All the men were aware of the social recognition created through sporting talent, and they all used it to their advantage in some capacity. One of the men hoped that being an outstanding triathlete would give him the confidence to overcome his awkwardness in communicating with women. He hoped that the sport would do the talking for him, but it failed. This athlete doubted his masculine identity. He was confused about relationships with women and unsure how they perceived him.
Sport bolsters and sustains this man's self-image, yet his social skills throw doubt over his self-esteem and ultimately his own sense of masculinity. Social skills and confidence axe not always transferable from the site of one's sporting talents to everyday situations. The confidence acquired through sport can assist a man's overall development, although it seems that he must have a positive self-image as a man, not just a positive self-image as a sportsman.
Women are an important part of the triathlete's and surf lifesaver's lives. Knowing that they are sexually attractive to women helps establish a sense of masculine identity and reaffirms their involvement in sport both as a site for success recognition and as a site for socialization. They claim to require the companionship of women to provide emotional support, stability in their lives, friendship, and a sense of being needed. Traditionally, men have been seen as the protector of women and family, and therefore a sense of masculine self-worth is established when men feel wanted by women. By way of contrast, the bodybuilders do not require the admiration of women to reaffirm their masculine identity. Rather, it is from men they seek approval. A bodybuilder explains:
SURF LIFESAVERS, WOMEN, AND RELATIONSHIPS
There are several noteworthy themes running through the surf lifesavers' interviews with respect to their family background and their perceptions of women and relationships. Understandably it is impossible to claim this as representative of every Australian male surf lifesaver. Indeed, it is important to reiterate that this was the case for this research. Each of the four men grew up in a nuclear family where the father was recognized as the "breadwinner." They all had siblings and claimed to have happy childhoods where their mothers' carried out most of the daily domestic chores and were the primary child rearers. Conversely, it was their fathers who taught them sports and in particular guided them toward surf lifesaving. In each instance, the father of the surf lifesaver interviewed had also been a surf lifesaver as a younger man.
The surf lifesaving men are critical of the feminist movement and scathing in their attack upon feminists. Regarded as antagonistic women, feminists are perceived as a threat to the masculine domain men have so long inhabited. Women who merely discuss gender equity are regarded as radical feminists, as are lesbians. The lack of insight contained in these athletes' perceptions is partially due to the closed environment in which they exist. Although they cite respect for women as a positive quality in men, very little respect is shown to women. That is, these men tend to objectify women and perceive them as disposable items who can be easily discarded and exchanged for another (Connell, 1990). The surf lifesaving men were all raised in families in which their mother stayed at home and cared for the children while attending to home duties. Consequently, the view these men have of the ideal family situation is for the man to be the financial provider and the woman to bear children and look after the home.
Women are regarded as secondary to men in virtually all aspects of life. The athletes have serious reservations about women entering surf lifesaving competitions, eventually satisfying themselves by arguing that their involvement is a means of appeasing feminist activists. Involvement of women in surf lifesaving is regarded as essential at the community level where voluntary services are carried out, but not in surf lifesaving competitions. There appears to be an underlying notion that women are to serve rather than compete. Hence, the prize money allocated to women should be minimal according to the elite men because there are fewer competitors, the level of competition is substandard compared to men, they do not have to train as hard to achieve top 10 placings, and, having only been recently included, a lack of tradition prevails. The responses are stereotypically male in orientation and are presumably created and perpetuated through their subcultural existence.
Unlike the triathletes, all are still single. None of the four men have realistically come close to being wed. The oldest man is the only athlete to have been engaged; however, the marriage was unlikely to have taken place from the outset. Enforcing an ultimatum before the wedding to relinquish all ties with the surf lifesaving "scene," his fiancee abandoned the wedding due to the realization this would not occur. It would mean distancing himself from the life and subculture that was so important to him.
There are several possible reasons to account for these men not wanting or feeling the need to marry. It might be assumed that, living within a close-knit subcultural context, their lives at present are complete. The family environment created by surf lifesaving fulfills their current needs, and therefore change is unnecessary. However, it must not be overlooked that these men are elite athletes with specifically focused goals and aspirations. Therefore, marriage is likely to be perceived as a major distraction from the original plan and could ultimately produce a detrimental effect upon the attainment of such goals. However, they are unanimous in agreeing that the institution of marriage is still worthwhile.
A key theme to emerge from the interviews with these elite level athletes is the importance they place upon sport to help prop up their masculine identities. They are prepared to go to great lengths to fulfill their sporting ambition at the expense of other important facets of their lives, including relationships with women. Further, the patriarchal environment of participation does little to break down traditional gender stereotypes and can negatively impact upon positive social change.
This research contributes to the study of men's and women's relationships and builds upon the limited research that has been carded out in the past in this area, particularly with respect to sport (Klein, 1990; Messner, 1992). Elite sportsmen studied demonstrate attitudes and values suggesting that among triathletes, surf lifesavers, and bodybuilders is an ethos that sustains masculine hegemony. These values and behaviors need to be addressed by concerned athletes as well as sports administrators. The patriarchal nature of the culture in which the sportsmen exist must also be deconstructed. This will promote alternative forms of masculinity within sporting subcultures that do not typify the traditional masculinized stereotype so often revered by Australian males. The ideology of addressing these issues at the elite level is based on the notion that many young men use elite level sportsmen as role models. If elite level male athletes partake in more respectful and equitable behavior, there is a possibility of this affecting younger men in positive manners.
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Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Murray J. N. Drummond, School of Physical Education, Exercise and Sports Studies Division of Health Sciences University of South Australia, Underdale 5032, Australia. Electronic mail may be sent to Murray.Drummond@unisa.edu.au.
The basic equipment was the reel, line and belt. Competition, to a large extent, was based on this equipment and was rooted in Royal Life Saving Society traditions. The surfboat was the first craft to be developed for surf life saving purposes. It developed parallel to reel, line and belt equipment but more slowly, so that at the time when surf boats were used by numbers of clubs, rescue and resuscitation, reel, line and belt procedures had been well established. Beach events were added to the competitive program. Initially, many of these events were to add fun and enjoyment to the surf carnival. The term "carnival" was associated with surf life saving meetings during the first decades of this century and is still used, even though such meetings are almost exclusively concerned with competition. As they became institutionalised, they became "serious" events to competitors and were justified by the surf lifesavers in terms of instrumental criteria. (p. 185)
Yeah, I reckon I'm a SNAG [i.e., "Sensitive New Age Guy"].... I always look after my girlfriend regardless of who she is. I'll always be there for her. But, I'm never gonna clean a toilet. I'm never gonna iron a shirt for as long as I live (laughs).
That was the first thing that made me say, "I've got to do a little bit more training because I'm not going to get beaten by all the women." Perhaps it was to do with goals. I mean, people set goals to beat people who are near them, and I didn't really know a great number of people. In the state series races the women were also quite close to me, and I guess it was a goal to beat them. They were something that I could aim at. I wasn't going to aim at all the men. I guess it was probably something to do with that power thing I had over women as well.
I don't think there was any given day when I was at my optimum that a woman's beaten me, so when they have beaten me it's been when I'm not 100 percent. So, I've always said, "Well that's fair enough," and I've always given credit to them, you know. It's always a big thing for a woman to beat a man, but there were days when Jenny D. "knocked" me off in some swimming races, and I think it just gets you back into training a bit harder, but at the time I may not have wanted to train hard. I mean, my mates would always have a "dig" at me, and I remember a race down in Esperance somewhere, and Sue C. actually stayed with me the whole swim leg. I mean, I wasn't in good shape, but all the way back home they're giving me a hard time. But I played along with it, and it was fine. I mean, that's credit to Sue for being right up there. But in the back of my mind I knew on any given day ! could take her on if I wanted to, you know. I can beat her. But I don't believe I'm beaten when I'm not 100 percent.
Time was a significant issue. Maybe in hindsight if I'd taken some time off and stuff, the problems that were there might have been able to be resolved. So in some ways I do attribute it partly to my training. You know, whatever you do, whether you're working long hours or whatever, you've got to put it into the right context sometimes.
I feel essentially content with myself, but as a man I wish I could, well, I would like to do a better job of attracting women. It would probably be good to have a girlfriend. Essentially, I'm not very good at it. I don't know. I'd quite enjoy having a girlfriend, but I'm not sure if it's my lack of masculinity or some other social skill that I've not picked up along the way, but I'm just not very good at it. I can talk to women fine as long as I'm not remotely interested in them.
I've basically convinced myself that all I'm out to impress is males, anyway. There's no female that's going to be impressed. Females don't get impressed by it at all; males do. I'm certainly out to impress males, and you can see that other males are impressed.
Well, I think if they want to get down there and start chopping some wood and changing the oil in the car and doing stuff like that, then they can sort it out with the person they're with. But from an overall perspective, there are still women out there who like to do the household duties, like being in the kitchen, like to make the bed, and like to live in that style like my mum's style, and it works so efficiently. You'll see a lot more marriages working better that way. But if there's a lady out there that wants to change the oil instead of doing the dishes, she should sort it out with her partner, not preach it against the rest of the world.
I think they should get equal prize money to the equal amount of mileage they put in to the event. I mean, I believe women's libbers really mucked up. I think male and female women's libbers have really tom things apart. I mean, women aren't equal to men. It's as simple as that. But if they are putting the same amount of mileage into something as a man with the same amount of media, same amount of competitors, sure, give them the same prize money. If somebody wants to sponsor them the same amount, if someone wanted to sponsor them more, sure. But if you've got 20 women in a race, and there's 150 men, and the main media is on the men's race running over the line, I mean, women have just got to take that little back step. I mean, surely they've got to appreciate that the public are there to watch Trevor Hendy run over the line at the Coolangatta Gold, not Carla Gilbert do the same thing and come across the line four hours later, you know. So, I think it's got to be weighed up to a certain degree, and I think there's too many women's lib organizations running around trying to make equal status. I know that's a personal point of view, but it's just mucking things up.
I told her all along that there was going to be some involvement, and I thought she could swallow that. A month before the wedding she decided she wanted out, and we called it quits. I don't believe it was a sacrifice; I think it just wasn't there, you know. If you have got to sacrifice things like that, then the relationship's not there.
MURRAY J. N. DRUMMOND University of South Australia
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