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Nancy Lewis’ Letter Protesting Derogatory Statements Directed At Girls Bodybuilders In Flex Journal (2005) – Femuscleblog


Nancy Lewis Letter

Girls in sports activities have a tendency to not get a lot respect. The world of aggressive skilled bodybuilding reveals a stage of blatant sexism and mistreatment to its opponents. The worst half it comes from print publications. The vituperation turns into so intense that athletes have to reply. Nancy Lewis wrote a letter to Jim Manion about an article written by Bob Cicherillo. “³Chick on Chicks²”. This was launched in on October 18, 2005 in response to the Flex Journal concern. Flex Journal first appeared in 1983 and was a Weider publication. The journal’s sole focus was on skilled bodybuilding, somewhat than a basic mainstream health focus. The remarks in Cicherillo’s article, Nancy Lewis expressed weren’t acceptable or applicable. Discovering the unique article is troublesome. Journal’s web sites do are inclined to archive their print publications . Some is perhaps so questionable that they somewhat not protect them. The unique textual content was most likely so vituperative it demanded a response. Nancy Lewis revealed how terrible it was :

“In my 14 years as an IFBB Professional I’ve by no means learn nor heard any IFBB Professional Feminine bash her male counter half. What’s extra disappointing the article states these feedback are from the ³athlete’s rep.² Are you able to think about somebody, maybe a fan studying what the ³athlete’s rep² thinks about his feminine counterparts/opponents ?”

The leaders of sports activities organizations have a stage of disdain for his or her feminine counterparts. The error is to suppose that attitudes have modified about girls’s participation in sports activities. Title IX could have created alternatives for girls and women, however the identical prejudices and intolerance stays. A sports activities consultant like Cicherillo ought to be actively selling girls’s bodybuilding. As an alternative, they disparage it. A considerable amount of institutional sexism and human assets violations are current within the sport.

  The bodybuilding sport is a small one. So, vituperating girls’s bodybuilding is counterproductive. Across the time of Nancy’s letter, ESPN was steadily phasing out broadcast of contests. If Youtube didn’t seem in 2006, seeing contests could be troublesome. That will imply both a fan must go to the placement or simply examine it in {a magazine}. A clever enterprise choice is to get the game as a lot publicity as potential. Harming girls’s bodybuilding solely damages the game as a complete.

Nancy Lewis famous that the shortage of protection was a priority. Girls’s competitions ought to have been featured extra in magazines. The growth of video sharing and social media confirmed that there are followers on the market. Flex Journal didn’t anticipate how digital media would develop. Print publications are steadily disappearing. Sports activities Illustrated is an instance of the struggles modern sports activities reporting faces. Know-how is altering the way in which individuals eat sports activities associated supplies. Lowering the variety of contests for girls doesn’t assist the game. Not solely does it take away alternative from the athletes, it deprives followers. This explains that in the course of the mid to late 2000s girls’s bodybuilding followers have been getting extra of their information on-line. Nancy additionally laments that the Ms. Olympia competitors gave the impression to be demoted to an expo occasion. Video sharing and social media has made the game extra accessible to a worldwide viewers.

Nancy Lewis’ letter is a reminder of the necessity for human assets. Sports activities organizations ignore girls’s human assets wants. Scandals such because the NFL’s abuse of cheerleaders, US Girls’s Soccer’s pay dispute, or harassment from coaches are a number of examples. Nancy Lewis did a service, as a result of many opponents would possibly wish to converse of verbal abuse or poor therapy . There may very well be retaliation from promoters, judges, or editors of print publications. Generally it isn’t that insurance policies are in place. The dearth of enforcement is the issue. A rule could be listed, however not acknowledged by members of a company or firm. The  IFBB Skilled Guidelines 2005 version was cited by Nancy Lewis. Granted an individual does have freedom of speech. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply an individual can slander or do libel in opposition to individuals. Bob Cicherillo is free to specific his opinions, however that does imply he’s free from consequence. The rise of range, fairness, and inclusion applications (DEI) doesn’t assist. DEI applications are designed to seem as if a company or company is progressive. It disguises the unfavorable points whereas convincing individuals progress is being made. Nancy being an IFBB professional shouldn’t have to write down letters of grievance. HR professionals ought to be energetic in sports activities organizations and their related publications.

Institutional sexism is revealed by this letter. Bob Cicherillo was by no means fired for the article. He by no means was reprimanded for offenses. The reason being that some people are protected by the system. David Pecker and Peter McGough have been in charge of Flex Journal. The low variety of girls and the shortage of management roles creates an environment of institutional sexism. A portion of males suppose girls don’t belong within the sport. If there’s a feminine presence, it ought to be for the sake of male aggrandizement. McGough being the editor in chief didn’t care if girls have been getting little protection or that his reporters have been slandering them. Peter McGough labored for numerous publications together with Muscle and Health. McGough ought to have completed vetting as an editor. David Pecker who was CEO of American Media didn’t have a look at all of the articles within the publications owned. As CEO, it’s simply their restricted imaginative and prescient to construct income, not create a top quality product. A majority male company construction and sport makes it troublesome for girls to make change. One letter may not do a lot, however extra objections can get a response. Administration should be dislodged and ladies are going to must get in positions of energy. Nancy Lewis’ letter generally is a blueprint for athletes in search of to specific frustration with misconduct.

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