Tonight on the American Ninja Warrior Atlanta qualifier, not one woman moved on to the next round.
As a woman who is covering this show for a women's website, I'm not going to lie, I watch the women and am more interested in the women succeeding than I am the men. Why? Well, because I'm a woman who believes that women can do whatever they set their mind to. But even I can admit that, generally speaking, it's so much more difficult for a woman to conquer these obstacles we see in the show. Women (again, generally) are just not built to gain muscle in the same way as a man. Does that mean all women? Of course not! I'm a progressive new-age feminist here. And the women did amazing last week for the Los Angeles qualifier. But amazing means that just two women out of 30 contestants moved on. And that was the first time two women moved on in a qualifier in the same city.
It's a sobering reality. It's why men and women often compete on different sports teams.
Again, that's not to say there aren't huge exceptions to these generalizations I'm making, but watching tonight's episode made me question if a woman could ever actually win a competition like American Ninja Warrior. I'm hoping that it happens. I think it could happen.
After all, if this were just 50 years ago, people would have said the same thing about a black man or a woman president, and look where we are now. No barriers! And I love that the ladies are knocking down stereotypes on the show.
Part of the ideology behind American Ninja Warrior is that it doesn't matter who you are, where you came from or what you do, if you want to compete, you get your shot.
"Typically, in most of the American sports, size and strength are a big advantage,” American Ninja Warrior cohost Matt Iseman said according to Mental Floss. “What we've seen in this, it's really strength‑to‑weight ratio. So the less weight you have to carry on the course, the better your strength does on that. I think we saw that last year with the biggest story, Kacy Catanzaro, who is five-feet tall [and] less than 100 pounds. No one thought she was strong enough, but the reality is she was so light — and she is incredibly strong — that she didn't have all this mass.”
I love the ideology. I'm not suggesting the show split up the men and women's competitions. It's just watching these fierce, competitive women not make it past the first round kinda breaks my heart when it's clear they have trained just as hard as the men.
Brittany Reid, an insurance agent, was the woman to make it the farthest tonight. She lost her grip in the Pipe Fitter obstacle and was sent tumbling to the water. The Pipe Fitter was the last obstacle before the Wall. Unfortunately for Reid, so many contestants completed the course tonight that even though Reid made it tremendously far, it wasn't enough for her to move on.
Hopefully the ladies will have more luck in Indianapolis next week.
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