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FIS Replaces 'Ladies' with 'Women'

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#1
A simple copy and paste tells it all. From FIS-ski.com:

At its recently concluded Meeting in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO), the FIS Council approved a joint proposal of the Gender Equity Working Group, the Sub-Committees for Ladies´ Cross-Country and Alpine Skiing, as well as the Athletes Commission to change the official FIS terminology from “Ladies” to “Women” - only in the English language - in all applicable places, i.e. documents, titles, web site, technical materials, official communications etc.

FIS realises that the implementation of this change will have a transition period and cannot be replaced everywhere immediately. Nevertheless, the National Ski Associations and all stakeholders are requested to please start to use the new terminology of “women” when communicating in English, in day-to-day business and on any new materials produced.

This change does not apply for French or German, where the previous FIS terminology will continued to be used, mirroring the terminology of the IOC using: “Women, Dames, Damen”.
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
#3
At my last job we had a women engineers chatroom named "Broads", and now I use that everywhere. A bunch of us have since moved on from that job and now have a Twitter group named "Chatty Broads", and I started an "Adventure Broads" channel for the ladies in my current job.

Anyways, "Broads" is my favorite way to lightheartedly refer to groups of women in my own life. :smile:

I do appreciate the move from "Ladies" to "Women" in this context. I just think it's more consistent with "Men".
 
#5
Why? Aren’t there better ways to utilize the resources going into this? Is “ladies” an offensive term? Do people actually care about this? I guess they must if it’s happening.. I don’t personally.. either designation seems fine to me.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
Why? Aren’t there better ways to utilize the resources going into this? Is “ladies” an offensive term? Do people actually care about this? I guess they must if it’s happening.. I don’t personally.. either designation seems fine to me.
Not offensive, but "ladies" in the context of sporting events that are now available to men and women is somewhat condescending. Feels like a carryover from not that many generations ago when the idea of a woman playing a sport was considered improper. Or when women in high society in England were required to ride a horse side-saddle. As late as the 1950s in the U.S. there were colleges that were restricted to men only.

Take a look at this article about how "young ladies" were supposed to behave on the UNC Chapel Hill campus in 1958. The UNC system did not become fully co-educational for undergraduate students until 1964, meaning that women could apply to enter as freshmen at Carolina, NC State, or UNC Greensboro. UNC-G began as a women's college in 1981 when Chapel Hill and NC State were for men only.

“A Carolina Lady:” Navigating Campus Rules for Women in 1958
". . .
In 1958, there were 1,320 women students at UNC Chapel Hill — about 19% of the student population. It was five years before the University would admit women students without consideration of their intended major and residence and 14 years before the passage of Title IX, which banned sex discrimination in federally-funded education.
. . ."
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#7
Why? Aren’t there better ways to utilize the resources going into this? Is “ladies” an offensive term? Do people actually care about this? I guess they must if it’s happening.. I don’t personally.. either designation seems fine to me.
I agree with marzNC; not really offensive, but I think it does connote an out-dated notion of femininity where women are meant to be demure and gentle, and not engaged in certain kinds of sports (though I suppose a spirited game of croquet or riding side-saddle would be okay).
 
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Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Also with the organization being international, the use of women, vs ladies translates better. Other languages only have 1 word, abet many slang words, but only one that would translate to women.

The "ladies" room in french is "Dames" as Jenny wants to be called!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#9
Got to thinking about the use of the term "ladies" in connection to sports. Only find it with older sports such as tennis, golf, equestrian (horses), field hockey (came from England to N. America). Saying "ladies soccer game" or "ladies basketball tournament" doesn't sound right at all. Can read about "women" or "female athletes" who compete in X-Games, not "ladies."

When I started high school in 1970, I attended a girls' prep school in New England. There were no girls' soccer teams at all. In the fall, the team sport was field hockey. Wasn't until my senior year that soccer with all-girl teams started in that region. Title IX didn't impact college sports until 1972. The first U.S. National Soccer Team wasn't organized until 1985. Now the Women's World Cup is big news. That sort of change in thinking never happens fast.
 

SqueakySnow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
This makes me happy! I've never liked the "Lady" or "Ladies" designation. To me, it's always had an undercurrent of inferiority and that annoyed me ;)
 
#13
Isn't the Indy 500 started with "Gentlemen, start your engines?"
Hmm, went looking . . . Apparently in 1977 when the first woman qualified for the race, the starter announced ""In the company of the first lady to ever qualify at Indianapolis, gentlemen, start your engines." :smile:

There was a new documentary on ESPN recently about that first woman, Janet Guthrie, now 81. She quit her job as an aerospace engineer to become a race car driver. Check out the use of the term "lady" in the USA Today article.

https://www.newsday.com/sports/colu...indy-500-nascar-first-woman-driver-1.31564574

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/05/indy-500-janet-guthrie-sexism-nascar-motor-sports-espn-qualified
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
My mother tried to teach me to display ladylike behavior as a teen. I did not want to display ladylike behavior. And I did not like being told that I could not do things because it was not ladylike. We fought over this.

Wearing jeans was not ladylike. I had to go to the boys and men's section of the department store to find them. I was scared of employee disapproval and would wait until there was no clerk around to find jeans to bring back to the junior girls area to try on. I did buy the jeans and converted my whole wardrobe to jeans based blue. Teen life!

My mother's list of ladylike behavior involved all kinds of restrictive behaviors meant to assure the public of my moral uprightness and marriagability, including not speaking until spoken to, speaking quietly not loudly, sitting with hands in lap and knees pressed tightly together (even when wearing pants instead of skirts), letting men take the lead, not disagreeing with men publicly. I disobeyed all of these. I was a teen wanting freedom to be me.

When I went to college women had a curfew but men didn't. Women had to wear skirts or dresses to class, and could only wear pants after 6:00 pm (on weekends pants were allowed). Women could not live off-campus, but men could. These restrictions were associated with the idea of maintaining a ladylike persona. That was in the past, of course. Many of those women-specific restrictions were dropped by the time I graduated.

When I started skiing, many many years later, I was shocked that women were routinely called ladies. The term seemed to be pretty much gone elsewhere, but I ran into it everywhere in skiing. I've gotten used to it now and haven't spoken out against the term because I think much of the baggage from its past usage has been lost. The posts in this thread reflect that. Younger people just mention "gentlemen" as a correlate. Perhaps not all in this thread are aware of the associations with ladylike behavior that I grew up dealing with.

I'm glad ladies is being changed to women in racing. We need to do this throughout the sport, because that old baggage still exerts its influence.
 
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Jenny

Angel Diva
#16
@liquidfeet - I know you're older than I am, but can't remember how much. Not as much as I'd like it to be, based on what you grew up with and what I grew up with. It's kind of sobering to realize how close I was to some stuff - but on the fortunate side. Title IX, for one.

I've mentioned this before on this site, but in 7th grade (1976) the school didn't have separate track teams - we all competed together. They also didn't have a basketball team for the girls, so a couple of of us played on the boys' team. Both were segregated by sex the next year. Our athletic director hated girls' sports, but couldn't really do anything about it except give us the crappy times for practice and generally be disapproving.

I'm grateful that when my dad told me to "be feminine" and motioned me to sit with my knees closed he was being funny (because it was in the context of being on the basketball bench waiting my turn to go in again and not because I had to prove my "moral uprightness and marriagability").
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
#17
Hmm, went looking . . . Apparently in 1977 when the first woman qualified for the race, the starter announced ""In the company of the first lady to ever qualify at Indianapolis, gentlemen, start your engines." :smile:

There was a new documentary on ESPN recently about that first woman, Janet Guthrie, now 81. She quit her job as an aerospace engineer to become a race car driver. Check out the use of the term "lady" in the USA Today article.

https://www.newsday.com/sports/colu...indy-500-nascar-first-woman-driver-1.31564574

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/05/indy-500-janet-guthrie-sexism-nascar-motor-sports-espn-qualified
Couldn't read the first article - they wanted me to subscribe.
 

RachelV

Administrator
Staff member
#18
... I've gotten used to it now and haven't spoken out against the term because I think much of the baggage from its past usage has been lost. The posts in this thread reflect that. Younger people just mention "gentlemen" as a correlate. Perhaps not all in this thread are aware of the associations with ladylike behavior that I grew up dealing with. ...
My mom missed needing my dad's permission to get a credit card by THREE YEARS and her education was all pre-Title 9. My grandma's older siblings were all alive in a time when women couldn't vote. It is wonderful how much has changed recently (it honestly is, I am grateful for it every single day) but I think we are still very far from being able to take anything for granted, and I think awareness of the history around stuff like this is very important.
 
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#19
Good decision on the part of the FIS. I've mellowed with age, but I used to hate it in 3 ways.
1. In pop songs it always sounded so cheesy and sung in an oozy tone of voice (similar to "baby"). Even Led Zeppelin: "hey lady...you got the love I need".
2. Then, like @liquidfeet , I was the type to buck at being told to act lady-like.
3. Third, I never believed there was real respect with the use of the word. That was probably due to too many "hey lady!" sound bites from movies and TV. In my head I always hear it in a New York Brooklyn accent ala Jerry Lewis.
 
#20
Couldn't read the first article - they wanted me to subscribe.
I just clicked on the X to close the window asking for an an email address. Most of the info is the same as the USA Today article, but there are a few tidbits that are different. The release of the documentary on ESPN in late May caused a flurry of media reports.

https://www.newsday.com/sports/colu...indy-500-nascar-first-woman-driver-1.31564574
"Fans greeted her with lewd signs, drivers threatened a boycott and journalists peppered her with hard-hitting questions like whether she wore makeup or if she worried her purse would get in the way of the steering wheel.

This was the reception Janet Guthrie received when she first arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 43 years ago. Her ability to endure and become the first woman to qualify and compete in the Indianapolis 500 opened the door for so many others, including Lyn St. James, Danica Patrick and Pippa Man, who will be competing in her seventh Indy 500 on Sunday.

“The truth is until I got there, I had no idea that hostility toward women in men’s fields ran that deep,” Guthrie, 81, told Newsday in a phone interview last week. “I had been working and playing in men’s fields my whole life and never encountered it.”


Guthrie’s fight to become the first woman to qualify and race in the Indy 500 is chronicled in the ESPN documentary “Qualified,” scheduled to air May 28 as part of the "30 for 30" series. The film, directed by Jenna Ricker and premiered earlier this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, mixes incredible archival footage with current interviews of Guthrie, former drivers, owners and others in the industry.
. . ."
 

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