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In Move Toward Equality, Women Now Free to Fling Themselves Down Deadly Ice Chute

Illustration for article titled In Move Toward Equality, Women Now Free to Fling Themselves Down Deadly Ice Chute

There are few things I care about less than sports and honestly, I can’t think of what a single one of those things might be right now which, I guess, makes sense. What makes less sense to me is why anyone in their right mind would be interested in participating in a sport to begin with, much less one that is literally called skeleton.

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Skeleton, which I only learned about moments ago, is apparently like sledding except that it is very, very dangerous. I’m truly continually impressed by the human race’s ability to take things that might otherwise be enjoyable under normal circumstances and then turn them into actual life or death situations. I mean can you imagine the day someone was like, hey, remember the other day when we enjoyed a gentle slide down that hill of soft, lovely snow? Want to try it again and see if we can make it really fucking dangerous? I certainly can’t but apparently that, or something similar, did happen because skeleton exists and is an Olympic sport.

Outside of the Olympics should you be interested in watching people hurtle down ice slides toward their maybe death you’d surely want to check out the Cresta Run in Switzerland where the sport was initially born and where, until recently, women have been barred from skeletoning (?) since 1929.

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The ban was first enacted at the end of the 1920s because there was a belief that laying flat on the boards would increase a woman’s likelihood of getting breast cancer and exists today because institutions continue to punish and restrict the rights of women while blaming it on things like history and tradition.

Although women have been able to ride the Cresta since 2018, thanks to a two-year trial that has recently been extended by the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club which controls the chute, they are still considered nonactive members and a sign that reads “Ladies Not Admitted” still hangs on the locker room door.

“I do not hate women,” one of the club’s male members said about the decision to allow women to skeleton down the Cresta, “but men by nature want to be heroes. If women are able to ride the Cresta too, it takes the mystery of it away.” I don’t know how much mystery there is about jettisoning one’s self down an ice slide that has taken the lives of multiple people at eighty miles per hour, but it’s always great to hear a man start off a sentence with “I don’t hate women” and then inevitably dive into an anecdote that proves just how much they hate women. They can’t be heroes! Think of the men!

It certainly doesn’t sound inviting, but it also hasn’t stopped the women, who comprise a fifth of the clubs 1,250 person membership, from flinging themselves down the chute. Cheers to them I say! While again I absolutely can’t comprehend why anyone would be interested in participating in this sport, I fully support them and continue to believe that women deserve every opportunity to do whatever the hell it is they want.

freelance writer living in San Francisco. Please clap.

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DISCUSSION

I’m a little bit weirded out by this article as it seems to be pretty directly lifted out of the New York Times article that was published today on the subject, but it doesn’t seem to be linking to it at all because why would it? Now I’m wondering if the quote was given in English as it is word to word from the article.

What makes a little bit sadder is that it omits the other version on the origin of the ban as mentioned in the article. Apparently the breast cancer scare is the official version given, but the rumored reason is that a wife got a better time on the course than her husband, which led to the society creating the ban pretty fast.

Also that quote for Buff, yes that is is the member’s name, kills me in so many ways as apparently to him men being able to do things women cannot do makes them heroic. Thus they should prevent women from showing that they can also do it. That is hilarious.