So who, in the end, finished??? Translated…
In 1967, there was something BIG that happened, in the Boston Marathon, a nineteen-year-old woman with the name of K. Switzer, used the androgynous name of K. Switzer to sign up.
Back then, the Boston Marathon didn’t allow any women entrants, and, there were doctors who provided literatures for why women should NOT run marathons, believed, that running a marathon will make a woman’s calf too muscular, and it would cause them to grow hairs in unsightly places of their bodies, and what’s more outrageous—that it would cause their ovaries to fall out of their bodies. This young woman became the first female to finish the event, with a number on her back. But, at the time she ran, there was another woman, Bobbi Gibb, she’d already run the Boston Marathon without a number on her back.
When they’d entered into the races, the officials had attempted to stop them from it, and had even gotten physical, to try to make them NOT want to enter. After five years’ worth of hard work, in 1972, the Boston Marathon finally allowed women to enter. The now outrageous and unbelievable events that we thought about today, had actually happened, NOT very long ago. It’s just a marathon, so, why couldn’t women enter? Maybe, those who tried to put a stop to them entering in the competitions thought: why must women run marathons?
Whether or not women ran marathons, is of NOBODY else’s business, but, trying to prevent them from doing so, then, this behavior is problematic in itself!
Rather than asking why, ask “why not” instead. Maybe, there are a LOT of women who didn’t want to run marathons (fine, there are a LOT of men who wouldn’t, like me, for instance.), but, whether or not one wants to, is entirely separate issues from whether or not one can.
Back then, the reasons for why women shouldn’t run are rational, and the memories of pre-1972 when women are NOT allowed to run, looked very ridiculous today, and funny too. But back then, these two women’s behaviors, is one-hundred-percent bravery.
The accumulation of human rights lies NOT only in amending the constitution, nor is it verbally speaking of it (the “I respect you, but”, even though, it may piss people off, but at least, you’d put forth the word, “respect”, and we can optimistically, decipher it as a kind of progress), and, in the progresses made slowly, there’s still backward steps taken too, and maybe, moving two steps forward, one step back is unavoided, and this, still doesn’t deter us from moving forward.
People who came under fire, being discriminated against, must’ve gone a very L-O-N-G way, to get to where they are currently. Didn’t the Christians who offered incense to their ancestors get shunned on? “Why can’t you just offer incense to your ancestors, if you want to believe in the religion, do it on your own, but you don’t necessarily have to attend the rituals of offering respect to the ancestors!”
And now, we all know, that everybody has a right to choose one’s own religion, because it is a free country that we live in.
And still, the example from the marathon is mind-evoking, in the process of running a marathon, we may feel the strains, the pains, sweat, self-doubt, but so long as we persisted, the finishing lines are not far up ahead.
And so, even though we pride ourselves on being democratic, being free, there are actually a TON of examples of how this world isn’t at all free, and, we’re still very F-A-R off, from being completely free here………