Gender Discrimination Around the World

Discrimination is a topic that I, before my most recent google search, had only associated with the workplace in the United States.  Ironically, the first news article that popped up after a google search on discrimination to find this week’s topic, was about Britain.   When considering discrimination abroad, I feel that it is safe to say that Britain is the last place that I would think of as having a problem.  I of course would have focused more on countries in Africa and in India for examples of discrimination due to their being viewed more as developing countries rather than being already developed.  However, as it turns out, like the United States, Britain and many other countries around the world still suffer from constant discrimination.

The statistics emerging from Britain are staggering.  Over a quarter of British women report being discriminated against in the workplace.  This has resulted in an incredible fashion change in the British workforce.  In order to avoid sexual discrimination, women are now wearing longer skirts and less revealing shirts.  Many women also reported that they believe having children is viewed as a setback in the business world.  David Saul, a corporate owner of the newspaper Business Environment was even quoted as saying, “What these results show is that employers are still discriminating against women who choose to have children as well as work. The ‘you can have it all’ generation are being failed by their employers.”  Although obviously a serious problem, not much is being done to change the discrimination and sexism in British society.  Unlike the United States, it is not as frequently reported about online or in newspapers.  There are also fewer support groups for working women in Britain.

gender 2

With first world super powers like the United States and Britain still experiencing gender discrimination in the workforce, it is obvious that other struggling first and second world countries such as India, China and South Africa are also suffering discrimination.  China especially has one of the highest gender discrimination percentages in the world.  However, Chinese discrimination is especially acute because of its early beginning (the abortion of female fetuses).  This discrimination continues into the Chinese workforce.  Only 21 percent of females upon graduation last year were able to find jobs within two months.  genderThis was almost half of the 40 percent of males that were able to find jobs.  Gender discrimination in China is also highly sexualized with many women complaining of no getting hired simply because of their physically appearance.

In India, women suffer discrimination due to gender, religion and social class.  It is not uncommon for employers to pay more attention to religion than resumes when regarding future employees.  Similarly, untouchables in Indian society are considered not hirable by many employers.  Due to the amount of discrimination, it is up to the United States, the most developed country in the world, to set the bar involving discrimination in the work force.  Although there are currently laws against discrimination, more attention needs to be brought to the issue.  With more negative attention being brought on businesses and employers that discriminate, discrimination will hopefully become less common in the United States.  This trend will hopefully also continue to influence other governments and countries around the world.

gender 3

Obviously, discrimination is not simply localized to the United States.  Females around the world are battling for positions in government and in businesses that are typically primarily male.  The United States has made great gains in recent years to promote the gender fairness and equality.  Now it is time for the rest of the world to catch up and continue to make the workforce free of discrimination.   Although it will take time and effort for many developing and developed countries, equality is something that has to be fought for.

The Reason Why 14.4 Killed Me

Muscle-ups. Gosh darn muscle ups.  For those of you who don’t know what that is….it is THE defining elite move in crossfit. AKA…I can’t do it.  Actually, can’t is the wrong word to use. I STRUGGLE (a lot) with muscle ups.   I was far from thrilled when muscle ups were announced as part of the Week 4 crossfit Open WOD.


Muscle ups are one of the hardest gymnastic movies in crossfit (yes, even harder than hand stand pushups). It involves swinging back and forth on rings and then using the momentum from your swing and biceps to pull your entire body up (basically a reverse dip for those of you who know what a dip is).  I know that is a pretty bad description so I have attached a video below! For some reason, muscle-ups are more difficult for girls.  This could partially be due to our smaller hands, but regardless, only one girl in our crossfit club here at PSU can do a muscle up.

Obviously, with no previous practice with muscles ups, I most likely will not be able to get my first one during the crossfit Open.  I am not even sure of the correct form.  That being said, I am very surprised to realize that I am not really down or upset about it.  Instead, I am looking past it.  Realizing that I have begun to focus more on my skills that I am good at and not on the ones that I have not been able to get yet is a HUGE step in the right direction for me.  Throughout my highschool and college sports career, I seemed to have always focused on the things I needed to work on.  Although that can be a good thing for improvement, it also did not allow me to really appreciate the things that I WAS doing well.

14.4 14.41

In other news of Shannon fitness’s whirlwind, I have decided to try and attempt another marathon (or ultra) this summer! WOOOO. I know that I didn’t exactly train the hardest before my last one and am looking forward to actually getting in some good training time this summer.  I will be trying to decide which one to actually do in the upcoming days and then decide on an effective training plan.  I have been bitten by the marathon bug and now there is no stopping me!! Now, all I have to do is convince my parents that no, I will not break my body by running 26 miles. Have a wonderful week people and hope for good weather!!


A Week Without Crossfit

And just like that, Spring break is over. I hope everyone had just as an amazing spring break as I did! It was full of food (wayyyy to much of it) and sun and… crossfit (sob).  I guess my body needed the break but now I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and my three-a-day workout sessions. After completing the second Open WOD on Friday and being pretty disheartened, I needed the break from crossfit. The WOD was

20 overhead squats (65 lbs)

20 chest to bar pullups

In three minutes.  IF you passed the first level in under three minutes, then you started right away with round 2 which increased each exercise by 4 reps. It increased by 4 reps every 3 minutes until the person “failed” or could not make the 3 minute time cap.

I have never been able to do chest to bar pull ups. Ever. My triceps are much weaker than my biceps and I was forced to do chest to bar chin ups instead which was a lot slower. Unfortunately, I only was able to get 27 reps and I was NOT happy about it.  I planned on redoing the workout on Saturday but unfortunately did not have time before my flight left for San Francisco on Sunday.

I assumed that San Francisco would be a break from everything crossfit. HA. I thought wrong. First of all, the number of people here with crossfit apparel/shoes is incredible. I feel like 2 out of 10 people I passed yesterday were wearing Rogue t-shirts.  On my Monday morning jog, I was incredible lost and trying to find my way down to the water. While I was running I saw about 15 runners ahead of me. I assumed they were heading where I wanted to go and tagged along behind. Low and behold, they turn right instead of going straight and lead me straight into San Francisco Crossfit. Yippee!! I had found my sanctuary.  Unfortunately, I missed the Open gym times on Saturday due to being on an airplane. That did not, however stop me from talking to the owner and buying a t-shirt! According to the owner, the particular gym I was in the only the 26th Crossfit gym to ever open. It is pretty incredible how much it has grown in such a little amount of time. Anyway, can’t wait to do this weeks Open WOD of box jumps and deadlifts. Time to get back into the swing of things!


Let the Games Begin


I know that I have mentioned the Crossfit Games several times in various blog posts.  I, personally, signed up to compete in the Games last Thursday (the last day of registration). To the average, non-crossfit athlete, the Games appear to be a single ESPN featured event once a year. The amount of work and preparation that goes into the Games, however, is astounding. Because this is my first year competing in the Games, I am a newbie.  I know very little behind the entire process and the rules.  Due to my lack of knowledge, I decided to do a little research so that everyone could better understand the 2014 Crossfit Games.

The most important information regarding the Crossfit games is that there are three stages: the Crossfit Open, Crossfit Regionals and the Crossfit Open.  The entire process is meant to essentially weed out weaker athletes (like myself) that have no business competing on a nationally televised ESPN event.

This year quite a few people from the Crossfit Club here on campus signed up to compete in the Open. Registration was $20 and the first workout (WOD) was posted last Thursday. Everyone has approximately one week to complete the WOD and report their highest score on the crossfit site.  To ensure no cheating will occur, all WODs are required to be video-taped and each competitor will have a judge that will watch them to make sure all repetitions are completed.  There are several different Open WODs over the course of several weeks. At the end of the process, the top 45 men and women and teams will advance to the Crossfit regional competition. Because it is only my first time competing my expectations this year are not high.  However, I am hoping that next year I could potentially advance to regionals on a team.

The first week Crossfit Open WOD was a “goodie.” It was 14.1. A WOD that (thank goodness) involves no heavy lifting or gymnastics skills.


10 min AMRAP of

15 Snatches @ 55 lbs

30 Double Unders

I was very pleased with how I did in the workout, but was also extremely exhausted. Before competing in the WOD I was very hungry.  Of course one of the only things I had to eat in my room was a pint of Ben and Jerry’s icecream and so I (stupidly) decided to eat it. I finished in 7 minutes (and icecream eating PR) and then proceeded to vomit up said pint of icecream after I finished my workout. Moral of the story? NEVER EVER EAT ICECREAM BEFORE COMPLETING A CROSSFIT OPEN WORKOUT. I am redoing the workout again today to see if I can better my score before the submissions are due tonight.

Discrimination in the Workforce

Discrimination in the workforce has long been a talked about issue in the United States. Once a hot button topic that many assumed had been taken care of, a clear and definite solution was never given and the problem of gender discrimination has persisted in the workforce today. I was not particularly aware of any discrimination of women of late until I was scrolling through my Facebook page (typical college student, I know), and discovered that three of my very close friends had shared the same article.  Bill O’Reilly’s: “There has got to be some disadvantage to having a female president. Right?” became an overnight Facebook sensation with over 1 million shares.  The quote that quickly became famous deserves to be included in this blog post.

“There haven’t been that many strong women leaders throughout history. But when you’re president of the United States you have to deal with people like Putin, you have got to deal with the real ornery Mullahs in Iran. Look, the Mullahs in Iran, they think women are like subspecies.”

I would also recommend watching the actual video footage of the incident here:

In case you do not have the time to watch the clip, here is a quick summary. In the interview with two other female correspondents, Bill O’Reilly repeatedly asked the women to come up with negative aspects of having a female president. Both looking extremely awkward and uncomfortable (and later frustrated and angry), and replied that there would be no more negativity involved with having a female president versus a male president.  Both tried to make it clear to Mr. O’Reilly that he was being extremely sexist, but he missed their signals.

Curious as to what other articles/new stories about discrimination I had missed, I did a quick google news search for female discrimination in the work force.  I was shocked with the number of recent articles that I discovered. Intrigued, I dug deeper in the source of the discrimination.

Discrimination of women can include any of the following: “Sexual harassment, withholding promotions based on gender, giving a different job title to a woman and preventing women from participating in training opportunities.”  Discrimination against females can occur in several different categories: Pregnancy, appearance, physical availability, wages and consequence to employers.

Many employers will not hire pregnant women due to the fact that they are allotted 12 weeks of leave to take care of the child and the assumption that they will not be able to work as many hours with a family to take care of. Due to this form of discrimination, many who are either pregnant or think they will become pregnant within the year, conceal that fact from their interviewer. A women’s appearance is also a common form of discrimination when hiring. An attractive woman may be more likely to get hired and/or they might be less likely to be hired based on the “distraction” that they could cause in the office. For jobs that require physical strength, a woman might not get hired based on the thought process that she might not be able to complete the physical tasks as fast and/or efficiently as her male co-workers. Women also experience discrimination when it comes to wages. On average women earn 80% less than the average male worker. Although that statistic has been gradually lowering over several years, there is still a lot of work that has to be done to make the wages of men and women equal.

Not only is discrimination on display in many social aspects of daily life (see last blog post) but as mentioned above, it is also on clear display in the workforce. Although Bill O’Reilly was not the first to reinforce the fact that discrimination still exists, his comments brought forth a huge negative out lash from Fox viewers. As American citizens, we all must realize that our modern society is constantly changing. We have to change with it and catch up with the times. It is time for discrimination in the workforce to end (Equal rights (and pay) for all women worldwide.) It is time for the US to set the precedent!