I’ve just arrived in Geneva as a guest of the local tourist board, here to do some running and ride my bike – all well and good I hear you say (also thinking this sounds like one of those humblebrag blogs!), but why are you updating your travelling plans on a blog post?

The tourism firm is also pushing the upcoming La Genevoise, the 6.5km women’s only race of the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef – which is sponsored by Always (yes, the feminine products company).

And this got me thinking about gender and the position and take-up of sport for women (I’ve been doing this a great deal recently, seeing as I am looking to do a PhD on this very subject area!).

From their spiel on the flyer…

(Always) As a brand has been championing girls confidence for the past 30 years, we’re excited to encourage as many girls and women as possible to Run La Genevoise #LIKEAGIRL

Why? Because sports builds confidence! Last year we discovered that women aged 18-24 are twice as likely to be confident if they played sports regularly than those who did not play at all

We hope you like our little gift (an Always #LIKEAGIRL T-shirt) and encourage all girls to Run #LikeAGirl!

As a husband of one incredible woman, and a father of 3 awesome little boys of course I want strong, confident, and happy women in my, and our, lives. Anda runs for fun and beams with confidence afterwards – why wouldn’t I want that for the other women and girls in my life?

Initially I found it a littlestrange that, as a male, they would send some #LikeAGirl kit to me (when there are so many female bloggers), but it absolutely makes sense, and this forms the very basis of my future PhD research – as males we should be encouraging the women and girls in our life to participate in sport and fitness activities – huge numbers drop out in their teens due to societal issues and gender roles and femininity (Guillet, E.,UNDERSTANDING FEMALE SPORT ATTRITION IN A STEREOTYPICAL MALE SPORT WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF ECCLES’S EXPECTANCY–VALUE MODEL.Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30 (2006), 358–368. Blackwell Publishing), so it’s up to all people, men and women to assist them back into activity, because who wouldn’t want girls and women to be confident, to be happy, and to have the freedom to follow their desires?

Douchebags, that’s who!

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