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This is a genuine question: how do people feel about the word ‘chicked’? When I first heard it, I thought it was kind of cool. We ladies had a term for kicking male behind, grrrrl power, taking back our right to be feminine and all that jazz. But the more I’ve encountered it, the more it’s starting to grate. Now, I know that it’s often used in what is meant as a complimentary way and that’s fantastic. When a woman beats a man in a race, I can sort of see why it’s seen as more of an accomplishment. After all, we are, historically, not as fast as men. I get that people want to congratulate women on that. So my rant is twofold: the word itself is wildly patronising, and how we react to it, I think, needs to be rethunk!

I am not, nor is any other woman I know, a fluffy little bird. I don’t want to be either. Yes, they are incredibly cute, but they also need to be taken care of constantly. As far as I know, most grown women are more or less okay to feed themselves and stay warm enough not to die. We can even sometimes run a really long way and be okay. Ultimately, we are humans, running in a race, beating people of both genders and with people of both genders beating us. I don’t want to ‘chick’ anyone: I want to run faster than them if I can. To be honest, I don’t often care how many men I beat as they’re not in my category!

And ladies, you never need to apologise for being faster than someone, male or female. It was only 50 years ago that Bobbi Gibb had to disguise herself to run the Boston Marathon after being told that women were not ‘physiologically able’. Isn’t it about time we started seeing ourselves as capable of doing well?  Ultra running is a great leveller, where our ability to pace ourselves and the fact we have awesome glutes often mean we will do better than the guys. You don’t need to apologise for training hard, running a smart race or just being better on the day.

So how about we all just run, do our best and congratulate each other? Unless anyone thinks it’s a good idea to start using the male term for fowl to balance things out a bit …

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5 thoughts on “A bit of fluff?

  1. Don’t like the term Beat is Beat using a name like this frankly like watching “on the busses” its so 70’s thinking. When someone says “I’ve been chicked” what they really saying is I’ve been beat and how amazing it was a female too, how sweet petal! Whats next oh i’ve been youthed! Olded! Male Vet 40+ed! Look over your shoulder if you pass me you’ll find me smiling for you unless you’ve been a “di@k” then standby at the next CP

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  2. Thats the first time I’ve heard the term ‘chicked’ lol…I’ve never understood why either gender should be looked at differently in any sport to be honest…then again, I am an ex Ballet dancer so would be a shock to be the other way inclined 🙂

    Quirky subject by the way, nice to read something different from the usual nuts and bolts of running.

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  3. I think the term is mostly used by those ‘elite’ males that aren’t used to women finishing before them. To us at the rear half of the field it’s an irrelevant phrase as it’s normal to be behind loads of competitors of both genders.

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