“Holding Back”: Negotiating a Glass Ceiling on Women's Muscular Strength



More interesting stuff coming from our academic elite.

Researchers have highlighted how numerous women in male-dominated occupations face a glass ceiling. Using ethnography and interview work, I argue that this ceiling is also useful to understanding women in fitness. That is, women in fitness—particularly those who seek muscular strength in the weight room—may find their bodily agency limited not by biology but by ideologies of emphasized femininity that structure the upper limit on women’s “success.” Results show that nonlifters and moderate lifters uniquely negotiate the glass ceiling by avoiding, holding back on, or adjusting weight workouts. I consider what forces aid women in forging new definitions of emphasized femininity that push upward on a glass ceiling on muscularity over time. As women increasingly flock to fitness sites, daring to cross into the previously male-only territory of the weight room, we must ask whether a contained and “held back” musculature for women is now the (heterosexy) standard that simultaneously creates “new” womanhood as it re-creates “true” womanhood.

I never realized that it’s my fault that women aren’t as strong as men.


If you’re a white male then it should come as no surprise that everything is our fault:D


And here I thought it was Bush’s fault


It’s the Russians now.


So then the question is, when does Atlas Shrug? When do we go Galt?


Me too :smiley:



As a student of anatomy, women’s bodies, down to the bones, are structured differently than men’s. This looks like another “deny my biology” situation.

And I’m a white male and I fall into the “eternal enemies” class.


“Glass Ceiling” is number one on my list of fake terms. Brought to you by the Global Cabal of Relabelers and Repackagers.


The glass ceiling is a real thing. It’s been raised somewhat but it still exists.

Women can be physically strong. There is social pressure on women to limit their own strength. More in some places than in others, but again it’s real.

Men are stronger than women, on the grand average. That doesn’t mean that Jane Example can’t be or become stronger than John For-Instance.


You are just one of those who try to oppress women by bringing in unimportant things like biology and bones and stuff. Don’t you realize that linearly-structured science is a while male construct designed to keep women down?



You’re right. Absolutely. Redefining women, or females, is the sole reason we have articles like this. I wonder how brawny the female Russian front-line soldiers were. In any case, in order to continue to recreate reality, this must continue. The basic narrative revolves around “women are better than men in everything.” This antagonism creates confusion and detaches women from reality. As opposed to the proposed invented reality.

Instead of “daring” to do anything, that single woman down the street can secretly body-build and get those muscle groups developed equal to or better than any man could.


The battle against the patriarchy must continue :rolleyes::rolleyes: Comrades.


Well I witnessed first hand that while the narrative may very well revolve around women being better then men in everything,reality paints a different picture.My husband had a mild heart attack Wed. morning,thankfully he will be just fine.However,the lead paramedic was a female ,who when transporting my husband out of our home,wasn’t even able to lift the gurney enough to clear an area rug.One of the attendant firemen,had to take over for her.My husband weighs 185pounds so he isn’t a huge person. :eek:


Maybe God didn’t know what He was doing when he created man and woman. I guess the world knows better when we have woman who want to be male and men who want to be female.


No, “researchers” know better than anyone. That way, their word is gospel, as opposed to… I don’t know… that God guy.



Downloading the pdf and reading the last paragraph gives a much clearer understanding of what this researcher is discussing. Its not about ‘fault’. Nor patriachy. Nor cross gender, nor redefining gender roles.

Be interesting to read any comments fresh from reading the entire article :innocent:


Yeah… I think the point is that women consciously limit themselves at the gym for fear of getting a manly body; not that women are identical to men or indeed anywhere near as strong in general (there are of course exceptions to every rule).


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