It’s. About. To. Go. Down. Well actually, it already did!
Ever heard the saying, sorry, insult “You throw like a girl”? Well next time you think about using this phrase that is so entrenched into our social consciences, you might wanna check this out and correct yourself.
The ‘Mythbusters’ TV show decided to tackle this issue head on and scientifically prove that it is in fact, a false statement to be using. Bearded hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman evaluated the throws of males and females from four age groups: 7, 12, 18, and 24. In their first test, they determined that girls and women threw more slowly than boys and men, but were often more accurate.
They then took the test subjects to a motion capture laboratory to further analyze throwing techniques to make sure they covered all their bases. They found that the girls threw with a more upright torso, and the boys threw the ball leaning forward.
But it didn’t stop there. They weren’t happy with just discovering the different techniques, and wanted to dig a little deeper to bust this myth!
“We can’t shake this cultural generality that playing catch, throwing a ball is a boy’s game and not a girl’s game. How do you control for that inherent cultural training?” said Adam Savage.
So they decided to make all 8 of their test subjects throw the ball again, this time with their left hands (all of them were right handed).
“Without practice, it’s impossible to transfer a learned athletic skill to your non-preferred hand, meaning this test effectively cancels out any subtle cultural training that may give the boys an advantage,” they said on the show.
This made for a more even playing field and gave remarkable results.
“When we removed all that training and had our ‘blank slates’ throw with their non-dominant hand, males and females threw with almost identical techniques. This suggests strongly that it is cultural, that it is training and that when you remove that training, you level the playing field,” said Adam.
To add to their study, they invited pro female Softball player Jordan Taylor, and pro Baseball player Greg Reynolds to participate. Both are pitchers in their respective leagues.
The only difference they found was that Greg’s larger frame added extra speed, but Jordan’s technique and accuracy was actually better!
“Jordan is a girl… and Jordan can throw her 65 mile per hour cannons and hit the target with unfailing accuracy, and her form matches that of Greg, the male pro pitcher.”
As a result they were happy to report the age-old insult is not only false, but that the cultural biases we grow up with should be challenged more often.
“Given the training, there’s no reason women can’t overcome cultural bias and throw as well as the guys.” Jamie says at the end of the segment, “Maybe now we can put to bed ‘throws like a girl’ as an insult.”
In fact, the two hosts say “throws like a girl” is NOT an insult, so next time someone says that to you, just know they are commenting on your accuracy and technique which has proven to be better than men. Ha!
While this was a cool segment to watch, it shows a deeper problem that exists in our society. Why do insults and phrases like this exist when they aren’t even true? Why is it OK to portray women as weaker people for the sake of a laugh? We hope this video is a great lesson to us all, that we should be more willing to challenge the cultural norms that we readily accept, rather than just go with the flow.