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From poor pay to a focus on looks, sport is littered with shocking sexism – and this attitude can filter down to your local gym. But you can stand up to it. Here’s why it’s OK to unleash your competitive side – and swap your chores for a run

This year, elite sportswomen have repeatedly made the headlines – but before you pin up the bunting, many of the stories have been appalling examples of sexual discrimination. From former Team GB cyclist Jess Varnish allegedly being told by British Cycling’s technical director to ‘move on and get on with having a baby’ to tennis tournament director Raymond Moore commenting that if he were a ‘lady player’ he would ‘go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport’.


The treatment of Serena Williams reveals much of what’s wrong; her career has spanned 17 years, brought huge numbers of new tennis fans to the game and this year she equalled Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles (Roger Federer’s record stands at 17), yet much of the coverage of her career focuses on her looks. In 2014, Russian Tennis Federation head Shamil Tarpischev referred to Serena and Venus as ‘the Williams brothers’ and said they were ‘scary to look at’, while in 2009, American sports columnist Jason Whitlock ranted that Serena was an ‘underachiever’ who had chosen to smother her ‘drop-dead looks’ in ‘an unsightly layer of thick, muscled blubber.’ We could share more but it pains us to even read it.

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About Healthy Magazine

Discover a #BodyofKnowledge in the October/November edition of healthy magazine, in which we reveal the results of our Body MOT reader survey. In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, we also talk to three women about their very different experiences of the disease. Plus, we explore the world's best natural beauty secrets from Australia to South Korea, and take a fresh look at the 'F' word (fat, that is!). As the seasons change, keep your health and happiness on track with the new digital issue of healthy.