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Our fitness industry and the impact of the default Male: Are we still treating women as niche?

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Our fitness industry and the impact of the default Male: Are we still treating women as niche?

A recent survey revealed that more than two thirds of men in Britain believe that women now enjoy equal opportunities. On the surface it is starting to feel that way. However, we invite you to view this topic through insightful data shedding light on were inequality still resides.

Invisible Women, a book by Caroline Criado Perez, explores countless cases in which everything from the height of the top shelf to the functionality of an iPhone is predicated on the assumption that the user will be male.

This is a man’s world, we learn from Perez, because those who built it didn’t take gender differences into account. Most offices are five degrees too cold for women, because the formula to determine their temperature was developed in the 1960's based on the metabolic resting rate of a 40-year-old, 70kg man; women’s metabolisms are slower. Women in Britain are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed following a heart attack: heart failure trials generally use male participants. Cars are designed around the body of “Reference Man”, so although men are more likely to crash, women involved in collisions are nearly 50% more likely to be seriously hurt.

This isn't a conspiracy but is just a matter of fact. The only way you can really explain it is a sexiest bias in which we just don't realise that, despite our best intentions, we are forgetting women.

For the brave women gloving up and Boxing

For the women who box, the issues of having limited brands who cater specifically to women sized boxing gloves stretches far beyond that of preference or desire to practicality and risk of injury. Many women boxers or participate in gloved single combat sports do not realise how much of an issue wearing man-sized gloves are until they have suffered an injury or have been fortunate to use female-specific gloves.

For Unorthodoxx our mission is to demonstrate the benefits of women using boxing gloves designed specifically for them. The frustration having approached sportswear distributors and sites to only have received a response along the lines “we don’t need women’s boxing gloves, they just buy the men’s”. Despite our efforts to explain in detail the benefits of women’s boxing gloves designed unfortunately it is just another example of gender bias and the issue of sport related organisation being run with gender inequality.

We developed our female fit boxing gloves not as a fanciful gimmick but out of a necessity to improve performance and safety. Female boxers were not, (and still are not in any other brands) being given the equipment or research attention they need and deserve. Just compare your hand size with that of a fellow boxer of the opposite sex, and you’ll understand where we are coming from. On average there is notable differences in size. At best it can lead to discomfort and loss of power, but the highest reported injuries in boxing are hand injuries and soft tissue damage. As sports and fitness professionals and consumer we all need to be more aware of these factors when training and coaching women and girls.

About Unorthodoxx and our Women's Boxing Gloves

If you would like to join us on our journey, engage with our growing community and be a part of the Unorthodoxx story follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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