With all due respect for a brave person who is determined to chart her own path, Marion Cory [“Genderqueer at the gym,” Outlook, Feb. 16] inadvertently reinforced the very gender stereotypes that oppress her.
According to Ms. Cory, derby cars, self-discipline, adventure, challenge, sports and weightlifting are masculine. Has she never heard of feminism? That, in part, was the point: freedom from gender roles — for all of us. Has she never watched the Olympics? When women lift weights, they’re not acting masculine, they’re acting like people who want to get stronger.
And why in the world would she want to use the men’s locker room? That’s for men. She’s a self-disciplined, adventurous, strong woman — just like millions of other women. The word for these people is not genderqueer; it’s athlete.
Mariah Burton Nelson, Arlington
Marion Cory lamented having been stuck in Girl Scouts practicing “cooking and learning dance routines” instead of earning a Wilderness Survival merit badge in the Boy Scouts.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania where my Brownie and Girl Scout troops were among the first to camp on our recently acquired land, cooking over open fires, pumping and carrying water from a well and sleeping under the stars or in a big Army surplus tent on straw-filled mattresses. Perhaps not wilderness survival, but not far from it. At a Scranton, Pa., Girl Scout camp, we learned swimming, rowing, canoeing and lifesaving skills on the lake and took trips of several days, hiking, setting up camp sites and cooking all our food. A generation later, my daughters had similar camping experiences in Arlington.
I am sorry the Girl Scouts in the author’s Montana home town did not provide the kind of challenging outdoor activities my daughters and I enjoyed in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Sara F. Anderson, Arlington