Women fight stereotypes at the London Games

A PR executive praises the female athletes at this year’s Olympics for bucking the traditions that influenced her as a child.

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I vividly remember doing something unladylike to make my brothers laugh (probably burping) and my dad pulling me aside for a lecture. I remember him saying: “Have you ever heard your mom do that? Girls don’t act like boys.”

In fact, I’ve never heard or seen my mom do anything unladylike.

Because of the way I was raised, it’s taken me a very long time to be confident enough in my athleticism to get out and ride my bike with the boys, even if it means I’m dripping sweat with them. And if the roads are wet? Forget about it! I’ll be gross and dirty with everyone else who rides through puddles of rain and mud.

But it wasn’t just the way I grew up. It’s society. It’s our culture. It’s the culture around the world. Girls are supposed to act like, well, girls.

On Saturday mornings, I ride a little bit later so I can sleep in and have a latte before I get out there. But that also means I typically walk my dog in my cycling spandex. A few years ago I never would have done that. Let the neighbors see me in my workout gear? OMG!

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