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Behind the “What we read” series

A few weeks ago, I read a “running and relevant news” roundup, similar to my weekly column, written by two prominent men in the athletics endurance world. As I was reading, I noticed something – every single link they referenced in the entire post was authored by a man. Every single one. That’s 20+ articles they linked to without a single article written by a woman or non-binary author.

“How is that even possible?” I wondered. But, of course, I knew how it was possible.

This is normal and typical across the journalistic and academic world, for men to cite or reference men only, leading to the perception that only men are doing the work. This perpetuates a cycle of men amplifying men. Women are doing excellent and hard hitting writing, but if they are not being referenced or linked to, the perception continues that only men are doing good work.

This isn’t just a problem because it means women won’t ever reach equality in writing, it’s a problem because this means that women’s perspectives aren’t being heard. And, worse, it means that men’s voices are seen as norms, so when they make training recommendations, those recommendations are taken as capital “T” Truth, when the reality is that there are differences between men and women in their training needs. Just ask Stacy Sims.

So, I have made a conscious decision to cite women and non-binary authors in my weekly roundup moving forward. I am already hyper-vigilant about amplifying the voices of women in what I share on social media. I’m not suggesting that men’s voices and work don’t have value, I’m just suggesting that they don’t need my help to make sure their voices are heard.

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