Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb grew up running for the sheer love of it. Training for the Boston Marathon without running shoes or a coach, Gibb ran up to 30 and 40 miles a day. What Gibb didn’t know: The event was closed to women due to the widely believed myth that women pursuing vigorous athletics would damage their reproductive organs. My mother was pregnant with me in early 1966 when Gibb received a letter stating “women were not physiologically capable of running 26 miles and furthermore, under the rules that governed international sports, they were not allowed to run.” (source) The myth has since been debunked, though it still makes notable appearances.
Talents and responsibilities bequeathed by God to men and women are often at odds with cultural gender expectations. Some people attempt to throw off any and all constraints on honorable behavior. Others attempt to definitively define acceptable behavior. However, our fullest expression as male and female created in the image of God is found in neither unbridled freedom nor oppressive regulation. Paradoxically, within God’s delineations we find the liberty to be ourselves.
[Read my full article at Christ and Pop Culture.]
Artwork by Seth T. Hahne.