Welcome to Rising Traceuse A global resource for parkour athletes
Welcome to Rising Traceuse A global resource for parkour athletes

What Parkour Means to Me as a Woman

At one time or another, we all ponder the question, "What does parkour mean to you?" Instead of telling you what parkour means to me as a person, I will tell you what it means to me as a woman. Before claiming that I am being sexist or creating divisions that aren't really there, keep reading.

First of all, I have been treated differently in the parkour community because I am a woman. It doesn't happen every time I train, but it does happen. This is not unique to the parkour community, of course. It comes from society's long-held prejudices, leaking out into everything we do. Consequently, I have carefully defined my values and perception of parkour from a unique female perspective. So, here it is.




Control, Freedom and Strength

As a woman, I feel that control is one of the most precious elements of parkour. These days, our teachers and role models tell us that women can do whatever we want, but society doesn't echo that message.It is easy to feel like we have no control in a society where women are taught to fill extremely specific roles. We are taught that we need to wear makeup, follow the latest fashion trends, keep our hair long and be thin if we want to be accepted. We can't even walk to our cars at night without fearing that, in an instant, our small sense of control might be ripped away from us forcibly.

Parkour gives us both control and a sense of freedom. I am in control of my body's movements. I am in control of my training progression. I get to choose which movement will get me over that picnic table. When fear kicks in, I am the one who chooses to overcome it. 

Another element that is important to me is strength. In an article I wrote a while ago, I said that "parkour doesn't take strength. It makes strength." Too often, we women feel weak, both physically and emotionally. We are rarely taught to lift weights, learn martial arts, go rock climbing, etc. We are rarely taught to be strong. Being strong is a man's job, after all.


 As a traceuse of almost 2 years, I can now say this with confidence: that is completely wrong. Women are just as capable of gaining strength and challenging their limits as are men, and parkour is the perfect way to do just that. Sure, there will always be physical differences. That doesn't mean that women are any less capable. To me, parkour means accepting our differences, challenging our limits and growing stronger every day.



Parkour Women in a Male-Dominated World


In a world where half of the population is suppressed, often seen as weak and inferior, parkour provides one channel for us to show that we can do it, too. And we can do it our own way. And you know what? It is just as good as their way.

I want to be one of the women showing other women that they can be themselves and challenge the stereotypes that have become embedded in our society. They can learn to overcome any obstacle while becoming increasingly stronger every day. They can become warriors.

Parkour, by its definition, does not discriminate. There are no rules that tell us that this discipline is better suited for men. I want to be one of the women who proves just how true that is.

Until then, I will deal with all the prejudices and challenges I might face. Because I am not doing this for anyone else.

I am doing it for me, and I am doing it for the future of women in parkour. That's all there is to it.

Comments

  1. You are a very good writer, Brooke! I love to read your writings.

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    1. Thanks! I am really glad you enjoy reading them! :)

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  2. Very nice! "I am doing it for me" I love that line :)

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  3. Women have the same strength as men. Men have just larger bones, mostly.

    From my observations, in the practice of parkour, martial arts and sports in general. The reason that makes the strongest men is that women say they are less strong. They use their muscles less, rightly or wrongly. Thankfully strength is not everything.

    I just wanted to say. As a man having many strong badass sisters in the street.

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