Juan Antonio Samaranch, who died recently, presided over a tumultuous and corrupt period in the history of the modern Olympics, but succeeded in bringing increasing numbers of women into the Olympics. Although his tenure was marked by bribery and doping scandals, some, according to the New York Times, believe that his work promoting women overshadows the scandals.
Interestingly, the women interviewed in his obituary state that his goal was equality, but Samaranch did not create equality as much as he bolstered the segregated women-only sports, such as women’s softball, women’s soccer, etc. If he truly wanted to create “equality,” Samaranch could have made the Olympics entirely gender neutral, allowing both men and women to compete on an even basis.
The entire concept of women’s sports contradicts the notion of equality, because it suggests that women do not care to compete on even terms with men. Additionally, there is so little interest in some women’s sports, such as women’s ice hockey, that it is questionable whether they belong in the Olympics at all, so their status as official Olympic sports signifies privilege rather than equality.
One of the problems with feminism is that it purports to seek equality, but in practice it seeks privilege. Women’s sports, with a few exceptions such as figure skating, do not generate enough interest from either spectators or participants to stand on their own, and must be subsidized by a big man (or big gorganization). Samaranch, therefore, was practicing a sort of patrimonialism, which accords perfectly with the corruption that characterized his Olympic regime.
Patrimonial governments, whether local or national, are very often characterized by widespread corruption. Examples would include Sicily, Indonesia under Suharto, and various late 20th century Latin American regimes.
In a truly free and egalitarian society, feminism would wither on the vine. Without big government and patrimonialism to give it favors and protection it wouldn’t stand a chance. Feminists instinctively know that, so they will always support more government and more control over the lives of citizens.