they were all in love with dying
That we can't take ourselves seriously as athletes if we're wearing sparkly ruffles. And that it's okay to mock women who wear them.
To which all I have to say is, "Fuck you, ladies."
If you're policing another woman's clothing, you are a horrible person.
(In fairness, the blog providing the links took exception to the idea that women should police other women's fitness wear, and admitted that if she didn't think women running in skirts looked serious enough, she needed to change her idea of what a serious runner looked like.)
Seriously, it hurts my heart to see women who claim to be feminists policing what other women wear, acting as though the only way to be taken seriously (to take yourself seriously!) as an athlete is to butch out, and blaming women (and how women dress!) for sexist behavior.
Now, I'm pretty butchy. I wear makeup twice a year, and skirts as costume. (They don't feel like real clothes to me.) I don't own a running skirt. I probably wouldn't wear one, because wind resistance. Although leopard print is kinda tempting, I have to admit.
But I'm also a fat girl (by endurance runner standards) who runs and you know what? I run in compression tights, with my belly pudge clearly defined. Gonna police my body for that? Gonna tell me spandex is a privilege and not a right? Maybe I should cover up my thunder thighs with a running skirt! But wait, can't do that, it's too girly!
Can't wear yoga clothes to yoga class; somebody might see my not-stick-thin abdomen.
Oh, wait. I don't care. And yoga clothes are comfortable, and form-fitting means they don't get in my way.
Why are you assuming the woman in question is trying to look cute for men?** Maybe she's trying to look cute for herself. Maybe she's more comfortable with her ass covered up, rather than outlined in skin-tight compression shorts. Maybe her running fantasy is that she's a marathon-winning princess. Maybe she's wearing that orange ruffled skirt because it's fun and outrageous and eyecatching, and she likes the way it clashes violently with her lime green kicks.
This association of things associated with femininity (skirts) as "bad" is a layer of misogyny. It's as simple as that.
If a woman wants to run in a skirt, it's none of your business. If she has dreadlocks down to her ass, it's none of your business. If she wants to run in a padded sports bra? None of your business. No bra at all? Ow, chafing and bouncing, but none of your business. If she wants to run stark naked except for a pair of bright purple Sauconys and an LED safety headband? No business of yours!
If she wants to run in a burqa? Her business. Not yours.
You don't get to police her body. You don't get to police her clothes. This is what feminism means. It means we respect other women's choices.
I believe in feminism. Feminism means that I believe that men should not be infantilized, that they are grown adult people who can make reasoned choices. Which includes not being sexist because a woman (or hell, another dude) is running in a skirt. Feminism means that I believe that femmes are people too, and that wearing lipstick does not make you less of a person. And if you want to go to a bouldering competition in a minidress, more power to you.
I may have to go buy myself a damned running skirt just to show solidarity.
*These are basically spandex skorts with a compression short underneath.
**And if she is trying to look cute for men, or for a particular men, why is it any of your business?