When I was in primary school my best mate ‘Nit’ and I were the top sporty chicks, and we were also faster and fitter than most of the boys.

Each lunchtime we’d kick the boys’ arses at chasey so we thought it was stupid that girls could only compete against other girls in official school sport. We’d take on boys in spelling bees, maths tests and even in dance offs, so why should sport be any different?

My 10-year-old self loved the school cross-country because it was the only event where girls and boys got to run together. I’d generally come top five but I’d still take home a blue ribbon for being first girl – an honour which sat a little awkwardly because at that age I didn’t see how I was any different to the boys.

It wasn’t until puberty that I realised something was up. The boys who I’d once thrashed in lunchtime basketball suddenly got taller and stronger, and could beat me in a game of half court.

Not all of them mind you – the weedy, unco ones were still pretty weedy and unco – but some of my sporty male peers had developed an obvious physical advantage. Not wanting to accept defeat, I became stronger and fitter in my attempt to beat them.

But even as a grown up sporty chick with puny muscles compared to most of the blokes I train with, I still don’t like gender segregation in competitive sport. I feel like true equality will exist when guys and girls can face off in everything from archery to diving to marathons.

Rather than dividing athletes on gender alone, wouldn’t it be fairer to adopt a weight system similar to boxing, which groups competitors on physical attributes? That way more slightly built men could compete against buff ladies, or whoever matched up.

A system like this would mean intersex runner Caster Semenya would never have to go through the bullshit of gender testing, and trans athletes could compete without causing a stir.

Even the Australian Defence Force is starting to get over its gender bias. From 2013, women who pass physical entry tests like marching 10km in an hour carrying a 38kg load, will be able to take up combat posts previously only open to men.

Our bodies can do some pretty awesome shit regardless of gender. Now who’s up for a game of chasey?

INFO: You can follow Monique Schafter on Twitter @MoniqueSchafter

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