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The Needless Mania to Make Everything Equal

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
While the horse is increasingly abandoned by man as a means of transportation and work, it continues to be in vogue as a sport. Everywhere equestrian sports remain an object of keen interest. Hence also the fact that the football and boxing champions have not in any way destroyed the popularity of the jockey and the equestrian.

Indeed, the qualities that the authentic horseman must possess in an outstanding degree – daring and prudence, acute perception, presence of mind, agility, knowledge and perfect mastery of his mount – well merit him the interest and applause of the public.

Our pictures present three riders jumping difficult obstacles. They are typical photographs from equestrian clubs throughout the world. It is a pleasure to contemplate the dexterity, strength and elegance of these three horsemen.

Yes, but with one restriction: They are not horsemen, but horsewomen. The elements of distinction of the equestrian sport – the way of riding, the dress and everything else – contributes to give them a markedly masculine aspect.


Without going into detail in the analysis of this point, let us remember in passing how unnatural and abnormal it is, in any circumstance and under any pretext, for a woman to appear like a man, absolutely as unnatural and abnormal as for a man to look like a woman. This strange mania for the masculinization of women – and how much we could say about the feminization of men! – has also infiltrated the equestrian world.

This is something that everyone knows and our pictures demonstrate with irrefutable evidence.

Where does this trend come from? In each specific case, it was covertly introduced under a different pretext: convenience, simplicity, economy, etc. In the case of horseback riding, perhaps the pretexts used were freedom of movement and the safety factor. Mere deceptions...


Above we have a charming group of German Amazons who gallop swiftly in an aristocratic park. Using skirts and side saddles, they ride with the distinction of true ladies, which does not prevent their gallop from having the rapidity, lack of restraint and lightness of the Valkirias cavalry.

Their whole costume clearly displays all the grace and delicacy of ladies of distinction in a highly civilized nation: Yet the sportive note inseparable from riding is not affected in any way. (We use the word sportive in its good sense although a whole article could be written on its multiple dubious applications.)


Practical reasons, therefore, are not what impose the masculinization of women in riding. Rather, we should see this more as another manifestation of the tendency that in every day more accentuated, which is the leveling, equalizing, homogenizing and confusing of everything.

Sissi sidesaddle

Empress Elizabeth (Sissi) of Austria,
a brilliant horsewoman



Blason de Charlemagne
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Catolicismo, n. 28 - April 1953
Posted September 11, 2018

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