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"Sea Level is For Sissies" slogan is offensive and Bolder Boulder should drop it, petition says

sea.level.is.for.sissies.graphic.jpg
A graphic used on Out Boulder's Change.org petition.
For years, the Bolder Boulder, which takes place this year on May 26, has used the slogan "Sea Level is For Sissies." There's even a separate tab for "Sea Level Is for Sissies" merchandise on the race's website.

But now, Out Boulder, one of the community's most prominent LGBTQ advocacy organizations, has launched a petition asking race organizers to drop the slogan under the argument that it's demeaning and offensive.

The effort was inspired by an April 21 letter to the Boulder Daily Camera by Debbie Ramirez, who wrote after receiving an e-mail pitch from Bolder Boulder to purchase "Sea Level is for Sissies" gear.

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A look at one of the "Sea Level is For Sissies" shirts for sale on the Bolder Boulder website.
Here's an excerpt from her missive:
People say "you're a sissy" to put them down. The word is used to put down traits that are problematically and stereotypically associated with women. Traits that all genders have but are not valued because they are associated with women.

I am a women who runs, rock climbs and performs well athletically. I also have the traits associated with someone who is called a sissy. I cry, I get hurt and I express my emotions. If this is what a sissy is, I am proud to be a sissy and would never wear a T-shirt that does not value these traits in all genders.

Out Boulder executive director Mardi Moore quotes Ramirez's words in the summary of a just-launched Change.org petition. She adds, "It's past due that the Bolder Boulder retire this slogan. Make your voice heard and sign this petition today!"

The petition encourages signers to send Bolder Boulder a letter simply stating, "Stop using the slogan 'Sea Level is for Sissies'!"

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Out Boulder's Mardi Moore, in a Facebook photo.
At this writing, just over sixty people have signed the petition. Here's a sampling of the comments they've made:
The word "sissy" insults women and gay people, just as "kike" insults Jews and "wetback" insults Mexico. Time to move into the 21st century: say good-bye to Sissie.

Language matters! Boulder of all places should be leading the way, not stuck in the past.

I have always felt that was a demeaning slogan and I am glad someone has taken a stand. I have run in 20+ Bolder Boulders and you will never see me again if you don't stop using that slogan.

Apparently, this last writer will be sitting out the 2014 edition of the race -- at least judging by comments from Bolder Boulder race director Cliff Bosley in a Daily Camera interview. He cites a discussion three years ago with a previous Out Boulder director in which the two sides "came to an understanding" that the slogan wasn't intended to put anyone down.

Bosley states categorically that the slogan will not be retired.

To access the petition, click here.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Sports archive circa May 2010: "Bolder Boulder: Baby-wearing moms and dads to walk six miles with Junior strapped on."


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190 comments
vanderleun
vanderleun

Mandy Moore remains an insane old b itch gone in the teeth.

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

This is entirely stupid and folks need to get a life.Ya bunch of sissies

Erin McLaughlin
Erin McLaughlin

'Sea level is for sissies' could be offensive for people who are ill and can't physically tolerate high altitude, I could see how someone in that situation would be offended because their 'being a sissy' isn't up to them. That being said, people that are that ill aren't bothered by crap like this because we've got a billion other things on our mind day to day.

Joseph Michael Orth
Joseph Michael Orth

It shows Colorado pride you fucking pussies. Move out if state if you don't like it

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Petitions are for Pussies!



Heather Bendele
Heather Bendele

I think it's funny. It's not dissing out-of-staters, it's poking a little fun at those who can't keep up with the competition. I am not a runner and I say keep it.

Augustus Sundry
Augustus Sundry

holy fuck, people are getting soft.haven't these bitches ever heard the old "sticks and stones" adage?

David Jiles
David Jiles

John Wayne whatever ..good stay out of boulder your money is not needed..I hear Portland is nice..

David Jiles
David Jiles

I like it ! Altitude = better attitude !

Kurt Eherenman
Kurt Eherenman

Another case of a tight knot tied into several pairs of panties.

James Stewart
James Stewart

If you're from Boulder you're likely already a "sissy."

John Wayne Claybaugh
John Wayne Claybaugh

But Boulder needs to start being humane to its houseless citizens. So long as existing in public space is not an acceptable behavior, I will spend no money in Boulder.

John Wayne Claybaugh
John Wayne Claybaugh

Sissy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissy is a pejorative term for a boy or man who violates or does not meet the standard male gender role.

MoonShadow DesignsofDenver
MoonShadow DesignsofDenver

Seriously? If they're offended by that slogan, they ARE sissies. Buck up. Running at altitude IS tougher than running at sea level but if the slogan offends, by all means do not enter the race. Sissy.

Thomas W Stevens
Thomas W Stevens

It's just bad marketing really. Like that's the best the empire of Boulder can come up with? It's lame.

Ron Cobble
Ron Cobble

This is ridiculous - has no implication whatsoever about the gay community - it is all about altitude.

Julie Cool
Julie Cool

Wow! This sissy stuff sounds like the start of the pussification of America if you ask me. It is just a shirt. (Sissy is also a name.) I'm not a sissy, I have served my country. LOL

Cara Moore
Cara Moore

Wow, Boulder. Great marketing. Is that seriously your motto?! Ugh.

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

Fuck it's only offensive if your not a native! Lol CO love!

Marcus Jimenez
Marcus Jimenez

Its perfect. Cause we all know sea level is for sissies. Jerick Saenz Eddie Jaime Alexandria Echo Mathew Jimenez Michael Jimenez

Liz Evans Pierce
Liz Evans Pierce

I have 3 of those shirts and wear them proudly! I am a woman and NOT a sissy!

Luke Gledhill
Luke Gledhill

God everybody is being bred to be over-sensitive little twits. Stop belly aching over dumb shit and start getting pissed at stuff that matters!

David Brown
David Brown

They seem to have failed to grasp the meaning of freedom. In true freedom you must tolerate a great deal of things that offend and make you uncomfortable so that you may do or say things that offend or make others uncomfortable.

Kim Mcdaniel
Kim Mcdaniel

Do we live in China? Did I make a wrong turn in my sleep? Last I knew I lived in The United States where we have freedoms...this is embarrassing is what it is! So YES it is way too far!

Debbie Reed Pullen Foss
Debbie Reed Pullen Foss

Good grief. Nothing wrong with it at all - if you are that sensitive you should check yourself. Just sayin'

Kendra Bell
Kendra Bell

Sissy has no direct connection to being gay. I have a gay child, whom I wholeheartedly support and love and NEVER would I teach my child to associate the word sissy to their sexual orientation! They're going overboard with political correctness on this one. People need to stop being petty and focus on the bigger picture. This nitpicking is annoying and takes away from the real issues we're facing right now! If you're offended by this word you need some serious counseling to overcome being a SISSY! Colorado is know for open minded people, but we're TOUGH and pride ourselves on pushing the limits. If you don't like it you've probably picked the wrong state to reside in!

Joshua Richardson
Joshua Richardson

Brian Campbell, I just spent two hours hiking some advanced trails. Yeah, I am a sissy for now. Flat sea level hiking isn't anything compared to this mountain stuff.

Dianna Barber
Dianna Barber

What is politically correct about this slogan at all? That was really stupid to even state that about the slogan. It reaks of bigotry. I hate the term btw. It is ridiculous. I am from sea level and think it is funny. To each his own. Even if they are stupid or silly. The slogan is all in jest anyhow. If anyone is offended get some thick skin. We have a lot of thick skinned people in the south. The statement is not true at all but funny. If someone in the south at sea level did this about Boulder though, half the population would be offended and up in arms. I dare these people to go run a marathon in a 110 degrees with 100% humidity and see how THEY come out. Southerners at sea level do this all the time. So they should go down there and eat their own words first. In the meantime I am just laughing about it all. Good grief people focus on real issues and stop taking everything so damn seriously here. Except for the stupid PC crap. It airs of pretentiousness.

Bobby Acsell
Bobby Acsell

People need to stop getting so butt hurt. The world is a harsh nasty place. Have a wamburger and an order of French cries you pussies.

Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell

I am 1/16th sherpa, and I find your comment offensive.

Ellen Kathleen Champion
Ellen Kathleen Champion

Yes political correctness is going too far on this one. Quit taking yourself so seriously, relax and have a laugh once in a while.

Karl Chwe
Karl Chwe

Can somebody call Sissy Spacek?

Jim Lagan
Jim Lagan

Political Correctness is for Sisses

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... this is the same hypersensitive City that CRIMINALIZES certain words / phrases.



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