On March 31, 2015 Slowtwitch published an interview of Beth Gerdes (who recently finished fifth at Ironman Melbourne) by Herbert Krabel. You can read the entire interview here. After asking Gerdes a few questions about her young daughter Wynne, Krabel asked the following question:
ST: Did you two at one point consider not having the baby, or was that a thought that never crossed your mind?
Beth: Seriously? This is a question? Hah. No, we never considered it. I admit I was terrified at first, but Luke was very excited from the get go. We actually found out that I was pregnant two days before Ironman Hawaii 2013. Luke came 2nd that year so I’d say it was some good motivation for him.
Krabel then went on to ask lots of great questions, including about #50WomentoKona, but I can’t get this particular question out of my mind — a triathlon website asked a female athlete whether she considered an abortion?!?!?!?!
First of all (and pardon my language) WHAT THE FUCK? A woman’s choice with a regard to a pregnancy is a completely inappropriate topic for an interview, any interview, let alone a triathlon-related interview (for contrast listen to The Real Starky’s Interview of Sara Gross, Rachel Joyce and Hillary Biscay).
Moreover, asking the question of a woman, and only a women, is beyond sexist (and we wonder why we’re still fighting for equal slots at Kona). Slowtwitch has never asked Jordan Rapp, Craig Alexander, Chris McCormack, Luke McKenzie or hell even Lance Armstrong if they and their / girlfriends / fiancees / female partners ever considered “not having the baby.” Can you image, “So, Jordan you had a really tough year with the accident and I know you were struggling physically and emotionally did you ever consider not having the twins?”
Several people reached out via Twitter to call out Krabel’s question. Here’s his response:
I’m sorry, this was not a “real question for the selfish world we live in,” it was a misogynistic query into an extremely personal subject that should not have been asked. I give Gerdes credit for continuing the interview and providing some fantastic insight into gender issues in the sport, I would have ended the interview right then and there. At the very least Krabel owes Gerdes an apology and owes the reading public a promise never to ask this type of question again.
Updated April 1, 2015 at 1:45 p.m.
Earlier today Krabel removed the question from the Slowtwitch interview. While Krabel included no comment or footnote concerning the removal of the comment, he posted the following tweet: