So, why I bring this up is because I'm trying to do more with weights/toning in general because I'm not very strong and as I learned a few months ago, 1lb of muscle burns much more resting than fat--50 calories vs 2. And second, I'm interested in how gender and anxieties about performing gender can get in the way of health. Yes, during the 80's especially, weight lifting women were typed as she-men, Eastern Block, and ugly--and that probably had to do with tons of steroids involved in the sport at the time. Like with many sports, weight lifting has had to clean up its act--see, Baseball. Steroids are bad for your health, so there's no question there. But, muscle is not--muscle is good for your health and muscle accounts for why men get to eat more food than women, even when said man/woman is of equal height. It is just that the male gender is statistically more likely to gain muscle, more easily due to a variety of biological pre-dispositions, but women also need and should work on their muscle development.
We all have human bodies that benefit from muscle, regardless of gender. Yet, women are soooo damn worried about "looking masculine," many are willing to forgo the benefits of a regular toning regime because of a phantom, illusionary fear of becoming a member of the East German Weight Lifting team.
So listen up ladies--TONE YOUR MUSCLES and stop freaking out about how being female equals being dainty and weak. Strength is good.