Remember the good old days when a woman found a husband by hanging around the village until Mr. Right threw her over his shoulder, and carried her into the night? You are probably shaking your head and saying, “Thank god that barbaric practice no longer exists!” Or does it?
For the past sixteen years, Finland has held the World-Wide Wife Carrying Competition (WWWCC). Last month, 47 couples from 10 countries competed in front of 6500 spectators. Husbands carry their wives for 250 meter race over obstacles, including a water jump. The prize: the winning wife's weight in beer. Men, competition, women's bodies, and beer, need I say more about its popularity?
The Finns acknowledge that the practice is rooted in male dominance and violence (they don’t actually use these words), but the sport has taken on a more self-conscious irony over the years. One of the competition's many rules is that everyone must have fun. Watch this YouTube video and you will hear roars of laughter from spectators and contestants alike. What’s funnier than a man collapsing from the weight of a woman on his back? There is also a rule about the woman's weight. She must be a minimum of 107 lbs. If she is any less, she can carry stones. The lighter the better? Wrong, the lighter the woman, the lighter the beer.