For the powerless, strength is defined by your ability to take it on the chin, to obey, to accept bulling put your nose down and work harder. See: USA women's gymnasts.
For the powerful, strength is defined by your ability to yell, scream, bully, demean and dole out orders. For example, that's why Trump was viewed as a tough guy even through he's quite fragile.
That's why when the powerless (athletes) speak up, it's seen as "weak and whiny". That's why we lament the end of "tough coaching" when really, abusive people are being held accountable.
The mary cain case REALLY touched a nerve...with certain men.
I am fascinated by this. Overwhelmingly the people who are dismissive, minimizing, and willing to cast Mary as a "whiner" are men. The people who are willing to roll their eyes and say things like "she couldn't handle tough coaching!" and "she was fat anyways" are men. Overwhelmingly the people who defend Alberto as simply a tough-guy coach instead of abusive...are men.
Most of the women I know in the sport strongly felt that the Mary Cain story resonated with them. That's why there was a mini "me too" movement in sports. Because women, not Mary Cain alone, but women, felt like they too were picked apart unnecessarily for their weight, and suffered as a result. They wanted a change.
This isn't a case of "girls can't handle tough coaching!" one can argue that what Mary Cain did was VERY tough and showed her strength just as you argue it showed her need to blame.
And in case anyone needs a refresher, here is a list of allegations against Salazar.
--Amy Yoder Begley said Salazar made her sign a document saying she won't be friends with her teammates
--Amy Yoder Begly was criticized, and called names for her weight frequently, especially her a**. Amy Yoder Begley, a grown adult came forward after the Cain allegations to note this happened.
--Mary Cain was given laxatives and birth control pills for which she did not have a prescription for to lose weight.
--Mary Cain was berated in front of an entire track meet for "gaining five pounds" because she had bacon and eggs for her pre-race meal. This isn't how you gain five pounds, btw so not accurate.
--Mary Cain was criticized for her weight even though she was performing well. Despite getting second to Jenny at USA's, she was forced to stay home and from competing because Alberto thought she was too heavy.
--There is 0 evidence that the 114 pound weight goal they set for Mary would be beneficial. Zero. Evidence. How's that for your favorite mad scientist coach?
--Alberto sexually abused an athlete, Larry Nassar style and has been found guilty of that too.