Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sexism, Strikeforce and the UFC

Fighting is a guy sport... which is also what they said about track and field, until women began to dominate marathons, half marathons and even mid distance divisions. I remember reading something before about a general who said that women shouldn't enter the military nor do sports because they bleed every month, something that makes women weak. It was a disgusting statement. Something inside me wanted to rebel, to prove the general wrong. That women can be just as good as men.

And then I stopped myself mid-thought. Why must women be as good as men? Just to point out the obvious, women are not men. Our bodies are different. We don't have the testosterone levels needed to bulk up and match the physical strength of males. No, but why does this mean we are inferior? It's like saying an apple is inferior to an orange. But is it? Maybe in some respects. An apple may have more fiber, but an orange has more calcium.

Men may have more muscle, but women have better oxygen and H20 economy.

I think this is why I was so disgusted when I read this article about the UFC finally allowing women to compete. Dana White (UFC President) was against this for a long time because there is a "dearth of quality women." I've idolized fighters like Blade (Christine Toledo) for a long time, and here's someone who says we lack quality female fighters.

But I think I understand. Indeed, I believe we do lack "quality" because the quality White is looking for is "Male" quality. Typical macho society ideal, a woman will only be good enough if she is like a man. Dana White on Strikeforce fighter Ronda Rousey:
"She's nasty. She's a real fighter...She's a dude in a girl's body."
Rousey is the reason why women can finally compete in the UFC. But I'm not sure if this is something to rejoice about, if this is a sign of "progress." I believe from here on, women will be expected to "fight like a man" to maintain the interest of audiences. Oh, but I forgot to mention that aside from having to fight like a man, a woman has to be pretty, too. The fighters who get famous, like Gina Carano, are appreciated because they're not only tough, but pretty, too. Without the pretty factor, a woman's athletic worth declines even if she takes first place.

It is in sports that the game of male superiority and female inferiority is played out most clearly. We have to face the fact that the pretty-and-athletic woman is still considered a "delicacy." People swarm to watch the likes of Maria Sharapova, because prettiness and a hot bod greatly augment athletic achievement. But women are still out of place in sports. While men only need to bother beating another guy in sports, in the end, women still have to prove that they can beat their female AND male counterparts in order to be accepted as a "quality" athlete.
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