This won’t be one of my usual blogs. I feel the need to weigh in on a touchy subject here. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Mixed Martial arts. I love to see a good, technical fight. I’ve also been a big supporter of women’s MMA. In 2013, WMMA has burst onto the scene in a big way with fighters like Ronda Rousey
leading the way as first female Ultimate Fighter coaches.
So this past week or so, we’ve had this assjacket manager named Brett Atchley who was accused by several female fighters of being sexually inappropriate with them, and family members. He attempted to bully them, intimidate them to signing with him and a bunch of other horrible things. It was so bad, that he has been banned from any future Invicta events. For those of you not familiar, Invicta is the number one, women’s only MMA promotion.
I had a run in with this guy on Twitter months ago, and he was a douchebag then. I didn’t say anything out of respect to the fighters he worked for. Now it looks as if he might be done, and that is a good thing.
On the heels of that incident another came to light. This was a writer for the Examiner named Eric Holden. Eric is notorious for writing articles about WMMA fighters and highlighting their looks and sexuality. His articles usually include “Top 10 Sexiest Female Fighters” or “10 Hottest WMMA bodies” or whatever. As if that wasn’t offensive enough for most folks, after the Atchley thing came out, it also came out that months before Eric had sent a series of inappropriate texts to a couple female fighters who also happen to be a lesbian couple. Now he says it was mutual flirting, they said it was uncomfortable. I told Eric that if he wants to be looked at as a journalist, he should remain above the fray and not form personal relationships with the people he covers, including flirting.
So a lot of folks who already didn’t like him, now totally hate him. I have to say, I never cared much for his sexy lists. And that brings us to the point of this blog. In one way or another, men, or people in general have always objectified women. You have some women who choose to use their looks and sex appeal to market themselves, and those who choose not to.
Ronda Rousey gets a lot of attention for her looks. She does photo shoots and commercials cashing in on it, but she has even said “If it wasn’t for my fighting abilities, no one would care who I was”. Which is true, so her looks and skills compliment each other.
If a woman wants to use her looks, that is her right. Depending on how she goes about it, she may attract a certain unsavory element. I’m not excusing it or saying it’s ok, but that it would be good to be prepared and have the block button on standby.
Then you have porn. We all know about porn, though I’m sure none of you have actually seen one. I mean, I’ve heard a little about them, but that is about it..er..ahem.
Moving along. Tonight on twitter I saw something interesting. I saw a fellow who was a big advocate against Eric exploiting and sexually harassing women, I saw him retweeting a tweet by a girl who is a “fetish wrestler” she was posting about some upcoming content on her site.
I looked at her site for a moment (and no, I won’t post it here, nor will I bore you with endless screenshots) and basically her page is naked girl wrestling videos.
Now, I’m not against someone doing what they want for a living. This is America, and I am no one to judge another’s way of life. But I was confused that this guy would retweet and support this, when he was so against exploitation before?
So I asked him how this supported WMMA. His reply that it’s wrestling and he supports all women’s fighting of any kind. Ok, fair enough. But weren’t we just talking about WMMA deserving respect for their fighting skills and technique, not looks or being objectified as sex objects?
Another guy agreed with me. However one female fighter who was pretty vocal about the previous sexual bad stuff incidents, declined to weigh in on this topic. Another lady did say she feels it takes away WMMA’s validation and respect.
So what I think I saw here was some hypocrisy in action. Do we agree its ok for women to be objectified or not? If it is ok, when is it ok. Is it ok if they objectify themselves? If a girl does a porn and a guy sends her a sexual message is that bad? Or was the previous outrage against the other two guys just a lot of posturing and band wagon jumping?
I would like to see some discussion on this. Is it ok or do we agree with things like naked porn wrestling, or lingerie MMA fights or things like that? Or does it just make it that much harder for the real WMMA fighters to earn respect?
I will state for the record my own position, I think such things degrade WMMA and set the sport and the athletes back. People who are new to the sport will see those things and not differentiate the two. Heck, with Men’s MMA, I still have people telling me they are nothing but a bunch of toothless ex-cons re-living life on the cell block while lying on top of each other. So I can only imagine what people will think of two girls fighting in a cage when they see this stuff.
What are your thoughts? Please discuss.