Place two grown men in a cage. Now set a timer. Finally, have them commit assault and battery on one another until one of three things happens: time runs out, one man cries uncle, or one man loses all cognitive functionality and collapses in a bloody, crumpled heap. Sounds like something that could raise a little controversy, doesn’t it? Now swap out those men with a pair of women.
The UFC has done exactly this. The largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world is debuting its first female matches in UFC 157: Rousey vs Carmouche on Saturday night. And while the company has met its fair share of criticism in the past (Senator Mccaine once compared MMA to human cockfighting), the introduction of women into their iconic octagonal ring has kicked up an entirely new kind of stink. A gender roles kind of stink.
Boys play with action figures. Girls play with dolls. Boys play cops and robbers. Girls play house. Gender roles are so engrained in our culture many don’t even realize that they exist. And more importantly, they don’t realize the absurdity of their existence. Remind me again: who is it who decided guys wear ties and girls wear dresses?
So it follows that some would be more incensed by female MMA than its more common male counterpart. Women don’t fight. Men fight to protect women. It’s so deeply embedded in our collective psyche that extirpation will likely be a long time in coming. So I say let the ladies fight if that’s what they want to do. Maybe Rousey and Carmouche can remind America that Baby doesn’t always need Swayze. Sometimes Baby is perfectly well-equipped to armbar and superman punch her way out of the corner all by herself.