Now, I'm gonna break from regularly scheduled programming today because, well, I just want to write about these today. One is a downer. One is an upper. Let's get the bad shit out of the way.
1 Man, yesterday sucked real bad for a lot of people: shootings and suicide bombings in Paris, a funeral bombing in Baghdad, Earthquakes in Mexico and Japan, and a suicide bombing in Beirut. My thoughts are with all of them, and I hope all the outcry makes for more living and loving and less violence and hate.
2 UFC #193 is tonight headlined with a fight between Bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey against Holly Holm. I very recently wrote a piece defending parts of Rousey's recent off-hand sex advice in Maxim, and one of the reasons I did that was because I have a soft spot for Ronda Rousey. She is a straight-up feminist AND she's straight-up top in her field, in skill and in peer admiration. I think she gets marginalized as a feminist sometimes. She and all the women in fighting sports should probably get more props in the mainstream feminist community than seems to be the case. They are crushing it in a sport that is still so heavily male centric and machismo-filled. They are hard-core, feminist revolutionaries in a field many of the internet feminist voices don't care about, but it doesn't matter because with or without them these fighters are blazing important trails.
Also, I think it's important to note that the UFC itself is part of this trailblazing. In January 2011 UFC President Dana White said there would never be women in the UFC. In November 2012 he signed Ronda Rousey. In 2014, The UFC reality show, The Ultimate Fighter was the first one to feature women and was used to crown the first Women's Strawweight Champion. All those women on there looked and acted as bad-ass and skilled as the men. It was super sweet. Men and women all over the world who had never thought about women actually wanting to do a sport where they got punched in the face, much less excelling in it, got a strong dose of reality. These women are changing minds of people who are strongly immersed in that machismo culture. These women are important to the feminist cause.
Yes, Dana White and the UFC took action for women much later than they could have, and yes they needed too much pushing to get there, but they did it, and they are treating the women in their program with all the respect they deserve. And you know what, they are promoting the fuck out of them too because they are seeing all the good it has done - for the women in their program, the women in their audience, and their bottom line. A recent article has Dana White's:
“This whole women’s power movement that’s going on right now is crazy. Ronda has been the whole thing. Ronda is the one that launched this whole thing. I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for Ronda. She’s the one that convinced me to do it, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made,” said White during Tuesday’s UFC 193 press conference.And of tonights events, he says:
“We’re sitting here in Melbourne, Australia, where the main event and co-main event are women with a possible 70,000-seat arena sellout. It’s never been done in the history of combat sports. It’s awesome. It’s powerful. It’s cool. I’m really glad to be apart of it.”
And now here's the reason I originally decided to write this post. The UFC created this promotion for the fight tonight, and it's pretty bad-ass. For whatever the reason, they are truly promoting their women and taking their fights seriously, and because of this, their fans will too.