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Separate But Equal?: The ultimate goal of Feminism in wrestling


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#41 El-P

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:30 PM

 

 

Can't we just watch wrestling, sports, movies or other entertainment apolitically?

 

Everything is political. Plus, it's more fun to think.

 

 

Not everything is political.  In the cases where its not, its imagining rather than thinking.  But whatever works.

 

 

you don't think Hulk Hogan waving the flag of the United States and fighting the evil foreigner heels is political ? You don't think ethnic babyface Bruno Sammartino is political ? You don't think JYD being made a blakc babyface in the traditionnaly racist South is political ? You don't think Korean born Riki Choshu and Akira Maeda representing the rebel forces in 80's New Japan is political (I asked the question before, no one answered) ? There's so much political and social comments we can make out of pro-wrestling. It's actually fascinating.

 

 

In most sports they keep their tops on. Cena walks around semi-naked and has a six-pack. Sasha Banks has BOSS written across her arse.


It's a more body-centric and image-centric medium than many other sports.

 

 

You don't think women like to watch some sports because they like to see athletic good looking young men getting at it ? Tennis is not sexualized at all with all the young women in short skirts ? Every sport is about the body, although some body are more desirable than others, following the current social norms. I wouldn't follow weightlifting if I was a woman. As a heterosexual guy I would follow beach volley if I had nothing else better to do. ;)



#42 El-P

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:31 PM

Blowjob babyface is something that probably should be adressed, but maybe not in this thread.



#43 WingedEagle

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:31 PM

Outside of combines and the draft process, to an extent, bodies aren't going to dictate opportunity in sports other than conclusions that teams may draw about a player's ability to maintain their fitness and skill level over time, which is an absolutely valid concern. 



#44 MoS

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:33 PM

Feminism is a lot more nuanced than saying women ahould be treated equally to men, although that is its basic premise. Hell, even Donald Trump would agree on the former, a few seconds before he mocks a female reporter for being ugly.

#45 Grimmas

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:34 PM

Feminism is a lot more nuanced than saying women ahould be treated equally to men, although that is its basic premise. Hell, even Donald Trump would agree on the former, a few seconds before he mocks a female reporter for being ugly.

No it's not. That's the basis and premise and sadly that's not even met.

 

Yes Trump would say that and then disprove he actually believes it by mocking a female reporter. He clearly treats women different than men.



#46 Luchaundead

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:36 PM

Blowjob babyface is something that probably should be adressed, but maybe not in this thread.

That is kind of what I was touching on with the stuff about rats so really I'd love to talk about that as well



#47 Luchaundead

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:37 PM

 

Feminism is a lot more nuanced than saying women ahould be treated equally to men, although that is its basic premise. Hell, even Donald Trump would agree on the former, a few seconds before he mocks a female reporter for being ugly.

No it's not. That's the basis and premise and sadly that's not even met.

 

Yes Trump would say that and then disprove he actually believes it by mocking a female reporter. He clearly treats women different than men.

 

The term has been co-opt by conservatives and used to mean radicalized militant misandry 



#48 WingedEagle

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:48 PM

 

 

 

Can't we just watch wrestling, sports, movies or other entertainment apolitically?

 

Everything is political. Plus, it's more fun to think.

 

 

Not everything is political.  In the cases where its not, its imagining rather than thinking.  But whatever works.

 

 

you don't think Hulk Hogan waving the flag of the United States and fighting the evil foreigner heels is political ? You don't think ethnic babyface Bruno Sammartino is political ? You don't think JYD being made a blakc babyface in the traditionnaly racist South is political ? You don't think Korean born Riki Choshu and Akira Maeda representing the rebel forces in 80's New Japan is political (I asked the question before, no one answered) ? There's so much political and social comments we can make out of pro-wrestling. It's actually fascinating.

 


 

 

I said not everything is political.  This means certain things can be political.  But just because something in wrestling was political doesn't mean everything is political.  What's more, whether anything is really political depends on how broadly you define it.  I don't think the examples you bring up are "political" in the sense that they're designed to make any kind of statement or exert any influence -- at least socially or politically.  These are economic decisions made to generate sales and bump the box office that can be connected to the local or national political climate at those times.  If promoters can capitalize on certain hot topics of the moment outside of the wrestling bubble, they'll do it.  If not, they'll ignore it. 



#49 MoS

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:49 PM

I can only speak for myself, but when I became a wrestling fan, while I believed firmly that women and men should be treated equally, I was too young/immature to understand many cases in which they were not treated equally. The disproportionate way in which the bodies and sexual appeal of female wrestlers was focused on compared to the male ones did not then strike me as being unfair. Every divas match would have the commentators, particularly Lawler, drool over them in a way that was very creepy.

I think I am actually agreeing with what Steven and others are saying, but am expressing myself terribly, so I guess I won't debate this any further; at least not until I can compose my thoughts. Posting through your mobile is a nightmare, and I have no idea how you people do it.

#50 goodhelmet

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:28 PM

 

I'd argue the only truly feminist way of promoting wrestling would be to have the women compete with men in serious matches. Feminists want to have more women doing all these things that have been traditionally tied to men like leadership roles and what have you, so it just seems like a logical progression of that to get rid of the sex gap entirely in sports.

 

I don't think I buy that.

 

This is a simulated fight. I don't think anybody is pushing for intergender fights in UFC.

 

 

This is a pretend fight that I believe is art. Why can't women fight men the same way Nancy and Frank Sinatra sing a duet? 



#51 WingedEagle

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:30 PM

 

 

I'd argue the only truly feminist way of promoting wrestling would be to have the women compete with men in serious matches. Feminists want to have more women doing all these things that have been traditionally tied to men like leadership roles and what have you, so it just seems like a logical progression of that to get rid of the sex gap entirely in sports.

 

I don't think I buy that.

 

This is a simulated fight. I don't think anybody is pushing for intergender fights in UFC.

 

 

This is a pretend fight that I believe is art. Why can't women fight men the same way Nancy and Frank Sinatra sing a duet? 

 

 

If they can get you to suspend your disbelief they absolutely should be able to.  If they can't present it in a fashion you take it at all seriously its time to move on to something you'll buy.



#52 Grimmas

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:31 PM

 

 

I'd argue the only truly feminist way of promoting wrestling would be to have the women compete with men in serious matches. Feminists want to have more women doing all these things that have been traditionally tied to men like leadership roles and what have you, so it just seems like a logical progression of that to get rid of the sex gap entirely in sports.

 

I don't think I buy that.

 

This is a simulated fight. I don't think anybody is pushing for intergender fights in UFC.

 

 

This is a pretend fight that I believe is art. Why can't women fight men the same way Nancy and Frank Sinatra sing a duet? 

 

Really depends on the presentation. No issues with it in Lucha Underground. A lot of others times I see it it's exploitative and tries to appeal on men on women violence. 



#53 Loss

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:38 PM

That's my big issue. I wouldn't have a problem with it in a world without domestic violence.



#54 WingedEagle

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:39 PM

 

 

 

I'd argue the only truly feminist way of promoting wrestling would be to have the women compete with men in serious matches. Feminists want to have more women doing all these things that have been traditionally tied to men like leadership roles and what have you, so it just seems like a logical progression of that to get rid of the sex gap entirely in sports.

 

I don't think I buy that.

 

This is a simulated fight. I don't think anybody is pushing for intergender fights in UFC.

 

 

This is a pretend fight that I believe is art. Why can't women fight men the same way Nancy and Frank Sinatra sing a duet? 

 

Really depends on the presentation. No issues with it in Lucha Underground. A lot of others times I see it it's exploitative and tries to appeal on men on women violence. 

 

 

I think the reason you don't see a whole lot of intergender violence in movies, wrestling or other ventures (where the protagonist doesn't end up receiving quite the comeuppance) is because people don't find it entertaining and won't spend their time or money on it.  If they did, you'd see it in spades.



#55 Matt D

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:39 PM

 

 

I'd argue the only truly feminist way of promoting wrestling would be to have the women compete with men in serious matches. Feminists want to have more women doing all these things that have been traditionally tied to men like leadership roles and what have you, so it just seems like a logical progression of that to get rid of the sex gap entirely in sports.

 

I don't think I buy that.

 

This is a simulated fight. I don't think anybody is pushing for intergender fights in UFC.

 

 

This is a pretend fight that I believe is art. Why can't women fight men the same way Nancy and Frank Sinatra sing a duet? 

 

Wrestling is ultimately about "presentation over time." The fans need to be conditioned in a certain way to accept what they are seeing as plausible within the confines of the environment created. In this a lack of "reality" isn't a dealbreaker, but I think "reality" makes it easier for fans to accept things. That's just a starting point though. It's about consistency in conditioning (which is really about announcing, selling, and wins and losses).



#56 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:42 PM

I'd have given anything to see Savage drop the elbow on Sapphire. Anything.



#57 funkdoc

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:47 PM

yea Stacey, you'd dig Lucha Underground i think.  it's outright presented as a fantasy world where magic superpowers are a thing, so that's made it a lot easier for your typical fan to buy into the intergender stuff.  even then, though, there was a huge backlash against Sexy Star winning the title IIRC.

 

once again i'm busy all day and can't really contribute here, so i won't rush out a half-assed post this time.  just one thing: i strongly feel that men should not call themselves feminists, because it's not our struggle and we can never fully understand it.  that's some co-opting on our part imo



#58 El-P

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 02:14 PM

yea Stacey, you'd dig Lucha Underground i think.  it's outright presented as a fantasy world where magic superpowers are a thing, so that's made it a lot easier for your typical fan to buy into the intergender stuff.  even then, though, there was a huge backlash against Sexy Star winning the title IIRC.

 

SPOILER MOFO !!!

 

(ok, I'm not actually mad, but still, spoilers are welcome. Plus, Sexy Star is just not a very good worker. Ivelisse winning it would be awesome though !)

 

And yeah, LU is pretty much a live action comic and presented as such, they do the best work possible with intergender matches.



#59 Migs

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 02:25 PM

Lots to chew on. Trying to work through some thoughts here, so this is a bit of a mess, but here goes:

 

I do think feminism in wrestling will always struggle a bit in a world where the primary fanbase is overwhelmingly straight males. But I don't think it's about misogyny; I think it's about the importance of aesthetics in the way we respond to wrestlers. And I think because of it, we won't see a proper feminist perspective in wrestling until the crowd is more gender balanced than it currently is.

 

Think about the first wrestlers you liked as a kid - what did you like about them? When I consider this, it always comes back to their aesthetic. Mid-80s era Randy Savage was my favorite wrestler in part because of his aesthetic - the colors, the robes, the sunglasses... the whole package. And it was about that combined with how he wrestled too, of course. The energy, the athleticism - Savage's aesthetic worked for me, and it's why I can watch even a bad Savage match and get joy out of it. (For reference, I also was/am a huge fan of the Rockers, the Hart Foundation, the Midnight Express - I clearly liked a specific aesthetic in my wrestlers).

 

I think when straight males watch female wrestling, it's hard to unwrap the attraction to aesthetics from something at least partially sexual. If I really enjoy a female wrestler - I think I'm generally attracted to her (in the way that I'm attracted to any woman who dresses well and has an awesome character, I guess). This isn't that different from the way we view male wrestlers, but it does manifest itself differently. 

 

This is not to say that men will only cheer for or watch female wrestling featuring women they find sexually attractive, or that men are incapable of enjoying female wrestling for its value outside of that. I think a good portion of the crowd, at this point, views women in such a way that we're beyond the "We want puppies" era, and that's an awesome move forward. Crowds are engaging with the female wrestlers as whole people, defined not just by their looks, to a greater extent.

 

But it does mean that if wrestling maintains it's straight male perspective on the world, women are always going to be off to the side slightly. If a good portion of the crowd is going to sexualize them in a way that they do not do with their male counterparts, it will fundamentally keep them off to the side, as a different part of the show from male wrestlers. 

 

Now, maybe we're seeing a sea change, and the way WWE is making strides in presenting women means more lifelong female fans, a balance in the crowds, and that will push the "crowd" perspective into something that's more equal and feminist as a whole.



#60 El-P

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 02:36 PM

This is not to say that men will only cheer for or watch female wrestling featuring women they find sexually attractive, or that men are incapable of enjoying female wrestling for its value outside of that. 

 

About this, I must say I was totally offended by someone who said during the GWE process that basically people voting for joshi workers did it because of creepy reasons. Well, yes, part of Takako Inoue or Cuty Suzuki's appeal and character was sex-appeal. It actually played into the way they worked too (either vulnerable babyfaces or heelish bitch). But I don't think Aja Kong (the highest woman in the Top 100 BTW), Bull Nakano, Dynamite Kansai, Shinobu Kandori or Kyoko Inoue get points for being hotties.

 

Now, pro-wrestling is about selling a procuct. And sex sells. It's nothing new. And we're getting back to the "blowjob" babyface in US territorial wrestling and the fact they drew tons of female fans. What's the difference between Stan Lane and Trish Stratus ? Apart from the fact Lane fucked a thousand of his fans while Stratus probably didn't, I'm speaking strictly in term of promotional tactics. (and really, if Stratus had fuck a thousand male fans, I'd have no issue with that either, to be perfectly clear)






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