Spent the evening at the fights, and this got me wondering. How do you feel about women in sanctioned sports where their bodies are subjected to physical force? Personally, I see it as no different as men's contact sports, as physical injuries are all part of it. Though, some may have a different opinion.
Mixed Martial Arts is certainly a much different sport than boxing, and I feel as long as the Athletics Commissions sanction everything there should be no issues.
I do fun boxing and semi serious MMA I also do weights (hence the huge operation this year) and am now getting back into that after time off repairing. One of the kick boxing champs walks her dog on the field outside my house and we often chat about the sport. She is retiring soon but wants a last match in Thailand.
I am a girly-girl but also like the physical power in these sports. It is also great if someone tries to attack me again. I have lost that fear :)
Like most everything else in life, I think it's all good.
That being said...as a fan, I think women's MMA and kickboxing are much more enjoyable to watch than women's boxing. Women just don't punch like men. It's just the way we're built different. I'd rather see women compete in a combat sport with tools they can use more effectively than punching alone.
If this is considered a spectator sport in some quarters it is a sad reflection on the way society is heading. Useful for keeping fit and for self defence I agree but not as a form of entertainment that any man with the slightest respect for the gentle sex would want to watch.
Some women like the rough and tumble sports. Personally, I would use Martial arts for self-defense, although Mr. Smith and Wesson I understand is very effective.
There is a rising number of women as well as men, applying for Concealed Weapon licenses.
But back to the original question: I think it is the times we live in as the lines between gender-roles becomes more blurred. When I was in school there were not as many girls sports besides track and tennis.....now there is soccer, basketball, baseball and in some areas girls are wanting to be allowed to play on all-male football teams. There are also all-girl's rodeos.......Look at the Olympics, women compete in virtually all the sports, and as in the case of equestrian sports they are allowed to compete with men.
Women are evolving into the less vulnerable, out of choice or out of life-circumstances.
I'm always a little edgy about society dictating what is "appropriate" or "lady-like". I worked my way up to a brown belt in judo back in the day. It was only one aspect of my life -- I still enjoyed dressing up, wearing heels, cooking, etc. It turns out that life doesn't cut a person any breaks because of their gender. The skills, both mental and physical, that I learned then have served me well since. I'm glad I had the opportunity to test myself in a very physical and competitive environment.
Times HAVE changed and women are getting more an more opportunities with their athletic abilities. I do not think professional football (for example) is ready for a women's league, and this is probably due to the physical nature of the sport. Time will tell, though.
I'd rather see women kicking a ball around than kicking each other about. I think men have an inbuilt desire to protect women from harm, so I find the idea of enjoying watching them trying to harm each other bizarre. Come to that, I don't enjoy watching men trying to inflict brain damage on each other in a boxing ring, either.
Keeping fit and learning self-defence is quite different.
Jeffery, I'm not surprised in the least by the fact that this "sport" is growing in the States, and probably here as well, merely saddened by it.
Lately like millions of others I watched with great pleasure the Olympics and and the amazing performances put up by women, especially British women ( I am as partisan as the next man) and am in awe of the dedication and hard work that is required to achieve this however so called combat sports between women as a SPECTACLE I find rather seedy, and like Paul have never really been happy about watching men boxing.
During training in my time in the Forces we all had to take our turn in the Ring and that's fine and although I admire any man who chooses boxing as a profession he takes a terrible risk to his long term health for every punch he takes day in, day out. It's in our nature as men to fight but somehow I just can't accept that women have that unhappy tendency to anything like the same degree.
Anyway I've always thought that a woman has more of an inbuilt ability to hurt with a few well chosen words rather than a punch on the nose!
I've never been big in to boxing either, but if you look at it from a science/nature perspective, inherently, we are very aggressive creatures. Come between a mother and her young and see how well that works out for you.
Mike/Paul - Ah, you're old school gents. I think that it's sweet in today's world. :-)
I don't get it, be it male or female fighting, as I consider a fight life threatening I will try to be the only one that walks away, if I can walk away before the fight I will. To me a fight is not a show of strength but a total breakdown in communications and then I consider it life threatening, As suck I am not into pretend fights, Your the only one left standing or your dead.
I'm a big fan of combat sports, there is great honor from my perspective if challenging your self through combat, there is a lot one can learn about themselves through contests like these.
as for girls participation, I approve! in fact I rather enjoy watching female MMA contests, not for the sexuality but the difference in ferocity that they seem to bring to a contest, quite entertaining and quite commendable competitors to say the least.
Way back in 1974 I was stationed in New Port, RI the US Navy Officer's candidate School. Impromptu sports were a part of our training experience. As a former football player I relished the ball field. One of our officer in training companions was a young woman from my native state of Iowa. She was busy on the track filed whomping on any and all comers. The men were incredulous that she was so athletic. I pointed out to them that the state of Iowa encouraged their young women to participate in track, softball, and basketball. At the time Iowa had many of the top female basketball players in the country. Most of these "old Boy" officer candidates were from south of the Mason-Dixon and just looked at me like I had lost my marbles. But none challenged the "girl" to a race.
It is a fitting tribute to how far we have come that we forget about how little our women were encouraged and allowed to participate in our society. Not merely the brutishness of contact sports or combat but as serious news people, CEOs, actress being something other than a bimbo, and politics.
Anyone who thinks we should "go back" should read a bit about how women and working class people were treated around the world just prior to WWI. Thank goodness today we find that thought shocking.
I'm all for women learning how to defend themselves. But these folks that want to turn fighting into a hobby or profession, well, just like a football player, a boxer, etc, if they choose to do it, they get what comes with it. Don't think if Mohammed Ali had a choice, he'd want get Parkinson's, but would he have done things different, not sure.
Here in England we are no strangers to women participating in our society as illustrated by our past when the greatest leaps in our history happened to coincide with a female monarch on the throne namely the first Elizabethan and the Victorian ages. Both these women held great power but in their wisdom left the fighting to the men who by their nature are more suited to that role. Perhaps it is time for a female President in the Land of the Free to polish the rough edge of American society a little and in the tradition of the old school treat a female like a lady first and for men to strive to be their equals.
I fail to see that the spectacle of two women engaged in a combat sport is progress by any criteria, in fact I would go so far to say it is a backward step for women in general, undignified and demeaning if it is viewed as a spectator sport. As good exercise for keeping fit it has its place in the privacy of the gym but no more than that.
It all smacks a little of bear-baiting, cock fighting and the bullring to me in that it panders to the baser instincts of male voyeurism and I still cannot understand why any man with any respect for women would want to watch such contests.
From a practical standpoint I think martial arts should be taught to all girls as part of their gym curriculum. I believe Hawaii does this or has in the past. It is an excellent means of self protection that doesn't rely on just brute upper body strength. I can't say I enjoy viewing it for sort (males and females) but for girls in particular it should be encouraged.
Beth I totally disagree. Fighting should be beautiful in its movements if you hope to win, but fighting for any other reason then to protect your own life is abusive, if not to yourself then the other person. I do not see it as a sport regardless that many do. Learning to fight is good as its to protect yourself but fighting is not a sport, its what one does in war and if you loose your dead, nothing beautiful about it, nether is the mind set to engage in a fight as clearly there is something wrong with the individual that seeks to improve his own standing by kicking the crap out of another regardless how elegantly he moves. No, Words are not more dangerous, a civilized person uses words to avoid a fight. Do you wish to change the saying sticks and stones will break my bones... etc Or are you suggesting that verbal punishment is worse, if that is so perhaps you should consider the possible harm the rules are doing to its members. Being so aware as you seem to be how dangerous and harmful words can be perhaps one needs to be very reluctant to use them or the powers some have thats attached to them. Yes there is such a thing as verbal abuse. But call me what you like, I think fighting physically is the last resort, though it depends on ones brain capacity just on how quickly a physical fight develops.
It is good everyone has a different view or life would be boring. I do totally disagree with you Mario but, that is all good and to be expected and, as someone who deals with the written abuse regularly, and who has seen the results of written abuse to people who have killed themselves because of it, I stand by my saying that words can be more dangerous.
As for women fighting, I fight and am also very feminine but that is my choice and in no way would I expect you to agree :)
Mike - So, we're allowed to do it as exercise, but not allowed to practice it in the ring? And if we're doing it for self-defense, how do we know we have it correct? I disagree with the comparrison to bear-baiting, cock fighting and the bullring. The animals do not *choose* to engage in those fights. Human beings have the ability to choose. I despise all three of those things and dog fighting. Culturally speaking a number of asian cultures developed martial arts and their styles and women have been very much involved with it for a long time, longer than women in boxing. They also compete. Are you saying because it offends some male's sensibilities they should not be allowed to compete?
Here are two women who are very much women that would seriously disagree:
FYI - I'm not a huge fan of boxing, but what people choose to do to themselves is their business. I've been a fan of martial arts most of my life. I admire the women who compete and do as well as the men.
Rosanne, Jeffrey asked for our thoughts on this subject and I stated mine. I have never said that they shouldn't be allowed to compete merely stated what I think of the competitions as a spectator sport. I am no shrinking violet who has led a sheltered life by any means but I do find the gladiatorial nature of these contests distasteful but would defend the right of women to take part in them if they so wished.
The worst aspect is the crowd that thinks it is entertaining to watch people try to injure each other. It's really disgusting watching them howling with excitement as two people seek to cause each other brain injury (which is the highest achievement in boxing, they call it a KO).
Roseann, I'm not sure how you consider women fighting each other as being "competing and doing as well as men". Anyone can fight - well or badly - and if women could do as well as men at fighting I guess they would be in the same ring fighting each other for world championship crowns.
@ Paul and Rosann,
As an former martial artist, in my opinion I can say you both have some truth in what you are saying. Lets strip it down a little. If you have (theoretical) one male and one female, with the same size, weight, and skills. the man would most likely win because of his muscle wolume and his natural testoserone. There are also other natural body chemicals that will effect the result of the fight e.g adrenalin. Wich can benifit anyone in a fight or situation.
So..... in real life, regardless of gender it works like this; Technic and speed beats big muscles and strength in most of the times. But if you have all of it, speed, technis, strength and power you have the best oppertunitys to win a fight.
A male can normaly get more strength and physical benefits than a woman so he will always have the best chances. So if a woman fights a man about the same size, she needs more speed and technic to take him out. And the same goes for a man with less strengt / size than a woman.
For that reason, In proffesional fighting (any style), you seperate woman and men and also have weight classes.
Out on the street you can not say that; "hey! you are not in my weight class or we do not have the same genders" that can be a problem for anyone if you not have the right skills.
Yngve - Thank you for the clarification. RE: the reference to out on the street. Exactly. And that's where I watched a woman wipe the floor with a man. There was no referee, no bell, no whistle. He started it, she finished it.
We always knew you had a bad temper Roseann!! Man Beater!! I expect u videoed ur victory to you tube... ok whats the link? LOL ok yeh i am joshing :-))
apparently.... a female soldier has just given birth on the front line in Helmund, Afghanistan.... she didnt realise she was pregnant! Doctors have been rushed to assist the female gunner who was 5 weeks premature.... Dedication. And totally crazy. what next. ... i should not have said that...
Yngve - and let's just say some of the other males who heard what that guy was saying, afterward felt the need to apologize on behalf of males because he was actually that crude. He got what he deserved.