Like just about everyone else on the planet, I’m pretty big into Ronda Rousey right now. I’m actually not big into UFC or MMA or boxing or any of the sports where folks beat each other bloody. But I am always more inclined to care when it is a woman breaking the expected gender mold and doing the beat down. And Rousey is the reigning poster girl for said mold breaking and beat downing. Unquestionably strong. Unprecedentedly fierce. Undeniably unmatched. She has dispatches most opponents in under a minutes. She took out her last opponent, the previously undefeated Bethe Correia, in 34 seconds last weekend.
She is also having a bit of a cultural moment what with appearances in the “The Expendables 3,” “Entourage” movie and “Furious 7.” Granted, none of these movies are pillars of cinematic greatness. In fact they all ride directly down the alley of dudebros who are more used to seeing women as a collection of jiggly body parts. But Rousey is anything but that. She is a singular and sentient entity who will not be even remotely fucked with. She has an Olympic bronze medal in judo and in doing so became the first American woman to medal in the sport. Now her signature move is an armbar where she forces her opponents to submit because a limb is being popped off like a turkey leg at Thanksgiving dinner. The folks at Deadspin and Vox waxed way more eloquent about her unparalleled fighting prowess. But, needless to say, it’s magnificently horrifying to watch.
But, as the Correia fight showed, she can also just knock a sucker out.
There’s also that now famous quote of Rousey’s about how she feels about her body and her purpose:
“That’s why I think it’s hilarious if people say that my body looks masculine or something like that. I’m just like, listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than fucking millionaires doesn’t mean it’s masculine.We could get into the gender politics of her statement, but the bottom line is she is happy with her strength and her abilities and her power she is sure as shit not going to let anyone belittle her for them. And I like that, I like that a lot. Happy weekend, all.
I think it’s femininely badass as fuck because there’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose, because I’m not a Do Nothing Bitch.”
p.s. I haven’t seen “Furious 7,” but she fights with Michelle Rodriguez in the film which could be proof there is a higher power in the universe who loves us and wants us to be happy.
p.p.s. I had not heard Rousey’s comments on trans MMA fighters before, and indeed they are disappointing. But I also think it is important to note that her comments appear to be more than two years old. While that is not terribly long ago, it is fair to say that public perception, understanding and acceptance of trans men and women has improved by greatly over the last two years. So I would be interested to know if she was asked again today what her response would be.