Friday, August 07, 2015

My Weekend Crush

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.

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.”
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.

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.


Anonymous said...

but what about her transphobic comments?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking this was the lady that has said she wouldn't compete against the trans lady fighter. Seems a bit rude to me

Carmen SanDiego said...

Rousey is amazing.

Nici75 said...

Re: the anti-trans comments-- her opinion stems from her would-be transgendered opponent having a natural though unfair advantage. Technically, that's true: i.e., she used to be a he, and her muscle attachment base is bigger. Even while taking every hormone meant to facilitate transition, even after surgical castration, trans women can and do build much bigger muscles than cis women.

HOWEVER, Rousey has a helluva nerve because she's plainly as juiced-up as fuck. Or in less gym-centric lingo, she's definitely done steroids.

In other words, hypocritical MMA champ is hypocritical. Whether she's out'n'out transphobic... Yeah, it sure seems that way to me, but my bet is that the spin will remain mired in the bio-technical details.

Anonymous said...

There was a reddit session she did a few days ago where she was asked: You recently said that Fallon Fox should not be fighting women in MMA matches. Why do you disagree with the Association of Boxing Commissions policy regarding the licensing of transgender athletes?

Answer: I think that transgender athletes should be approved on a case-by-case basis and have a doctor judge whether there is a physical advantage or not. Because there is a big difference between gender reassignment pre and post puberty, at least based on the research I have done.

It's a long session: