Demeaning women

turnbucklezine:

Anyone else feel like even during a decent women’s match, the announcers manage to demean the whole thing with a-bit-more-than-latent sexist commentary?

“aw, lookit her, she’s pretty spunky!  She’s like a little pocket rocket/bottle rocket…” etc… I get the impression that when someone the size of, say, an Evan Bourne or Bryan Danielson get in the ring they don’t come up with pet adjectives to use.

I’m not one to usually call people out on this sort of thing, but, to me, it really continues to underscore the fact that, basically, Vince McMahon probably does not give a fuck about women and the company overall probably holds it’s female athletes in lower regard than high school cheerleaders.

Two good points here: the cute nicknames the announcers give the women not only underscore what might be a serious contest (or at least a contest between two serious people. There is a difference), but also that hearing these names over and over gives the impression that the company as a whole is downplaying women. It’s certainly a fair thing to vocalize. 

I don’t think Vince McMahon doesn’t care about women. I just think WWE doesn’t really know what to do with a great female wrestler. Even if you give them similar stories as the men (title chases, personal vendettas, etc) it doesn’t really work, because women are different than men. I think this frustrates WWE creative, who I think would love to do more things with the female roster, but literally don’t know how. This is why female wrestling is really great for a few months every few years, but never great consistently. They get a good idea every now and then. 

The best female wrestling angles are ones that simply can’t be reproduced with men. Take, for instance, the excellent months-long story between Trish Stratus and Mickie James in 2005-2006. You couldn’t have done that with men. You also couldn’t do Gail Kim VS Awesome Kong with men. The secret of a great female wrestling match/angle/story is thus: find a pairing that gives the audience something to think about, give them a story that is wholly unique to their situation and character, and let it build logically. That may be the same template a lot of male wrestling stories use, but it’s important not to use the same particular ingredients. 

As for the cutesy nicknames and the “smart, powerful, sexy” tagline, well, that’s what WWE thinks women wrestlers represent to the WWE audience. I don’t think it’s the WWE being sexist so much as the WWE acknowledging the base sexism of their audience and, unfortunately, attempting to capitalize.

Actually…

From Mikey llorin:

Actually, the Lebelle Lock and the Crippler Crossface are two different maneuvers entirely. The arm-scissor used for the Crossface is just a regular arm-scissor which is used solely to trap the arm, while the arm-scissor used for the Lebelle Lock has the inner scissor-leg over the victim’s arm and shoulder, which actually makes it an inverted arm-scissor similar to an omaplata, adding pressure to the shoulder along with the crossface neck crank.

One can argue that since the Lebelle Lock is actually an omaplata/crossface combination, it’s more similar to a twisted version of Undertaker’s gogoplata Hell’s Gate submission than a regular crossface.

I don’t know that they are two different maneuvers entirely, but fair enough. So it’s not just Daniels acts while applying the move, it’s how he’s doing the move itself that’s differentiating the idea away from Benoit. 

Fake Vince McMahon

After I wrote all the essays for International Object (coming soon!), I took several months off from wrestling and paid almost no attention to the art form from the end of 2008 to nearly halfway through 2009. International Object is as serious as wrestling-related writing gets. It’s not without a joke or two, but it really is mostly serious essays about the artistic side of professional wrestling.

In that time, I wrote a novel and ramped up my small press. Writing-wise, I was very busy. So after I finished the first draft of the novel, I found myself missing pro wrestling a little. I watched some episodes, caught up on what I missed. The summer of 2009 was a good one for WWE. The transition to PG was finally over, and I began to wonder what Vince McMahon thought about all of it. His TV time was getting smaller and smaller. His wife was about to leave the company, as was his son. I thought that even though the business seemed to be growing in an interesting new direction, his personal life may not be at its best, and, perhaps most importantly, the WWE machine might not need him anymore.

Somehow, that turned into a tragicomedy piece where I wrote under the Fake Vince name. Most posts were (at least attempted) humor-based, but every now and then I peppered the blog with pretty sad declarations of Vince’s (likely entirely fictional) personal life. Turns out, I was also pretty good at predicting PPVs.

I wrote Fake Vince for a year. In that year, I took a couple of breaks, but for the most part there was a new post almost every day. That’s a long time for a joke. The best posts were put together in a book that’s still available, and still a pretty good read.

I never kept my identity that much of an airtight secret. Anyone who cared to find out who wrote the blog could find me without much trouble. But this is the first time I’m outright admitting that it’s me to the public.

A couple of weeks ago I put the Fake Vince blog on hiatus. I’m not done with it, and I’m sure once I’ve taken some time away from making jokes I’ll be back with new ones. Probably after the International Object book comes out.

International Object Podcast Episode 1: Miranda King

International Object Podcast Episode 1: Miranda King