As a woman, I have experienced first-hand what it is like not to be considered as equal. The pay gap and a dominant male population in government are some mainstream examples of how women are not considered as truly equal. The same can be said for wrestling though, since the WWE refuses to put on true intergender matches.
Yes, the WWE has flirted with the intergender match line, especially during the time when Chyna was an active wrestler, but for real intergender matches you must go to the indies; for example, Lucha Underground. Nowadays, the Mixed Tag Team Challenge is as close as we get to mainstream intergender wrestling.
Today, I want to discuss the statement that intergender matches could encourage domestic violence, a statement often made by casual wrestling fans. I do not support that statement. In fact, I think intergender matches could be empowering for women, and here is why!
Women Can Be As Strong As Men
While men may be blessed naturally with a more muscular body, it does not mean that all men can match women in strength or athleticism. It is something that must be addressed in the world of sports if women want to be considered as equal.
Various sports have “special rules” for female competition, which does not make the equality picture any easier to obtain. Most wrestling promotions do the same.
Put aside the everlasting argument of equality, intergender matches could bring so much to the wrestling world. It could mean intergender championships and even intergender tag teams. What is not to like about that.
Of course, much like I am a strong believer in intergender matches, there are some wrestling promoters who get quite a bit of criticism when they put such a match on. That being said, the criticism is likely to come from casual fans opposed to people who are passionate about wrestling. If you do not know what is happening and how wrestling works, then you are bound to make those types of comments.
Respect Each Other in the Ring
Emma Douglas, a well-known wrestler, explained how she dealt with domestic violence at the hands of her father, but still supports intergender wrestling. I collected some of the statements that seemed most applicable to this discussion.
“Domestic violence isn’t just physical, it’s emotional, it’s mental, it’s everything,” – Emma Douglas
More accurate statements were made by intergender wrestling advocate Kelly Salter, a known Australian wrestler.
“There’s not many women for me to wrestle in Australia, which is another reason why I want to wrestle a man,” she says.” – Kelly
“I was very tempted to go under a mask and pretend I was a man, just so I could wrestle someone different.” – Kelly
“Wrestling already can be perceived as too violent as it is, so when I wrestle I try to tell a story of good overcoming evil.” – Kelly
I think Kelly says it best. All her statements make good arguments for intergender wrestling. She has experienced domestic violence in her life, so if someone has the right to speak about this situation, surely it would be her.
The message Kelly tried to convey during her interview was one of respect. As long as competitors respect each other in the ring and are safe, there is not a problem to be fixed.
It Is Time We Stop Viewing Women As Something That Needs to Be Protected
Do I like the fact that I have a lovely hubby that will protect me against danger? Of course I do, but that does not mean I cannot hold my own. In fact, when we thought we were being burgled the other night, we both went downstairs and checked things out. Yes, it may have looked stupid with a pair of rolled up magazines to kick some thief’s behind, but you get the idea.