Double Standard MMA Fans?
Have we as MMA fans truly forgotten the origins of our wonderful sport? It wasn't so long ago that we were all banding together to insist that state officials reconsider their stance on this 'bloodsport.' What is it exactly that is so different between MMA and WMMA that leads to one being widely accepted and encouraged, and the other to being frowned upon and shunned from the mainstream? This blog post attempts to take an objective look at the issue and hopefully bring some much needed clarification on the matter.
MMA has a long standing history in the world, being recognized as a sport as far back as the thirty-third Olympiad. That means that two men entering an arena and using every aspect of their strength in an attempt to subdue their opponent and leave the arena as the victor has been accepted as normal and good entertainment since 648 BC. That's over two and a half millenniums. Was it this deep rooted history which sparked a revolution of sorts in America? Perhaps.
Another point to consider as contributing to the acceptance of MMA in modern society, is that it is simply a combination of many already legal sports. BJJ tournaments are quite common, Boxing has a huge presence around the world, Kickboxing is potentially devastating, yet is still legal. What makes each of the sports listed here and even the ones not listed accepted as an individual sport, yet so controversial when they are combined? It could perhaps be said that a pure boxer, or BJJ practitioner for example are safer because they are focusing on only one aspect of combat, whereas an MMA fighter who has to train in all aspects is more vulnerable to injury. This is not an answer that I agree with, just a pitch that I stumbled upon while researching.
Further to the point of controversy, why is it so much more controversial when the two athletes in the arena are women instead of men? In a society which now places an increased emphasis on equality between the sexes, it boggles my mind how this facet of society gets overlooked so frequently.
Just the same as MMA has a deep rooted history as a long standing sport, women have the unfortunate distinction of having a long standing history as domestic beings, gentle and caring with no place in an arena trying to incapacitate their opponent.
It is most likely this reason which sees WMMA as a gimmick to be hidden from the mainstream, and I for one look forward to the day that this misconception of an entire demographic can be cleared up. The UFC putting on WMMA fights, and all female organizations like Invicta FC are a great start, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
The double standard runs rampant among many MMA fans, they are fully supportive of two men who dedicate their lives to the art of fighting, yet look on with disgust as two women attempt to ply the very same craft that they have dedicated themselves to.
If you'd like to read more from Cowgirl, then her MMAF blog can be found here