Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cat Fighting Legitimized: The Sex Appeal of Women's MMA

When I decided to get involved in MMA, I knew that a large part of the public appeal is sexual. This is a chance for men to see honest-to-goodness, legitimate cat fights.

Like their male counterparts, MMA women wear very little when they fight, usually just a pair of shorts with a sports bra or a slinky rash guard on top. Either way, very little is left to the imagination. As a result, the men who watch women's MMA more often than not enjoy the sexually suggestive aspect of two scantily clad women throwing down as much as they like the technical excellence (if not more).

I expected as much when I first decided to get involved in this sport. What I didn't expect was how in my face it would be. After I posted my first submission fight on YouTube, I noticed that someone had subscribed to find out when I added new videos. I decided to click on this fellow's profile to see what kind of videos he himself had posted. I immediately found nearly a dozen videos of women doing "submission fighting" in bikinis. I call it submission fighting, but in most the videos the women clearly had been prompted to use more sexually suggestive positions.

I sighed and shook my head.

I know I can't change the fact that men are going to have their sexual fantasies related to MMA fighting but I do wish that women wouldn't be so willing to take the fantasy to this level. It encourages men to see women's MMA purely as a sexual show and ignore the fact that these women train their asses off every bit as much as the men to be best they can be.

The people in the crowd watching MMA matches should be doing so in anticipation of a knock-out or a great submission, not sitting there hoping that in wrestling and pawing at each other the women might somehow kiss, as Seinfeld once said.


Stefanie said...

Ew - gross on the YouTube situation. Unfortunately you can see women doing the sexual version of pretty much everything online. I find that men sexualizing women in this way makes it more difficult for women to do a wide-variety of things. I had a similar problem with a man staring at my chest for 1/2 of a client presentation that I was making the other week (this was quite a bit of chest watching considering I was there for about two hours!) That stuff happens a lot less in industries where there are more women (not in administrative roles of course)... so I have a feeling more exposure to women doing things=less sexualization.

So - in the end - yeah - the pervs of the world make it more difficult for us, but as we increase in numbers the perviness around things starts to decrease.

Anonymous said...

Make love, not war!

Lori O'Connell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori O'Connell said...

Good point Stef. I was considering taking the video off Youtube but then thought better. Youtube helps me get exposure for my blog and either way the phenomenon will still exist. I just have to accept the sad fact that this sort of thing will happen and with the shiny rainbow of hope that it will lessen as more women get involved in MMA. said...

I wish there were more female MMA fighters.. enough to have a few competitive UFC divisions.

I'll admit, watching two women fight is hot. That being said, I've often been amazed at the technical ability of some of the female fighters I've seen, especially on the grappling side of things.

For me, it's less about two half naked girls wrapped up around each other and more about seeing a couple of women who share a passion for the same thing I do.

Watching a woman flow flawlessly from a perfect throw to an armbar is enough for me to develop a little crush on her. ;)

Lori O'Connell said...

Fair enough. I'd sooner guys think of it in those terms than the less savory alternative.