I look into the eyes of my beautiful Daughter and my heart fills with happiness because I know the world is hers in any way she sees fit. I see my amazingly strong Mother (who retired from the Army after 20+ years of service) and I think she can become the President of 'Merica because of her iron will and no quit attitude. I see my Sisters and I've never had to beat the crap out of guys for looking at them because as beautiful as they are, they were just as vicious and could handle themselves. My matriarch is my Grandmother and the most amazing person I will ever know. I'm saying all of this because I love and respect women so much I have them on a different pedastal than any creature on Earth. With that being said, I enjoy Women's MMA....to an extent. I am writing this based off of watching the sport personally, and from the views of my Sister and my Mother.
There was a viral video of a wonderful young lady around the age of 9 working focus mitts for the sport of Muay Thai. Her skill and dedication had me in awe and I couldn't help but share the video for others to appreciate the talent of the young lady. Along with her training video, there was a video link to the young lady in competition. I watched the video, and it had a great match-up between two young ladies competing in a Muay Thai match....but it was very difficult to take in. Their skills and passion for the sport were unparalleled, however all I could think of was my young daughter. I've dreamed of working the mitts with her, having her train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and ultimately competing to test her skill-set. After watching that video and discussing it with other parents, I definitely had second thoughts, one of the main concerns was whether or not I could see my Daughter getting brutalized. This is where things gets tricky.
What if I had a son? Would it be easier or less concerning to watch him get beaten up in a combat sport? I truly do not mean to offend anyone with this response and the reasoning, but yes. Yes it would be easier to watch my (hypothetical) son enter a combat sport and compete. This is not to say that because he is a male that he has a higher tolerance for pain. This is not to say that he will be a better athlete, competitor and have a higher drive to improve himself. This is not to say that because he is a male that he has more passion for sports and has an unexplainable urge to excel at it. This is not to say that females are not capable of any of those scenarios. No I am not a sexist or think that females are the weaker sex in any means, but I feel that most men would not like to see women in any capacity where harm can come their way. I was nervous talking about this subject, until I talked to my Mother and Sister about the matter.
My Mother would slap me upside the head if I for a moment felt that women were below men. I have never had that view point, and never will. But I remember as a young one she shocked me when she openly complained about women being in an infantry unit in the military. Hell, I thought the film GI Jane was cool and felt that if women wanted to join the front lines, let them help us anyway that they could. She had a differing opinion that would surprise most, and I hope will help make some sense in response to a false claim that "all men feel women can not do what a man can do". Not all of us feel that way ladies. However, I remember the main point my Mother was making in her case about women in the infantry, was that for the most part men, genitically, have an automatic response ingrained in them to protect a woman from harm. Now I'm not a doctor and barely read up about her theory, but it made sense to me. On film or in real life, if I saw an altercation where a woman was involved, I felt the need to assist in putting a stop to it. It was not me being a sexist, but it was being raised (by a woman Army Officer) that as a male, I should not want to see a woman harmed. Unfortunately now that has put me in quite the paradox.
On one hand, yes I love watching women compete on the highest of stages and being able to display to the world their craft after all of the years of practice and perseverance in the world of MMA. Yet on the other hand, it is a conflict within myself, and more than likely most other males, to watch the opposite sex get pummeled in the way that males do at the hands of MMA. Julie Kedzie vs Meisha Tate had me on my feet and I had not been more excited in years for such a fantastic fight. And still at the end of the fight, I did not want to see such beautiful creatures (and yes I mean all women) harmed in such a fashion. I felt so awful and awkward for feeling compassion. It was okay for anyone to want to console a male fighter after a horrific loss or not want to see any unnecessary punishment. Was it okay for me to feel the same thing towards women fighters, or would it be considered condescending? For me to want to convey those sentiments towards female fighters meant I was probably going to get an earful for not treating them equally and seeing them as the weaker sex, or flat out babying them. I respect them for what they are training for and what they have inside that drives them to step into that cage.
I respect women's athletics to the utmost. I was so impressed in high school to see how competitive the ladies were before their meetings in their respective sports. I saw the same spark in their eye that I had in mine before any sort of competition. Yet here I stand uncomfortably as a result of being raised to want to protect women from harm's way. I absolutely hope WMMA excels and 100 percent believe that it will, but I can not say that it still does not have me uneasy. Does that make me a misogynistic pig? Does it mean that I am a sexist? I truly hope my peers, especially my female peers, do not believe the context of those questions hold any truth in regards to my feelings on WMMA.