Ronda Rousey And The Harmful Debate About Attractive Female Athletes
Over the last couple of years it seems that athlete violence has risen to an all-time high. From Chad Ochocinco to Floyd Mayweather to Ray Rice to Aaron Hernandez, there is one example after another of not just athletes but superstars committing violent and sometimes deadly crimes. Just today, Tennessee Titans' wide receiver Justin Hunter was arrested for his involvement in a bar fight earlier this month, with the charges reportedly including "malicious intent, stabbing, cutting, wounding." This is just a few weeks after video surfaced of now-dismissed Florida State quarterback De'Andre Johnson brutally punching a woman in the face at a bar.
Yet it's not Hunter or Johnson who are the punchline to jokes about domestic violence. It's a 5'7", 135 lb. woman that seems to have everyone afraid of a beat down these days.
Mixed marital arts star Ronda Rousey has been on the rise for a few years now, but her fame has skyrocketed over the past year as her dominance in the ring has helped propel her into the broader world of pop culture. In just the last year Rousey has starred in action films like the Expendables 3 and Furious 7 and has signed a major deal with Reebok. Of course it's not just her physical prowess that has the film roles and endorsement deals piling up; she's also very attractive.
Rousey recently delivered the line of the night at the ESPYs with a crack at notorious woman-beater and all around bad human, the aforementioned Mayweather. Of course instead of focusing the ensuing discussion around the fact that the highest paid athlete in America is a violent psychopath, the hottest topic of fight-related conversation has been whether or not Rousey is scary or sexy; or both.
She's certainly not the first female athlete to have her looks scrutinized - for better or for worse -and she will not be the last. Still, the most popular conversation regarding Rousey's physical appearance is whether or not her attractiveness outweighs the fact that she is physically capable of beating someone up. National Championship-winning quarterback Cardale Jones of Ohio State recently joined that conversation by tweeting at Rousey during the ESPYs last Wednesday night.
Jones also followed up those tweets with another one today that pictured Rousey as his #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday), claiming that he could not wait until Wednesday to post it. He is essentially just a college kid with a crush so it's hard to tell if this specific example is as anything more than an attention grab. Unfortunately, this sentiment is becoming standard fare for discussion surrounding Rousey. Here are just a few examples that literally took about three seconds to accumulate.
There are so many things wrong with this conversation that it's hard to figure out where to start. First of all guys, if women based every relationship on their ability to physically dominate a significant other then they'd be single more often than not. Women are almost always at the physical mercy of men, but that doesn't mean that it's the first thing they discuss every time they start dating someone. News flash: if you have to think about whether or not you could win in a physical altercation with the person you are dating, you should immediately stop dating that person. That goes for whether you are a man or a woman.
Along those lines is an even more obvious issue which is the fact that people seem to correlate the fact that they are scared of her as actually being part of her sex appeal. The only reason someone would even say that is because they aren't actually scared of her. When someone is truly afraid for their safety, it's not sexy. More often than not, these people are probably scared of her in the same way that lame chick in Fifty Shades of Grey was "scared" of the handsome billionaire. That's not fear; that's a fetish.
Also, why is anyone scared of her in the first place? Unless you are a bantamweight female MMA fighter, I can almost guarantee that you won't find yourself on the wrong side of one of her signature arm bars. What she does as a fighter is her job. Just because she's good at it doesn't mean she practices on her friends and family for fun. Plus it seems it's not just her job that pretend frightens you, it's the fact that she's muscular and strong. Most people will remember that before Rousey came along, it was Serena Williams who bore the brunt of this conversation.
It's such an uninspired go-to joke that it could easily be ignored if it weren't contributing so pervasively toward the negative sexual attitudes regarding athletically-built females and the collective assumption of female subservience in general. The level to which this constant rhetoric has harmed and delayed the progress of female athletes is underrated at best and dangerous at worst. It may seem like harmless internet jabber, but the ideas that these tweets and conversations perpetuate are very real.
And while Rousey, Williams, the USWNT and countless other female athletes remain the butt of these kinds of jokes, the NFL and other American male sports are churning out one violent criminal after another; men who continue to beat and violate others on a regular basis. Men who we should actually be afraid of.
If it's finally time to start talking about being afraid of millionaire athletes, then bravo. Maybe the best place to start is with the those who are already hurting innocent people.
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.