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slideyfoot
4/27/2005 5:12am,
It may be that, as I’ve been told many times before, I’m overly PC. However, I feel that the predominance of scantily clad ‘ring girls’ at MMA (or indeed muay thai, kickboxing etc) events is detrimental to the sport. Firstly, IMO it immediately vulgarises the event. Rather than catering to serious fans who are looking to appreciate the skill of the athletes in the ring, parading women like slabs of meat to the leers of a whooping audience seems to engage more with ‘Page 3’ culture. Secondly, this also means that to an outsider with no interest in MMA, it associates what is striving to become a reputable sport with adult entertainment – not that there is anything especially wrong with legitimate adult entertainment, but it nevertheless trivialises the sport aspect, which should be paramount. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, it creates a false distinction between men (there to fight) and women (there to be drooled over), which IMO bodes ill for female MMA.

What do other people think? Just some harmless entertainment that provides a bit of glitz and glamour, or a slap in the face to serious fans and female fighters?

Referring on the point I was making about the concept of ‘ring girls’ trivialising and objectifying female fighters, I found this interesting, if not entirely related, article ( http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9074/9074.ch01.html) on female boxers:


…The contrast between the fighters and the ring girls further complicated the crowd's responses. In the last twenty years there has been a significant increase in the number of female noncombatants one might see at the fights—seconds, judges, referees, ring physicians, lawyers. But until the upsurge in women's boxing in the 1990s, the only women one could count on seeing in the ring during a fight were the ring girls, who, uniformed in swimwear and high heels, climb through the ropes between rounds with a signature bend-and-wriggle motion and sashay around the inside perimeter of the ropes with a card indicating the number of the next round. The traditional division of labor in pugilistic spectacle has men fighting while ring girls do a different kind of public body work more closely related to sex work than to manual labor. The ring girls at the Golden Gloves in Bethlehem had the long legs, prominent breasts, and glossy hair expected of them, they had obviously spent time working out in the gym to tone their bodies, and they had more flesh on display than did the female fighters (since the fighters wore shorts and sleeveless T-shirts), but compared with the fighters, they looked unsavory, even sickly. Kump, bigger and darker than McGonigal, was strong and well built, with a tattoo of Superman's S insignia high on one shoulder blade. McGonigal was compact and graceful, in fine fighting trim, with a smart, sharp-featured face and a thick blond braid swinging down her back in rhythmic counterpoint to the movements of her boxing style. On her shoulder blade she wore a tattoo of the Tasmanian Devil, the perpetual-motion cartoon character who rips insatiably through trees and everything else in his path. Stalking and planting to throw punches, the fighters made the ring girls' shapely calves and buttocks, tensed by high heels, seem like side effects of some unhealthy hobbling practice akin to foot binding.

Some of the more demonstrative men in the crowd had hooted and called out perceptive remarks the first few times the ring girls made their rounds, but after a while the novelty began to wear off for all but the most dedicated poltroons. The women's bout, though, touched off a more general surge of wolfish behaviors that felt like an extension of the ring girls' reception. Something about potent, capable women in the ring caused even men who had been silent before to throw off their reserve and howl not just for female flesh but for women's blood (at least the kind that emerges north of the waistline). Evidently, it was stirring to see these women fight, and it was important to see at least one of them hurt. In the second round, when McGonigal was nailing Kump with solid punches and the referee was getting ready to step between them to wave off the fight, it sounded as if a hotly contested high school basketball game and a giant stag party were being held at the same time in the old gym...

Traditional Tom
4/27/2005 6:10am,
Now let's look at the counter-point.
Hot girls.

Any reason to see half-naked girls walking around is a good reason in my book.

You really want to give this up?!

Shadowdh
4/27/2005 6:47am,
Tom wins by a KO...

Tom for Pres...

(dammit gotta stop drooling over my keyboard...)

alex
4/27/2005 7:24am,
sorry but I gotta go with Os. the drooling fans are going to be there whether ring girls are or not, and the psuedo intellectual cockshots who think thuggery is beneath them are probably man fuckers of the highest order anyway.

besides if i am in a ring trying not to get the **** beaten out of me I can AT LEAST have something nice to look at in the intermissions.

Wounded Ronin
4/27/2005 10:39am,
Ring girls are something of a tradition, as Os pointed out.

As much as I or a lot of other bullshido forum members might appreciate a chess-like technical appreciation for a fight rather than a bloodlust thing I don't think that's what most people who were in the audience for the first UFC were there for.

Aesopian
4/27/2005 10:42am,
The only time ring girls are bad for the sport is when they are ugly.

lechuza
4/27/2005 10:44am,
It may be that, as I’ve been told many times before, I’m overly PC...

By PC, do you mean Puritanically Correct? Hah ha--just kiddin'. You're alright. God bless you.

I don't see how anyone can appreciate MMA events or be a fan of MMA from a PC Ivory Tower perspective, unless they're coming from some anthropological point of view. There also lies the dubiously "PC" choice of placing greater ethical valuation on ultra violent activies over girly-girls on parade.

I can see how someone at an MMA event couldn't care less about suckin' and fuckin' stacked nubiles, but I just don't want to hear that sad story.

Feryk
4/27/2005 10:52am,
Slideyfoot, you are overly PC.

If you are getting rid of ring girls, you better get rid of Cheerleaders and bikini contests as well.

And if you do that, :angry5:

Wounded Ronin
4/27/2005 11:00am,
I....didn't realize that anyone pays attention to cheerleaders or bikini contests. I really, really didn't. I always figured that cheerleaders were a completely unimportant part of the football game, where the focus of the game was the athleticism and skill of the players as well as the overall strategy employed by each team.

Alchemist
4/27/2005 11:01am,
Ring girls are first of all completely unnecessary. Anyone who goes to the match to see a fight won't care about the ring girls.

Do you have ring girls in a female boxing/mma match?

Do you have ring boys? You know, for women and gay people. It would seem to fit in with the whole mma thing

Wounded Ronin
4/27/2005 11:02am,
Ha, that would rock. Have one ring girl, and have one effeminate skinny man in a loincloth. :laughing6

Shadowdh
4/27/2005 11:04am,
I....didn't realize that anyone pays attention to cheerleaders or bikini contests. I really, really didn't. I always figured that cheerleaders were a completely unimportant part of the football game, where the focus of the game was the athleticism and skill of the players as well as the overall strategy employed by each team.


Sorry the what now... was to busy looking at the cheerleaders IN bikinis and not listening... :biggrin:

Fantasy Warrior
4/27/2005 11:06am,
Slidey has a point.

But more importantly why are all ring girls plastic boobed overly made up bimbos with fake smiles? Why not exotic cuties with intoxicating eyes, all the right wiggles and an IQ of over 125 not allowed to do it?????? Travasty.

lechuza
4/27/2005 11:09am,
I....didn't realize that anyone pays attention to cheerleaders or bikini contests. I really, really didn't. I always figured that cheerleaders were a completely unimportant part of the football game, where the focus of the game was the athleticism and skill of the players as well as the overall strategy employed by each team.

Yeh. It's not like the ring girls are all over you trying to get you to buy a lap dance. They can be ignored by way of stoic mental hygiene or you can just cover your eyes.

lechuza
4/27/2005 1:01pm,
Perhaps ring girls at MMA events are a bit too hetero-normative. Let's neuter and sterilize everyone so that bothersome gender issues will no longer impede pure ass-kickinology. :jerk:

Akurra
4/27/2005 1:34pm,
"Why not exotic cuties with intoxicating eyes, all the right wiggles and an IQ of over 125 not allowed to do it?????? Travasty."

Because they can get real jobs.