The Pros and Cons

Being a female athlete in primarily male dominated sport isn't and hasn't been an easy task. Just yesterday I heard that the president of the International Olympic Committee announced that Women's Boxing will be included in the 2012 summer Olympics. Even though women have been involved in boxing since 1905, it has taken 104 years for women boxers to gain recognition on a worldwide level.

In this day and age women athletes are still battling the prejudiced opinions that women don't have a place in sports (especially in "violent" sports i.e. boxing and MMA). Some say female athletes are not taken seriously and are objectified. However nothing is more insulting then the outright mockery made of a sport as displayed in videos like this:

Although I find the overall stupidity of this video especially amusing, it is the comments that I find most interesting. Of course the majority of the comments were along these lines: "wow it's too hot watching this girls in a "catfight" awesome". But one of my favorites was "Yes, this is a sad joke. Good looking girls that clearly don't wanna learn the move. Let’s make it legit and at least have them train in a gi and on proper matts". The most offensive part of this video in my opinion isn't the fact that these women were on the beach in bikinis; it's the poor demonstration that Daniel Puder gives of an arm bar from the guard.

Although women athletes are challenged in gaining respect among men and women, there are some advantages. One of the advantages to being a female athlete is that most marketing is targeted to those that are more inclined to pay attention to and or purchase a product that has a spokeswoman. And there are fewer women athletes than men, which creates more opportunities for women athletes to obtain sponsorships and product endorsement.

Everyone has or has had to fight some sort of stereotype. But strength can be found in overcoming these barriers. Respect is something that is earned and it starts by having respect for yourself.

On a side note: I hope that Brazilian jiu jitsu becomes an Olympic event with in my lifetime. That would be AWESOME!


  1. Definitely agree with you on the treatment of female athletes. Meg has a great post up on the topic here.

    However, I'm not convinced that the Olympics would be a good thing for BJJ. I would hate to see the rules warped and twisted in the same way as happened to judo.

    Personally, I'd prefer to see FILA's grappling event as an Olympic sport. That way, BJJ would merely be one of a number of styles which could compete, with far less risk of watering down BJJ's own rules. Olympic grappling could be an opportunity not only for BJJers, but also competitors from judo, MMA, wrestling and SAMBO as well.


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