I hate boxing. I mean I really, really detest it. I wish that it did not exist.* Unlike conservatives, however, I do not generally demand that my own preferences, beliefs and judgments about activities taking place between fully consenting adults in a free society be prohibited under penalty of law, just to suit me. This is because — again, unlike conservatives — I sincerely try not to be an asshole (although I am the first to admit that I am not always successful in this endeavor). So instead of being an asshole and blathering about banning the sport of boxing, I just decline to watch it on TV. I don’t follow it on the web. I don’t read about it in newspapers or magazines, nor do I discuss it with my friends. I don’t even rail against it on my blog. I simply avoid anything that has to do with boxing as much as possible. Nevertheless, this is a post about boxing, for reasons which will become clear in a moment.
Today the Palace received an urgent missive from Change.org, which reads in part:
Women’s boxing will make its debut at this year’s Olympic Games in London — a huge victory for female boxers who have fought for years to be taken seriously. But now it seems their participation will come with an outrageous catch: female boxers might be required to wear miniskirts in the ring.
The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) is reportedly considering the new dress code because it thinks skirts will make the female athletes look “elegant” and help “distinguish” them from their male counterparts.
Oh my fucking dog.** Why doesn’t AIBA require them to wear thongs and box topless at the Olympics? It would be a boon the ratings for sure, but more importantly it would help distinguish women boxers from their male counterparts. And of course no one would ever have any interest in women’s athletics if participating females do not serve their primary function first: looking elegant. This is why I am petitioning the Olympic Committee to insist that they deny women the use of traditional sports equipment — like ski poles, lacrosse sticks or tennis rackets — in favor of festive feather boas. I think we can all agree any woman athlete would look elegant gliding down the slopes or taking to the field with a colorful flow of feathers wafting in her wake.
Elizabeth Plank, an amateur boxer based in London, is petitioning the AIBA to abandon the miniskirt regulation…
Elizabeth says, “The idea that female boxers should be made to wear skirts reduces these skilled athletes to sex objects. It undermines the respect they have long fought for.” Worse, competing in unfamiliar clothing could even negatively impact the boxers’ performances.
And Elizabeth isn’t the only boxer speaking out against the proposed dress code. When asked about the policy, three-time world champion Katie Taylor says, “I don’t even wear miniskirts on a night out, so I definitely won’t be wearing miniskirts in the ring.”
Fortunately, the AIBA will be considering public opinion and feedback from the boxing world before making its final decision next week. That means if enough people sign Elizabeth’s petition, you can force the AIBA to abandon the proposed dress code for good.
I do realize there are much more life-impacting issues in the world. But that does not mean we shouldn’t fight misogyny when we have an opportunity. So if you are so inclined, please sign the petition. Ladyboxers will thank you. And in any event, you probably do not want to be on their bad side.
*I find boxing personally triggering. And I deplore physical violence in all its forms. Boxing is an activity that would be considered a violent felony in almost any other circumstances, and it’s not exactly a giant leap from from the horrors of the Roman Colosseum to a championship fight at Madison Square Garden. Nevertheless, I stand in awe at the sheer athleticism of the sport and the fierce competitive spirit that fighters exhibit. More importantly, I wholeheartedly support consenting adults doing what they love, even if I don’t personally approve of it. (Imagine that.) Thus this post. YMMV.
**I do not have a dog. And if I did have a dog, it is hard to imagine myself using the the expression “Oh my fucking” before referring to it. But since I don’t have any gods either (and neither do you of course), I figured my imaginary dog should work just as well as any other imaginary friend in this particular figure of speech. Again, YMMV.