Thursday, March 31, 2005

Let's Ban Boxing!

Well, Thursday is my blog day, but since I'm posting from school, this will be brief. I also have band practice tonight and a mid-term Monday, so I doubt there will be any more posts today.

So what's got my thong in a wad this week? The Bitch Magazine blog--appropriately named (S)HITLIST-- has an entry about Parade Magazine's support of a ban on women's boxing. Take a look at this response to a reader's question.
Q. Doesn’t Hilary Swank’s depiction of a boxer in Million Dollar Baby promote the defeminization of women?
—Mia Spengler, New York, N.Y.

A. Yes—but that’s not the main reason we’re against women’s boxing. In our opinion, no matter how hard women train, their bodies are not made to withstand the brutal punishment meted out in the ring, and they are more susceptible to irreversible injuries than men. We disagree with USA Boxing’s decision to lift its ban on women in the sport in 1993.
A ban? Are they serious? In the land of the free?

In the United States, we "allow" women to do many things that may harm their bodies: get boob jobs, wear high heels, smoke cigarettes, eat Oreos, and have babies. Those are choices that women make. Why should boxing be any different? Do we really need to be protected from making our own decisions?

Furthermore, why do only women need protection? Parade claims that women are more susceptible to irreversible injuries. However, they provide no evidence to support such a claim. And even if it were true, it would only be true for women in general--which has nothing to do with individual women. I guess Parade thinks women should be protected, but the men in our society are disposable. Hey, way to slap both genders in the face, Parade!

I'd also like to add that female boxing injuries are not exactly an epidemic in our society. Obesity, however, is. It wouldn't hurt to encourage people to participate a little more in sports or other physical activities. And that includes women!

Yeah, I've blogged about Million Dollar Baby before. Perhaps I shouldn't dwell, but it sure seems like society is having a hard getting over what women do on their own time. Dear Haters: why is it your concern what *other people* do? Butt out!

Comments:
You know, it's always amazing to me when people get hurt doing something that they wanted to do, the calls for banning that activity immediately come forth, like cockroaches when you leave your dinner out and turn off the lights. Since when is it the government's job to prevent people from doing dangerous, but legal things? Then the assertion that women can't handle the injuries associated with boxing, isn't that the old saw that women are fragile and need to be protected? I thought Title IX had gotten us through all that BS. Don't resurrect old prejudices under a different guise. It's a crazy world we live in Red!
 
Ha. Those questions sound so faked.
 
I guess we need to ban my wife and every other woman from taking martial arts while we're at it. Wouldn't want any of those irreversible injuries to happen. Gotta protect people from themselves. While we're at it let's make everybody wear knee and elbow pads while they're riding motorcycles, not just helmets.

Oh, and we probably should make it illegal to play sports at all.
 
Absolutely agree, Red. It's dumb.

Let a woman and her doctor decide if she is in the right physical condition to box. Any boxer realizes s/he may suffer personal injury from the sport - if s/he decides to participate, that is a risk s/he has accepted.
 
I don't think having babies is in the same catagory as smoking, stilletto heals, and boob jobs.

More like we defend a woman's right to abortion. Yah, sure, let 'em box. Can't be any worse, at least not spiritually or emotionally.
 
Anonymous,
I actually considered saying "abortion" but many, many people do not defend the right to abortion. But most people defend the right to do the other things I mentioned. If I would have mentioned abortion, someone could easily say, "well, I think both abortion AND boxing should be banned, so I'm consistent in my views." Not what I was going for!

I have also read that women are more likely to die from giving birth than from having abortions. I was trying to make a point about potential physical harms, rather than emotional or spiritual harms. I wasn't trying to say that having babies is a "bad" thing to do; I was just saying that there is a physical risk involved. (Yeah, I could have mentioned driving cars, but that didn't seem controversial enough, haha.)

That said, abortion is not something I personally agree with in most situations. In the case of ectopic pregnancies, abortion is of course the "pro-life" decision. But for the most part, I do not agree with abortion once the unborn is in the fetal stage. But then again, a complete ban on abortion scares me too. That's why I tend to avoid blogging about abortion-- it's a can of worms I'd rather not open here. It's one of those issues I'll probably never resolve with myself. Probably the result of all those years in a religious school...
 
Excellent post. Here, here! I read that text and had to do a double-take because I could not believe what it inferred in terms of physical inferiority. And about obesity... it's easier to deny that problem until it starts to take a toll health-wise than deal with it.
 
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