Thursday, March 31, 2005
Let's Ban Boxing!
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?A ban? Are they serious? In the land of the free?
—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.
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!
Oh, and we probably should make it illegal to play sports at all.
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.
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.
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...