I feel that the points made by Stephanie Convery in her recent article for The Drum about MMA Fighter Ronda Rousey’s bold & unapologetic brand of feminism and her “vested interest in distinguishing herself from those “other” women – the “do-nothing bitches”, as she calls them…” are worth sharing.
Rousey’s rise to dominance in a sexist and male-dominated industry certainly legitimates the utmost pride in her athletic talents and revolutionary career trajectory, but her outspoken opinions often suggest what is essentially a sexist perception of the world. As Convery says:
It is the contemporary incarnation of 18th century ideas about the essential feminine as passive, subordinate, in many ways ornamental, if not shallow and materialistic, and quite literally the property of men. Invoking such a stereotype is designed to firmly place Rousey in a distinct subset of “acceptable” women: she’s a woman, but she’s not one of those women.
It’s a mistake too often made by women vocalising their empowerment and calling it ‘feminism’. Writer and columnist Molly Lambert articulates the tendency as distinguishing oneself as “the girl in the boys’ club” – placing themselves in an esteemed category (above the ‘DNBs’) by disparaging and alienating other women.
It’s not about not being a stereotypical woman, it’s about not holding people of either gender to gender stereotypes and measuring their worth against it.
Solidarity, innit – let’s stick together, ladies!
Image: By Bill (DSC09787) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons