Why I love women’s boxing!

Why I love women’s boxing!

Afghan Women Boxing, Credit: AFP/Katherine Haddon

I came across an amazing piece about young Afghani women training for the 2012 Olympics entitled, Afghan women boxers eye Olympic knockout!  We’re talking from the Taliban to the ring — in a country where girls and women still struggle for the right to leave the house or attend school, never mind don boxing gloves to learn the intricacies of the sweet science.

As Katherine Haddon put it in her lead graph, “In a gym at Kabul’s main stadium, where the Taliban used to publicly execute women accused of adultery, female Afghan boxers hoping to make it to the London 2012 Olympics are practicing their jabs.”

This is why I love women’s boxing.

Sure there’s the “game” side of it and the frustrations of attempting to make it as a professional — but at its heart any woman who boxes has an opportunity to push herself past all of the crap of gender construction in whatever society she is in to work it all out on the bag.  As a case in point, pick any ten random videos of a female boxing match on YouTube and read the vitriol, if the comments aren’t sexualized then they are some nonsense about how women “shouldn’t fight …”  And those comments are written here, in the U.S., so what’s that saying???

Meanwhile, back at the gym, girls and women box anyway because they have figured out it’s a beautiful way of moving beyond that sort of thinking into a realm of physical and mental strengthening.  And whether it’s an Aikido dojo, Tai Chi in the park or young Afghani women with an Olympic dream, taking those steps — and providing opportunities and encouragement for other women, young or old to take those steps is what will ultimately knock down the barriers that still keep so many women locked up inside.

YouTube also has a link, however it will only play on their site.  I recommend it highly!  You can find it here.

8 Responses to “Why I love women’s boxing!”

  1. March 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    “In a gym at Kabul’s main stadium, where the Taliban used to publicly execute women accused of adultery, female Afghan boxers hoping to make it to the London 2012 Olympics are practicing their jabs.”

    What a mental journey that one sentence took me on. I think it’s great that they are able to participate in the sport. You wouldn’t think that would be the case. Here’s to empowerment!

    • March 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      It is a mental journey — and that’s why I found the story so amazing. Part of it too is having a daughter makes it all the more meaningful. What a brave group of young women.

  2. March 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I love this. Sign me up.

  3. March 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Intresting piece, the last place you’d expect women’s boxing to get started, i’m sure they come up against a lot of hostility, but all power to them.

  4. July 29, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Yes indeed – been reading a lot about this in the last few months. I posted on them too and got a great response, it’s such a positive story! Hope someone qualifiies from there

    • July 29, 2011 at 7:16 am

      I can’t get enough of them. When I think of it I can burst into tears — especially knowing that thirty years ago Afghanistan (in the cities) was one of the more progressive environments for women in that part of the world. As the mother of an 11 year old it also truly resonates with me. The courage of the girls and their coach is inspiring.

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