Women’s Boxing: This is what Women’s Olympic boxing comes down to … skirts!?!
BBC Sports has a piece entitled, Women’s boxing split as governing body suggests skirts, they report on the recommendation made last year by the AIBA that women wear skirts in the ring at international competitions. Apparently this reared its head at the recently completed European Competitions with some nations opining that it makes a more “womanly impression.”
I’m sorry for the venom I’m about to spew but, WTF???
Female boxers are doing everything they can to get the recognition they deserve just to get in the ring, never mind have fair matches, get media coverage and opportunities to have their athleticism legitimized, and this is what the AIBA came up with as their great contribution! Women should wear skirts in competition at the Olympics!!!
Isn’t it bad enough that the rounds are limited to two minutes instead of three???
Or the fact that there are only three weight classes in the Olympics in 2012???
As far as I’m concerned this is just BULLSH*T!!!
Have a read and spew.
Maybe I’m too damned old to think the notion of “optional” has meaning — as far as I’m concerned putting a woman in a mini-skirt smacks of nothing more than sexism pure and simple. And heck, if a woman wants to wear a skirt in the ring great, and to that end, plenty of men wear them, but right, when a man wears a skirt in the ring it’s considered “gladiatorial.”
Give us a break already!
PS – Be sure and check out Michael Rivest’s exceptional article entitled A Conversation with Dr. C.K. Wu – More on Warriors in Skirts.
You know, I didn’t actually think that boxing was ready to enter the current century. I mean, we can’t get women’s fights the same airtime, barely squeaked into the Olympics, etc. Hell, I’m still grouching that we can’t get any good communication about *amateur* boxing using THE INTERNET (I know, it’s a fad, it’ll pass).
But this. This leaves me speechless.
However, I have an even better — and hey! just as relevant! — idea: why not have women boxers wear pantyhose and heels? Oh, come on, I’m not talking stilettos; I mean a SENSIBLE heel. And the pantyhose just add a level of, you know, decency.
I know! Why not make them look like ring card girls — right? It so insulting as to be laughable — except AIBA is serious. That is what is so pathetic!
Unreal. Here’s a piece I did about it last September. http://blog.timesunion.com/boxing/a-conversation-with-dr-c-k-wu-more-on-warriors-in-skirts/4263/
Thanks so much for posting the link to your piece!
This is a great line: “If Black Olympic athletes were asked to wear something – anything – on their uniforms to distinguish them from white Olympians, the world would explode in opposition, as it should.” I gave your article a big fat StumbleUpon, and I’m sending along a virtual high-five and a fist bump. Excellent article.
What a great piece! Thank you for sharing it.
P.S. Your kids sound awesome. Hope mine are half as smart as yours (when I finally get around to having them).
Jeez, not only is this ridiculous, but it’s also embarrassingly unimaginative. I can just see the committee members straining their little heads in search of ways to make women’s boxing more appealing and coming up with the brilliant idea to put the athletes in skirts. Why bother with promotion and marketing and all of the other things used to generate excitement about other sports? You can just put them in skirts!
You are so right. Beyond unimaginative!
I spoke with many boxers in Rotterdam when covering the European Championships last week for SportsNews Ireland and for wban.org and apart from the Polish team and one or two other individuals mainly from former Eastern European states ( who were given no choice), there was no support whatsoever for wearing skirts.
The views of Irish 60kg lightweight world champion Katie Taylor and the British boxers and officials , for example were very clearly set out as far back as Barbados 2010.
This is what Taylor’s Coach and Dad, Peter said on the subject in April this year when asked by the “Irish Examiner” what would happen if skirts were made compulsory at the Olympics or thereafter:
“She won’t box,” says Peter. “Simple as that. We’ve got morals that go above marketing.”
“It’s discrimination,”. “It’s men making these decisions and it’s wrong. It’s just marketing. We don’t need the marketing. If they just let the girls box as they are, people are going to be amazed how technically good they are.”
The boxers were actually presented with a new style tight fitting vest and skirt at the semi-final stage in Barbados 2010 and told to wear them. At that time Peter Taylor commented:-
“They said to us, ‘You have to wear the skirts.’ I said, ‘Katie’s not wearing that.’ So he says, ‘If you don’t wear them, you can’t box.’ And I said, ‘Okay, so she won’t box.’”
Katie’s own views are if anything even stronger than those of her Dad. In today’s BBC article she adds (commenting on the situation in Rotterdam)
“It’s a disgrace that they’re forcing some of the women to wear those mini-skirts. We should be able to wear shorts, just like the men.
“I won’t be wearing a mini-skirt. I don’t even wear mini-skirts on a night out, so I definitely won’t be wearing mini-skirts in the ring.”
My own view is that the boxers who did wear skirts were at a significant disadvantage in Rotterdam and interestingly in a sell out 2,500 crowd on finals day the boxers who attracted most admiration from the media and the crowd (inc male autograph hunters) were such as Sofya Ochigava, Marichelle de Jong, Nouchka Fontijn, Nikki Adams, Nadezhad Torlopova,Savannah Marshall, Gulzum Tatar and of course the now Five Times in a Row, European champion , Katie Taylor – all of whom wore shorts as usual.They were admired for their boxing skills.
Insofar as the original comment that TV viewers could not distinguish women boxers from men that is complete nonsense on many scores,.Apart from fact that commentators will always identify who is involved, it would not be a problem in Olympics anyway is all the women’s bouts are on different days than the men’s. The view here in Europe is that womens boxing will attract a huge new TV audience and thousands of new women to the sport,once the London Games are over, as the overwhelming majority have never seen Olympic-style womens boxing on TV or LIVE or and simply assume that is is similar to Men’s professional boxing. Tickets have sold exceptionally well and sell out crowds anticipated .
IF the women boxers follow the lead of Taylor and the many others who feel equally strongly, this will NOT happen but I can see it becoming optional . If that ‘optional’ ever becomes ‘compulsory’ at a later date then the sport would be fatally damaged. The AIBA desperately needs womens boxing to be successful since the men’s game has lost so many supporters to MMA ,so as long as the women athletes and their managers/coaches all “unite” in opposition this “compulsory” threat will soon disappear. One thing is for certain and that is if it does become COMPULSORY the first to quite will be Taylor who will return to her second great love, Soccer, where she has been capped more than 40 times for Ireland at all grades.
Thank you so much for your comments. It truly is an outrage and thank Katie for her principled stand!!
The A.I.B.A confirmed to me a few minutes ago that “wearing a skirt for Women boxers is absolutely not mandatory.
The AIBA Technical & Competition Rules Commission has already discussed this matter and there is no plan for changing the actual situation for the moment.”
They added that the Polish National Federation has made its own decision regarding its boxers at the European Championships.
Thanks for the update and while it is not mandatory, putting it out there at all is discriminatory.
Sent from my iPhon
From Girlboxing Friend PC!
In the age of compromise, as our Congress is so wont to do, how about a Skort? Gold or silver Lamé or perhaps a shimmery bronze would be perfect. Insist that the lady boxer throw on some kitten pumps, open toed in a contrasting color. Then perhaps have them add a cute little metallic clutch to pummel their opponent when the ref isn’t looking or the left hook is weak. I think some bling ought to be mandatory too, but only on the required powder pink robe, for obvious safety reasons. But a small tiara might be considered for an optional addition to the boxing “outfit” if not too pointy, ’cause you gotta keep it safe for the gals. And “officially sanctioned” make-up guidelines need to clearly require greenish and purple eye shadow to hide those puffy black eyes. And a must that I think needs to go on the committee’s new dress code is the required application of a hot pink lipstick for those poutiest of recently smacked lips between every round along with some fresh powder and rouge. Any less endowed women need to address that sad issue with surgery or good quality falsies, C or better. Booty padding might be required on a case-by-case basis upon inspection of the women when kitted out in their playful “official” Olympic attire. Hell, with these fashion requirements, Snooky might take to the ring and just imagine the ratings!
ROFL! And after they fight in their skorts, they can all get in line at the buffet for lunch. Don’t forget your sporks!
The fact that this post had to be published is absolutely pathetic. What are they thinking? Even if it’s not mandatory, the mere suggestion is ridiculous and laughable. I applaud the women who have refused to fight in a skirt.
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I think these women who get into the ring are “Top Dollar” I have boxed myself and I don’t think most people realise just how difficult it is to attain their standards, as for Skirts!! God only knows what is going through the minds of the organisers, as long as the boxers have a smart practical outfit, which looks as proffesional as their skills are, they will be just fine!! I for one will be cheering you all on, “Show em what for ladies*** from an old boxer who is well past his sell by date.xx
Thank you! And welcome to GB. I have to tell you that about half of the folks training this morning at Gleason’s were women: old, young, amateurs, professionals and fitness boxers like myself. It was inspiring!
So far more than 55,000 have signed Elizabeth Plank’s petition against forcing women to wear skirts. Though the AIBA Technical & Rules Committee met in Bangkok last week no decision will be communicated until their decision has been considered by the AIBA Executive. Who are the men and women members of the Technical and Rules Commission? Well hardly unsurprisingly there are no women it seems as AIBA.org lists the members as being:
“The AIBA Technical & Rules Commission is composed of:
Chairperson Mr Franco Falcinelli (Italy)
Vice Chairman Mr Helmut Ranze (Germany)
Secretary Mr Luiz Boselli (Brazil )
Mr Phillip Goodes Australia
Mr Yue Yan China
Mr Serik Konakbayev Kazakhstan
Mr Jae Kyu Jung Korea
Mr Ruben Meza Grande Mexico
Mr Abdelilah Oudhgiri Morocco
Mr Said Tulakov Russia
Mr Richard Thomas Scotland
Mr Syed Abdul Kadir Singapore
Mr Eyüp Gözgec Turkey
Mr Angel Villarreal USA
Mr Mukhamadali Karimov Uzbekistan ”
Support from the public is essential especially as in many countries, the local AIBA affiliated company will not allow its boxers to comment in public and is understood to apply particularly in former Eastern European countries, in China and large parts of Asia and Africa. Even in North America and Western Europe a considerable number of boxers known to be against any enforcement of the ‘skirts’ rule fail to speak out for fear of upsetting their local AIBA affiliated company. Hence the more who sign the petition the more notice that AIBA is likely to take of such opinion.
Thankfully many female boxers have brains to match their brawn.
Ireland’s Katie Taylor,speaking at the European championships,( where Polish and Romanian women had no choice,) said: “It’s a disgrace that they’re forcing some of the women to wear those mini-skirts. We should be able to wear shorts, just like the men. I won’t be wearing a mini-skirt. I don’t even wear mini-skirts on a night out, so I definitely won’t be wearing mini-skirts in the ring.”
Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas, a likely medal contender in London 2012 added:
“”No one should be forced to do anything.
“In other sports like football and cricket, women aren’t forced to wear skirts. So I don’t see why boxers should have to.
“For me, it doesn’t seem practical. I know there are girls in amateur boxing who wear skirts. But, psychologically, I don’t feel comfortable wearing one.” These and many others I know feel strongly that it is up to each individual to make their own decision. That said some of the leading boxers such as India’s Mark Kom, five times a world champion and Canadian Mary Spencer have no objection to wearing skirts in the ring.
You can however still make your voice heard – Canadian Elizabeth Plank’s online petition – the one that has 55000+ signatures so far – can be found here :
Correction: India’s Mary Kom (not Mark)
Thank you so much for your comment — and for alerting Girlboxing readers about the online petition! I will add it as a link to my next post as well.