Posts Tagged ‘International Women’s Day

08
Mar
12

Engaging in the ring on International Women’s Day!

Engaging in the ring on International Women’s Day!

I grew up in the sixties and well remember my father informing me at the age of 13 that since I was now “liberated” I could pay for my own lunch.

Bra Burning, Atlantic City 1968, Credit: Media Myth Alert

That was in the late 1960s and while I admit to some confusion when I watched images of college women burning their bras or heard about consciousness raising sessions where women would meet to talk about how to become “unoppressed,” I suppose I could say that I reaped some immediate benefits — well sort of …

When I was 17, I was literally chased around the desk by a lecherous office manager and subsequently fired for not being “friendly.” A woman at the unemployment office took pity on me and figured out how to “stick-it” to the company by giving me the unheard of sum of $75.00 per week for my troubles.

That was how my consciousness was raised: don’t get mad get even.

Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Lover Come Back, Credit: Leo Fuchs

With the blissful joys of late 1950s and early 1960s sex romps filling my head — those Doris Day and Rock Hudson gems which were “teaching” me how to get a man, you know, lie, cheat and don’t put out on the first, second, third or even fourth date, well a few kisses maybe but that was it — didn’t exactly prepare me for reaching my “womanhood” in the disco world of the early 1970s in NYC!

Not to mention, of course, that Rock Hudson was famously gay and Doris Day the victim of spousal abuse and a renowned animal rights activist beginning in the 1980s.

The point is we all change. Whether through “consciousness raising” or time, but when it comes to women, some things don’t seem to change.

We in the United States may assume ourselves to be “enlightened” when in comes to women’s rights — you know, we can drive, support our families, even box, and heck, there are more women graduating from architecture school than men these days so that’s equality, right?

Scratch that surface though and we find the political rhetoric of this year’s Republican campaign season attacking women’s health and birth control! Birth control?!?!? I mean really, what is up with that?!?!?

(Dare I mention that most women on birth control are married and that a good percentage take the pill for non-birth control reasons — despite what certain radio talk show hosts have stated!)

Women are also still assaulted in record numbers by spouses and boyfriends, trafficked for sex right here in the old US of A, and while women have made inroads in the Armed Forces, the “dark side” is the spate of sexual crimes against women — right smack dab in the middle of the theater of war where they proudly serve.

To my way of thinking, we are all in the ring all the time, duking it out for things like adequate child care for our children because let’s face it “choice” is not an option for most women — it’s work or starve — which brings up issues like maternity rights (nothing like leaving your 11 week old baby to go back to work, I know, I had to do it) and that old chestnut equity in pay (still!).

Ask ANY female boxer in the United States if she can earn a living as a fighter and she’ll give you a litany of jobs she has to have to “support” her professional boxing career. Oh, and then ask her about how much respect she receives for plying her trade … think Christy Martin who boxed in pink for years to seem more feminine and therefore a lot less threatening.

I could go on and on — but will end my rant by standing and raising my body into a huge cheer for Christy Martin and Mia St. John who will enter the ring of combat on June 19th for the WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.

To my mind this is the best antidote to feeling the blues about how much further women have to go: two f’n warriors giving it their all in a ring they claim as their own.

And at the end of the day, that’s all it’s about: what Virginia Wolfe famously coined, a place of one’s own to just be without all of the ugly crap that gets heaped on in piles pushing you down.

In the parlance of my childhood “rock on sisters!” — and have a great day!

10
Mar
11

Women’s Boxing News Roundup – 3/10/11

Women’s boxing news roundup – 3/10/2011.

Todas Contra México names Global Boxing Foundation prospect and Polish Amateur sensation Karolina Owczarz as a contestant on the upcoming Reality TV Show!

Karolina Owczarz, Gold Medal Winner in the Polish Amateur Boxing Championships

Production for Todas Contra Mexico is set to begin the week of March 14th in Chiapas, Mexico where Karolina Owczarz is set to have her professional debut.  Karolina will be joined by Keisher “Fire” McLeod-Wells on the international team as each contestant vies to win the $100,000 dollar prize. For more information Click on the Eastside Boxing.com story here.

Women in Sports

To coincide with the International Women’s Day on March 8th,  there have been a few articles from the world press that have addressed the issue if inequality in women’s sports.  From an article by Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun and published online in the Montreal Gazette.com, Beamish makes the point that, “Women will come out fighting for the first time at the 2012 Olympics in London, 15 years after British boxing authorities claimed their menstrual cycles made them too “unstable” to box. The concern for women’s reproductive systems and supposed frailty are time-honoured excuses that harken back to the 19th century and, apparently, still have dubious cachet today.”

The story in the Torontoist entited, “Sporting Good: The Toronto Newsgirls,” while not a polemic about the state of women’s sports, is an article about the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, dedicated to empowering women through boxing.  The club, founded by Savory Howe supports women and girls of all abilities from beginners on through amateur champions with Olympic dreams.  The club offer classes in boxing, individual training, sparring and regular “fight nights” for club participants.  As well, the space is designed to offer women an environment that encourages women’s athleticism at all levels and a safe haven from the work-a-day problems of the world at large. A link to the article is here. For more information about the club click here.

Kaliesha West back to boxing?

8countnews.com is reporting that Kaliesha “Wild West” West is eyeing an April return to the ring after her layoff from competitive boxing following a car accident.  Kaliesha also participated in a podcast that is well-worth a listen.  A link to the article and podcast can be found here.  Please also have a look at an interesting feature story run on Kaliesha last year in PE.com entitled, Boxing Column: Times have changed for Kaliesha West.  A link to the earlier story can be found here.




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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