Jan 22 2012

Spinster aunt brushes up on a few laws

Yes, I just got through bashing the Huffington Post as unreadable and sexist, but while giving it one last nose-thumb I ran across this little piece of 411, posted on the UK site by “MSc Student and Boxing Dilettante” Elizabeth Plank:

Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) met yesterday to discuss the games and draw up recommendations, including suitable dress requirements. One of the items up for discussion was whether female boxers should have to wear skirts.

Last year, they suggested that wearing skirts would make female athletes look ‘elegant’ and help ‘distinguish’ them from their male counterparts. In other words, they are recommending that a female boxer’s performance as an athlete should align with her performance as a feminine woman.

Elizabeth Plank gets a Savage Death Island Chin-Nod for complaining about this sexist shit. But get out your umbrellas, tacqueaux, because my lobe is about to pull a Mt. St. Helens.

Because lard help me, I read the comments.

Why would I do a thing like that? Is not the First Law of Internet Blaming “Never Read The Comments”? Did I really think I would not see this:

I’m as far from being some kind of swivel-eye­d mysoginist as it gets but IMHO girl’s bodies arent designed to take the kind of punishment that men’s are and therefore women’s boxing should be outlawed on medical grounds [sic]


Or this:

Won’t watch, though as I don’t like seeing women getting hit, by women, by men, by anybody. Therefore, what women wear while they do something I won’t see, is irrelevant to me.


Or this:

Anyhow, why is it you girls want to be so like men? Do you girls feel inferior or something?


There was even some guy who explained that women shouldn’t box in shorts because they accentuate “the labia.” Who even thinks up moron shit like that, let alone writes it on some woman’s totally innocuous blog post?

No matter what, no matter how reasonable a woman is, or how polite, or how deferential, whenever she tries to make even the mildest feminist point anywhere on the flipping internet, there is an immediate “mysoginist” jacknut pile-on of trolls, fuckwads, mansplainers, and dicks. That’s the Second Law of Internet Blaming.

Admittedly this is no ground-breaking insight, but much like UK celebrity and HuffPo contributor Labrinth, “it’s like there’s this big, wild universe in my head and I love to express it!!!”


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  1. Comrade PhysioProf

    D00ds *really* don’t like when the silly bitchez start encroaching on their important manly sports shitte. This was Keith Hernandez six years ago doing color commentary for a Mets baseball game:

    Mike Piazza homered for the Padres and exchanged a high-five in the dugout with 33-year-old Kelly Calabrese, the Padres’ massage therapist.

    “Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair?” Hernandez said. “What’s going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout.”

    Hernandez found out later in the broadcast that Calabrese was with the Padres’ training staff.

    “I won’t say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don’t belong in the dugout,” Hernandez said.

    Hernandez, a former Mets first baseman, then laughed and said: “You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there — always have.”

    And of course, he later apologized “if he offended anyone”.

  2. Milly

    I think I might be reading too many antipron sites at the moment because I was momentarily heaterned by the commenter who said they DON’T like to see women get hit. IBTP There’s a connection there though. The problem for the P obviously is not women getting hurt or hit but women escaping the sex class.

    The boxing in skirts shite is really too much.

  3. quixote

    I assume they’ll go the distance with this whole elegance thing and insist on long skirts?

  4. Twisty

    The problem with the dude who claims he doesn’t like to see women get hit is that he goes on to aver that he doesn’t give a shit about sexism because it doesn’t affect him personally.

  5. Cimarron

    Well, let’s not stop at boxing. You know, its so hard to tell those Super G Olympics skiers apart. How bout skirts for the giant slalom, tutus on all track and field events. And, those equestrians are sure a bunch of gender confusing athletes: what do y’all say to pink hardhats? And, since ALL of their riding boots have heels, I’m sure we could make sure the women have boots with higher heels, or glitter or something.

  6. KittyWrangler

    They should make them wear little white boxing gloves too, to go with their skirts. That would go a long way toward making a violent boxing match appear more like high tea, because that is obviously the point of boxing. And why are their championship belts so BIG? They should get Karl Lagerfeld to redesign them. Everyone knows a skinny belt can go a long way toward carving out an hourglass figure!

    @Milly, I had the same thought, ugh. It’s like someone made him memorize the very simplest basics of how not to abuse women, which he the quotes while engaging in the oppression of women. I guess you can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink, and so on.

    Regarding the man who said women’s bodies aren’t built to take the same kind of punishment men’s are, I’d like to see an evolutionary psych-type take that idea and run with it. “…Therefore women should work in cushy office jobs while men do physically demanding housework and childcare all day. That’s how we’ve EVOLVED.” Both statements are of course ridiculous but they are at least consistent within that system of thought. But what do I know, I’m “irrational.”

  7. Shelby

    Ban it on medical grounds indeed. They don’t care whether a woman’s body would be up to the punishment of boxing. Enough women get boxed at home every day. They just hate the thought of skilled women boxers being able to outfight them. Stupid fucking arsehole men.

  8. ElizaN

    Funny how that poster things that women shouldn’t box because it might harm their child-bearing potential, when it’s men like him who made me choose to destroy my child-bearing potential.

  9. Lidon

    They just hate the thought of skilled women boxers being able to outfight them. Stupid fucking arsehole men.

    Exactly. The fucking IRONY of those statements! They have no problem watching women get hit; they just don’t wanna see them hitting back.

  10. debaser

    The ole switcharoo! Men boxing in skirts – unthinkable outrage! Foaming hatred! Women boxing in skirts – “elegant”, “distinguished”.

  11. damequixote

    @KittyWrangler, yes you are being irrational. You must be on your period. I’m surprised our overdoods allow wi-fi in the menstruation hut.

    Competing in a male dominated sport, I’m sick to death, that is, I’m accustomed to the male dismissal of our (useless) contributions to sports. And how is it any man who wishes to tell others what to wear is a homo (read; woman) UNTIL it is a situation like this and suddenly fashion design is a macho endeavor?

    I love the comment that womens’ bodies were not meant for such ‘punishment’. He must mean hitting back because the female body has been pounded into compliance by the male for thousands of years and we have had no such doctors note excusing us from this ‘on medical grounds’. Or did I miss mine?

    The comment section below any female athlete’s videos on the you-know-what tube is where they hatch the orcs from Lord Of The Rings. Case in point; there is a video of Abby Wambach (soccer) getting hit in the head then getting stapled on the field that is awe inspiring. The typical male responses were “that doesn’t look like a kitchen” and “her husband just taught her to get back in the kitchen”. Mansplaining ensued until the fans rallied.

    Skirts. yes. Skirts make the threat go away. The feeling of inferiority (ref one of those comments) is directly proportionate to the desire to outfit the other in skirts, flowers, crippling shoes, clown paint and pastels.

    Live long and prosper in spite of the bastards.

  12. gingerest

    Gee, if the AIBA thinks that somehow skirts automatically make female athletes look all dainty and harmless and shit, they should really watch some field hockey sometime. I find it heartening how thoroughly those girls can ignore the gender-performativity aspect in favor of bloodthirsty competition. (Here in Australia, they just call it hockey, and doods play it too. Crazy Aussies.)

  13. KittyWrangler

    @Debaser, if we wanted to switch gender so the men had to wear some small symbolic thing that made them “elegant” and “gentlemanly” maybe they should would wear those little shirt cuffs and collars that aren’t attached to a shirt. They’re already shirtless, right? So why not look like a waiter in Vegas. That seems about equivalent to the glorified butt-fringe they’re pushing for the women.

  14. CassieC

    Just chiming in to point out that in many cultures, pants are considered uncomfortable and unseemly for males. In many hot places, robe-type garments are worn by pretty much everybody, because they are more cool and comfy. And if you think that shorts are unsuitable for women because women’s junk sticks out too far in them, surely all men should be wearing skirts for both comfort and modesty’s sake. It’s just logic.

  15. allhellsloose

    Perhaps they should leave their handbags in the pink corner. Pink skirts too – though everyone knows that if red is worn it has an advantage for winning.

    This quote:
    “Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female — whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.”
    ? Simone de Beauvoir

    It reminds me of the non gendered child who has now turned out to be male. My lobe smarts at the male outrage: “Heaven help him”, “Call social services” “won’t someone please think of the children”, “he’ll be brutally bullied”. However female children often wear skirts and trousers and no one says that their life will be beset by the practice, until of course they reach puberty.

  16. allhellsloose

    @damequixote: “I love the comment that womens’ bodies were not meant for such ‘punishment’. ” Good point.

    It’s too bonding to see women hit each other. Only men are allowed to do that. Only they are allowed to hit women into submission and oppression.

  17. anarres

    The quote about women’s bodies not being built to take that kind of punishment is too funny. No-one’s body is built to be repeatedly punched in the head, that’s why so many professional boxers have head injuries. Agree with @allhellsloose about bonding. I box (slowly and badly) with friends and it’s so much fun and definitely a bonding experience, you have to negotiate how hard it’s OK to hit and how long to keep going, and you build up a lot of trust and camaraderie. I can definitely see how patriarchal men would want to keep that for themselves.

  18. speedbudget

    Dickies for all!

  19. Twisty

    “wi-fi in the menstruation hut”

    The name of my next blog. Or award-nominated album.

  20. Sarah

    Ah yes, the first rule of the internet: Don’t read the comments – unless it’s the comments at IBTP. This is seriously the only safe space for feminists ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET. There are entire groups of reddit moderators dedicated to spewing abuse all over female reddit users – same with every other public internet forum I can think of. It’s positively disturbing.

  21. eb

    I’m surprised AIBA doesn’t want to add mud to the ring too.

  22. Twisty

    Or jello.

  23. polarcontrol

    In addition to the idea of skilled women boxers, black women’s high self esteem seems to be unbearable:


  24. Mildred

    Hmm, funny, a woman’s anus isn’t built to take the punishment that is de rigueur in porn these days. But funnily enough men never seemed too bothered by that.

  25. yttik

    Good article, polarconstrol. I remember several nauseating debates about whether or not it was “okay” for black women to have higher self esteem and feel good about their bodies. The consensus was that no, they needed to be brought down a peg or two for their own good under the guise of health.

    Health my ass.

    Anyway, the women boxers being pushed into skirts does remind me of the same darn thing. You women are getting too uppity, here’s a skirt to make sure you remember your place.

  26. allhellsloose

    @anarres thank you. Bonding is good for girls, and the P don’t like it at all. xx Goodluck. xx

  27. FM


    “They have no problem watching women get hit; they just don’t wanna see them hitting back.”

    Bingo. My S.O. got tons of shit from her Tae Kwon Do instructors for “hitting too hard” during sparring matches. And by “too hard” I mean hitting with the exact same level of force that the guys always used, and not pulling all punches and kicks to ensure that they harmlessly and laughingly bounced off the head and chest protectors of the men, which is how they taught the other women to fight. My S.O. watched the Instructors teach the men how to fight for real, and copied them.

    The fact that some of the men that she sparred with tried to take her head off with illegal wheel kicks in retaliation was always overlooked by said instructors.

  28. IBlameRonPaul

    The Third Law of Internet Blaming is probably:

    “Aside from feminist safe spaces such as Twisty’s, men on the Internet are men, and all women, whether they’re 19, 33, or 52, are “girls.”

  29. tinfoil hattie

    I recall that the women’s Olympic volleyball teams were REQUIRED to wear bikini outfits. Complete with requirements of how big the strip of cloth on the sides was allowed to be. Hint: Very, very small.

  30. ChariD

    @FM: True — when I competed in Karate back in the mid-80s, I was constantly given penalties for kicking too hard. WTF? Why have sparring competitions if you’re not allowed to actually connect? By being out there, I fully expect to get whacked if I’m not keeping up a good defense. Yet the d00ds smack the ever-lovin’ shit outta each other and no one blinks an eye.

  31. Other Liz

    Thanks all commenters. Your wit and insight is fabulous.

  32. Other Liz

    Gah! ARE fabulous.

  33. yttik

    “volleyball teams were REQUIRED to wear bikini outfits”

    We still do that, even today. Earlier this year I spent countless hours attempting to lengthen the high school league volley ball shorts to 3 inches. Having your shorts ride up and your rear end hanging out isn’t just tacky, it prevents the girls from really going after the ball. Especially at that age image is everything and forcing girls to prance about delicately so nothing falls out is just ridiculous.

  34. Hattie

    One word: utilikilts!

  35. Cyberwulf

    @gingerest: Speaking of field hockey, over here we have a stick-and-ball game which is called hurling when dudes play it, and camogie when women play it. My county’s senior camogie team have won the national championship three times in the last five years, whereas the senior hurling team have won their championship once in the last fifteen years. Perhaps the dudes would be less useless if they wore skirts like the women.

    @FM: as the only woman in my jujutsu class, I have the opposite problem – I keep having to tell the chaps to put the locks on properly, that I’ll tap if they’re hurting me. I appreciate them not wanting to knock my block off, but one learns a lot more when one is put on one’s ass because one left oneself open to a sweep or a reversal.

  36. FM

    Sounds like both are derivations of same problem. When it comes to self-defense, only the dudes are getting taught how to fight back properly, and women are cheated out of real training in order to keep them easy targets.

    They pull this crap whenever women try to learn any self defense. When I went for a firearm self-defense course with my S.O., we thought they would finally have to drop the gender binary act because even they know that testosterone does not make one bulletproof. Nope!

    Everyone from the “liberal” self-defense instructor to the NRA training video recommended that women get teensy-tiny .22 rimfire revolvers (to fit their “smaller hands”). They were crap guns that misfire all the time, take ages to reload, and won’t stop a determined attacker. Meanwhile, a short 14-year old boy in the class was started off on a giant Sig Sauer used by police officers. When the instructor finally took that monster out of the little monster’s hands (he was waving it around like an idiot), my S.O. snatched it up and used it for the rest of the class. It fit her hand fine.

  37. Carpenter

    I once read a book that was a feminist analysis of the women’s self defense movement. Apparently even there ridiculous bits of the cultural gender binary have asserted themselves. According to the author, women’s self defense manuals from around the time of WWII -when women were absolutely needed in the work force-encouraged women to always fight back as aggressively as possible, while the manuals from a decade later-when cultural norm shifted back to female submissiveness- and into the 70’s encouraged women not to fight back as it might aggravate the attacker. Femininity required even in life threatening self defense situations, bleh.

  38. TansyJ

    When I was in Jr. High track our coach presented us with a big box of uniforms about 2 months in to training? A few weeks before track meets started up, anyway.

    The girls uniforms were white shirts made of some thin material that your bra showed through if it was any color other than tan (unless your skin color was greatly different from tan) and shorts that barely covered your ass until you started running, at which point the wide-legged flimsy material started creeping up your groin. The boy’s uniforms were white cotton shirts and shorts that were above their knees, but just barely and then were narrow-legged and made of heavy enough material that they didn’t give one an instant wedgie the second you broke into a trot.

    Many of the girls started complaining once we hit the lockers, because they didn’t realize we were going to be given uniforms on this day, of this color (the school colors were dark green and yellow) and many were wearing bras that showed through the shirts and were embarrassed to go through practice when everyone could see their bras (boys and girls used the same field at the same time)

    Being a young and naive sprout, I assumed the coach would understand. I popped out to tell him of the uniform difficulties and ask if we could wait until next week to practice in them, when the girls would be prepared with bras that would show through less, at least?

    “Anyone not on the field, in uniform, today is off the team” quoth the coach. “Could we wear our uniform shirts over our regular shirts?” I asked, thinking it must be some vague regulation, and that he could at least let us have some leeway. “No. You may only wear the uniform the school has provided. Any alterations will get you kicked off the team.”

    At the time I couldn’t figure out why such regulations needed to exist. Now, I have a clearer picture of what was going on, and am suitably disgusted. IBTP.

  39. Kea

    Nigel ain’t getting that vasectomy, sweetheart, ’cause he knows that if you ever leave or rebel or stuff up, he can find some other woman to pop out his babies.

  40. Kea

    Oops, sorry, wrong post.

  41. tinfoil hattie

    Nigel ain’t getting that vasectomy, sweetheart, ’cause he knows that if you ever leave or rebel or stuff up, he can find some other woman to pop out his babies.

    Oops, sorry, wrong post.

    (snort) It’s never the wromg post for that comment.

  42. Cyberwulf

    @FM: Well, the guys are reluctant to put the locks on me, but they do tell me if I don’t have a lock on them properly. There’s no half-assing or different treatment as far as the actual instruction goes, just when I’m on the receiving end.

  43. Rachel

    Oh dear god that article polarcontrol posted is nuts. “Are black women misguided?” Let’s ask our white upper class putatively liberal readers to weigh in! It makes me wonder what black women would say about them, and by what percentage.

    This is seriously the only safe space for feminists ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET.

    Yup. This is the only place I don’t comment under a male pseudonym.

    (There’s things to be said for and against the practice certainly – but I just couldn’t stomach the condescension any more, even on “feminist” sites, and it was either pretend to be a dude or get off the internet. IBTP.)

  44. Alex

    Oh, spare me the so-called “liberal male feminists” who are always harping on how distasteful they, personally, find violence against women. It’s always them *personally* (never about violence against women as an institution), it always reeks of “doth protest too much”, and it’s so clearly a ploy to get laid (“I’d never hit you, baby!”). In college, I avoided taking women’s studies classes to get away from these dickwads.

    The sad part is whenever anyone calls these dudes out on replicating patriarchy by going into women’s spaces and making the whole fucking thing about THEM again, that woman is called anti-male.

    I am new here, and I am loving the conversations because no one seems to care if the men feel comfortable or welcome or offended or not. How we feel about men is not the point. And you know what? Sometimes I do hate men, for what they do to me on a daily basis. What did they expect?

  45. Cycles

    “Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) met yesterday to discuss the games and draw up recommendations, including suitable dress requirements …”

    So of course I did a little sleuthing on AIBA’s website. They have a president, and an executive committee comprised of 25 members who presumably are the ones deciding upon these uniform requirements. Anybody wanna take a guess how many of those 25 members are women? Come on, it’ll be fun. Imagine the possibilities! You have a one in 26 chance of guessing right.

    If you guessed zero, you win a brand-new boxing skirt!

  46. Cycles

    I’m not even shitting you: http://www.aiba.org/en-US/AIBA/ec/ec2010.aspx

  47. Lovepug

    For some reason this made me think of that awesome Star Trek Voyager episode where Seven of Nine has to fight in a Delta Quadrant version of WWF and she kicks ass.

    Time to get out the DVDs and watch that one again.

    It also made me think of Gazelle Amber Valentine and how she gets crap sometimes for being a kick ass guitar player. But I digress.

    And the knob who said this, “Anyhow, why is it you girls want to be so like men? Do you girls feel inferior or something?” is cribbing from Archie Bunker.

  48. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Let’s all look forward to a day when whoever can wear whatever to do whatsoever they please without some asshat quacking about whether or not it’s appropriate. Shit fire and save toilet paper, I hate appropriate.

  49. Lovepug


    The article from that link on the Canadian women boxing hopefuls was cool. I quote:

    According to Pat Fiacco, Boxing Canada President, without a doubt, the highlight of the 2012 Championships was the improved skill level of the boxers.

    “The conditioning of these boxers was exceptional. They were just as strong in the 4th round as they were in the 1st. Their technical skill, from throwing jabs to their movement in the ring is a true demonstration of excellent Olympic level boxing”, said Fiacco, Bantamweight Canadian boxing champion in 1980 and Boxing Canada President since June 2011.

    “Boxing cannot be successful without female participants”, Fiacco concluded.

  50. Ponkeen

    All this time spent trying to accentuate my labia, and it turns out that all I have to do is wear shorts?
    Duly noted.

  51. Kristal

    This whole ” I don’t want to see women get hurt” diatribe is complete bullshit! It is the same ambivalent sexism that allows men to say to women ” You are so caring and compassionate, you stay home with the kids because you’ll enrich their lives. Let me bring home the bacon.” and be looked at as a ‘nice guy’ whilst saying exactly the same thing as the prick who says ” A woman’s place is in the kitchen.” . This shit is getting mighty old.

  52. Fictional Queen

    “I don’t want to see women get hurt.”
    Then don’t watch women’s boxing. Because men don’t want to see something, that thing should go away altogether?! What kind of narcissistic assholes are these things?
    “Sometimes I do hate men, for what they do to me on a daily basis. What did they expect?”
    I hate men all the time! :D

  53. KittyWrangler

    “I don’t want to see women get hurt […] A woman’s place is in the kitchen.”

    I have hurt the shit out of myself in the kitchen. Badly burned, shin-whacked, badly sliced and on one occasion mildly poisoned.

    I’ve also survived years of welding shops, woodworking and stone-carving studios unscathed, despite the multitudinous men who incessantly interrupted me to caution, “careful there, sweetheart!” I’ve been told by concerned strangers to be careful wielding such life-threatening objects as cameras, five-pound boxes and even my own shoes. Yet no one blinks an eye when I go into the kitchen and toss raw meat into a vat of hot oil over an open flame or reach for a butcher knife and a mango (recipe for disaster, people!). Or spend hours a day for weeks performing menial household tasks that add up to a back injury.

    Isn’t “women’s work,” i.e. birthing babies and cooking, extraordinarily dangerous? And consider the dangers of being a wife: high rates of being murdered, raped and beaten by a male spouse. If he doesn’t want to “see women get hurt” I would suggest this dude pave the way for more female CEO’s, physicists and Hollywood producers and celebrate lesbianism or asexuality. Oh wait, that’ll never happen.

    What utter BS. I puke on the Patriarchy, and then when it runs to the kitchen to clean itself off I holler, “Careful in there, sweetheart!”

  54. Hari

    Right? I could only wish the P was 1/2 as concerned about womyn’s safety as the pretenses about womyn’s boxing…or welding, or any other thing we do. I’ve been through birth 5 times naturally and one csec, along with fighting state laws in the courts and a lot of other dangerous things. None being so dangerous to my health and sanity as guys who say ‘careful sweetheart’ when I lift something heavier than they think I’m capable of, or go under the hood of my car to fix it. You know–same guys who might rape, beat, or just the suck the life outen ya with their neediness.

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