Audrey: I’m fully willing to admit that I am the wrong kind of person to understand why there is such a thing as a Lingerie Fighting Championship. Not only am I somewhat unclear on the ontology of lingerie (I take it that lacy bras and underwear count as lingerie, but sports bras and the kind of underwear that comes in 3-packs do not, but beyond that I’m a bit stumped) but I am also quite lacking in the desire to wear it. So I tried to go into this with an open mind.
Seriously who looks at this photo and thinks about how to take more clothes off Zingano and Tate? Who can have any other thoughts about this than, wow I’m so glad I’m not taking that knee from Cat Zingano right now?
Self, I said. Maybe this isn’t just a thinly veiled excuse to put women in even skimpier outfits than fighters already routinely wear. Maybe there is a legit thing where some athletes feel good about fighting in lacy panties and can fight their best that way. Maybe, self. Just maybe this is not the brain child of all those boys in high school who thought that girls having cat fights and pulling hair was hot.
And then I watched this highlight reel and a little bit of me died inside, because those highschool boys clearly grew up and became fight promoters.
But just so I wouldn’t have to do it alone, the second time through I made Rebecca watch it with me.
Rebecca: Good god this is so very awful
I hadn’t made it to the boob bump at the end before
Audrey: oh sweet mercy the boob bump!
Rebecca: ok so I am trying to articulate just why this makes me so ragey.
First the obvious point: f*ck them for hooking something that could be empowering for women, namely shows of strength and the right to be aggressive and combative, to totally disempowering clothing that you can’t possibly fight for real in. And we barely even need to mention the obvious extreme het-male-gazocentrism of the whole thing.
Audrey: i can’t even walk 10 steps in nice underwear without having to pick something out of someplace awkward.
and how many of them were wearing navel rings?
Rebecca: I can’t even imagine how many bits of me would fall out the very first time I punched in that getup.
The whole aesthetic of this keeps very narrowly to conventional het-porn standards of ‘beauty.’
Look, I enjoy me some porn and strip clubs. I have no intrinsic objection at all to women bouncing around mostly or totally naked for sexy purposes. I wouldn’t want people to think we were objecting to that per se! It’s that that conjoined with ‘fighting’ that is driving me crazy. Using porn norms and stripper norms to undermine something that could have been cool in its own right and that already has its own aesthetic is what drives me apeshit.
Audrey: right, i’m more on the straight end of the spectrum, but i think lots of women are super hot
like really, if you want to have long hair and makeup and be sexy and be a fighter then by all means, but making a fighting league that’s based around it, well
you get this sad rage pool.
Rebecca: And it is behind the times in picking women with very little muscle definition – not only is this stupid for the sport at hand, but it’s bucking the actual current trend of what counts as sexy.
Hey! Can we include pics of us being all muscle-definitiony, unlike them?
Audrey: We did tell Sam no lingerie.
I have a picture of me fighting but i’m pretty full clothed
Rebecca: I have one of me right before my fight wearing almost nothing. But I have seen hot pics of you with rippling muscles before I am sure.
Audrey , forearms and all, halfway up a cliff on Vancouver Island somewhere.
Rebecca: yeah that’s super awesome
hang on lemme find the one I had in mind
Rebecca (right) pre-fight posing with her opponent.
Audrey: fucking babely
Rebecca: I am definitely enraged by the implicature that women fighting in actual, regular, often quite revealing fighting gear are not already sexy as hell and need to be sexed up. Have these people SEEN actual women fighting?
Audrey: I am also kind of enraged by how bad that double leg takedown was
Rebecca: And all the sleeping beauty poses of the ‘girls’ out and in need of rescuing.
Audrey: You mean you don’t like having your ribs and arm patted gently when you’ve just been choked out? Weirdo.
Rebecca: Shouldn’t we have something to say about the closing ‘boob bump’?
Audrey: Probably. Like what?
Rebecca: Let me watch it again … grrrrraaaaaaghhhhh<sob>gnashmotherf*ckergrrrrrr….
Nope can’t do it. Forget it; we have more than enough for a blog post i think.
Audrey: even if we don’t, i don’t think either of us is willing to watch that whole highlight reel ever again.
Rebecca: Word up.