I want you to know this isn't from hate for PWG, because watching the PWG Sells Out DVD on Sims' rec, made me a wrestling fan. But I went to Shimmer immediately after watching it because zero women were on. Now they have one, she's great, they gave her a belt, but it seems like tokenism. Cheerleader Melissa, GOAT, lives in Cali, if she can't, has to be someone, right? Two women would still make the roster less than 10% women. Is it that hard? Or is it stupid for me to expect even that little?
It certainly feels like you come on here trying to bait me or pull out some “GOTCHYA!” type stuff with the go-to “women in wrestling” arguments. I know you dig STRAIGHT SHOOT though, so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and answer this as kindly as I can:
Either you have a complete misunderstanding of what progressiveness and tokenism entail, or you’re willfully misreading a situation in order to perform outrage in public based on a topic (“women in ______”) that is 100% guaranteed to get someone riled up and rushing to your side of a straw man argument.
First off, by absolutely no reasonable standard is “percentage of women” on a wrestling card a good metric by which to judge a card or promotion. There are a lot of reasons for this, but a big one is the audience: Indie wrestling crowds tend to skew male and in general, they want to see dudes fighting each other. These promotions are set up to make money, not meet some arbitrary criteria of how many women wrestle on each card. Another reason is that the majority of indie wrestlers - especially top-tier indie wrestlers - are also men, so if you’re looking to stack a card that you only have every six to eight weeks (like PWG), then you don’t have a lot of options available to you.
Should more women watch wrestling? I mean, maybe? I dunno. Should more men watch Ellen or the Oprah Network? Sure, why not, I guess? It could potentially be a good business decision for promotions to go out there and target women more, and you mentioned one (Shimmer) that is carving out that niche for themselves. But does that mean that every wrestling promotion is now required to have whatever percentage of women on the card?
It shouldn’t, but if they don’t, certain folks want to turn it into some kind of moral issue and an excuse to rattle their outrage sabers and bark in public. The whole thing grosses me out, because it’s less about any kind of actual progressive politics (which I subscribe to personally) and more about walling yourself off in an outrage echo chamber, where everyone can congratulate each other on how much they’re sticking it to the man. So, congrats I guess. +5 internet outrage points!
I also think that you’re woefully misrepresenting the concept of tokenism. Right now, Candice LeRae is a part of the PWG roster. She doesn’t compete in a women’s division, she competes like every other wrestler on the card - and is absolutely amazing, I might add. Just last night she competed in the promotion’s annual multi-day tournament, with Joey Ryan she holds the non-gendered Tag Team Titles, and she challenged Adam Cole for the PWG World Title at Mystery Vortex. If anything, Candice LeRae makes PWG the most progressive promotion going.
Why is that? Because instead of just bringing in a bunch of women for the illusion of progress, they actually book her like a real wrestler - not a joke or a spectacle or an attraction. Bringing in someone to hit some arbitrarily assigned - by you - percentage of women on the roster? THAT’s tokenism. What you’re suggesting is demeaning to Candice LeRae and other women who are interested in performing as wrestler outside of a ghettoized women’s division.
If anything, people who want to ride in on a big white horse and save all these poor women like Candice LeRae from tokenization or exploitation…THEY’RE the real patronizing misogynist members of the patriarchy. Honestly…who are you to say that Candice LeRae’s push in PWG is tokenism? I’d love to see her Ballsplex the shit out of you for that.
It’s not hard, and you’re not expecting too little, you’re just trying to sow the seeds of outrage where it’s not necessary, and in fact, doesn’t even make a whole lot of sense.
I totally get how the internet works in 2014. If you can be the first person to write an angry tirade against something while performing some kind of faux-progressive outrage, you can get some new followers, get linked on some blogs, etc. but that whole culture disgusts me in a real serious way.
Reason being is that it’s not about bringing problems to light or solving issues or having any kind of real discussion, it’s just people clamoring for any opportunity to get a brief amount of internet light shown on them and their outrage. Gross.