Tag Archives: men vs women

The Transgendered MMA Fighter Dilemma

I’m in the middle of running around getting ready to fly off to California, so to be perfectly honest I haven’t done that much writing, here or creatively (it feels wrong not to, so that’s a good sign the routine is taking hold).

However, here’s an interesting article for you to read though: it’s about a transgendered MMA fighter who underwent surgery to become a female in 2006 and now wants to fight other females. One fighter is saying she will not fight her, due to the unknown element of what has changes in concern to the fighter’s body composition versus what has remained from her time as a male.

It’s uncharted territory, and just when I think I know what side of the fence I am on, something else comes up and I’m unsure again.

I have to admit I am not well versed in how gender reassignment affects the body in a long term sense, and I think not many others know either, and that’s what bothers people. From what I can tell, transgendered male to female patients receive hormone replacement therapy treatments for up to 10 years to fully go through their change. Fox has her gender reassignment in 2006, so she may (or may not) have been taking hormones up until now. We tell women all the time that they can lift a bunch because their bodies can’t produce the amount of testosterone it would take to bulk up, so theoretically shouldn’t that be the same for Fox? She no longer produces that key hormone which I feel would give her the  strength advantage over her opponents. Men also tend to be stronger in the upper body than the lower, but again I don’t think there would be much of a difference to consider it unfair.

I know in some ways I am simplifying the matter, but again, I don’t really know that much about gender reassignment. I’m more of a Shakespeare, sci-fi, comic book kind of gal (which btw Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” is coming out on June 7th! Squee!) so this isn’t really something I have interest in reading into.

I think with time this issue most certainly can be resolved. Rules will be made, regulations will be put into place in concern to transgendered females and males (hey, it could happen. Maybe.) when it comes to competition and proper testing. In the meantime we here in the peanut gallery will continue to scratch our heads and hope someone out there has a better idea of how to handle the situation.


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Bah Humbug!

And that is what I have to say about the holidays. I don’t particularly enjpy them most years, and since my elbow was hyper extended (there was no one completely blameless in that: I was having an off day, the guy was practically brand spanking new…it hurt) I promised my father I would not train until the first of the year.

This is going to be a little rough. Even though it’s only 2 weeks away.

In the meantime, you should check out a blog one of our teammates, Jason just started: Heavy Training

Until then!

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The Sisyphus Dilemma Of Female Fighters

That’s what I decided to call it: that, or the game of Life dilemma. Women fighters have been making leaps and bounds in the field, but there is a dissonance that needs to be reconciled, one that keeps setting this whole movement back. And that I believe would be the Marketing monster that is being used to target male MMA fans.

The Octagon girls, ring girls, whatever you want to call them. It’s kind of hard to imagine calling these women into their corners….to then have ring girls prancing around the perimeter of the ring: it’s difficult for some men to see women both as a sex object and a legitimate threat in the ring, and I think fight promoters are some of those very men, or want to capitalize on those men.

I am sure there is a swirl of other factors playing into the whole problem, but honestly, that’s the one that just pisses me off the most. That, and the models for some of the MMA wear that  looks more like an audition for Playboy than showing the fit of a t-shirt. Sorry sweetheart, I’m just not that into you. Nothing personal, I just don’t date girls.  (I’m trying to find the website I’m referring to. Will post if I find it)

And that’s not to say that the current MMA fighters aren’t seen as sex objects either: I know a woman that likes to watch UFC for the sweaty muscular guys in their vale tudo shorts. But they are FIGHTERS first, sex objects later. In my opinion it’s fine if people see women fighters as “hot” or whatever, but see them as the hard working, worthy opponent they have worked tirelessly to become. It’s a shame when a fight promoter calls  for a woman fighter, asks if she’s the right weight for the opponent, and then the next question is “is she good looking?”

Who the hell cares?!

Not naming names, but there are a couple of gents in MMA that aren’t so gorgeous, and women should have the same opportunity, regardless of appearance. There are some amazing women fighters out there, and they should have a chance to show what they can do.

Women slowly but surely are gaining ground in the MMA world, with fights in Bellator and a number of different growing MMA organizations (if you know the names of some, please be all means leave them down in the comment section and I will be happy to add them) but I think it will take at least another 3-5 years before we see women fighters have the same popularity as men fighters.

What do you think?


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Seminar and Your Opinion

This past Saturday we had our seminar with Xande Ribeiro, and it was pretty excellent.

The part I liked the most was the theory behind the moves he was doing. There were general concepts that can be used in a number of different situations and different ways of looking at the same kinds of problems. Through the seminar Xande offered new and interesting perspectives to things guards such as the Butterfly and the Open Half (guard…yeah…ok, anyway). There were a few moves we specifically drilled, but the corrections he made to everyone’s technique, even when it seemed like nothing more than a little tweaking and fine tuning, had rhyme and reason. Words aren’t coming too smoothly for me at the moment, but the majority of these  movements were obviously routed in fundamentals and weren’t (for lack of a better term) “throw-away” gestures, something that weren’t necessary for the successful completion of the technique. I think these are all great techniques for men AND women, and can fit into most games that competitors play.

The end was also opened to a Q & A session, and we sat around and talked about a couple of positions. Sadly, there were no references to castles and flags this time. Or moats.

Oh! And update, I fixed the Maxercise blog link, and I apologize for the confusion before; other than that, posts will be even less about mat time this week because I can only go on Wednesday. Boooo.

I would like to ask the peanut gallery though: would you like more in-depth descriptions of what we do in class? I guess I am SO against the Youtube jiu jitsu and pro-class time that I have almost completely avoided most references to what we do in class, but would that be easier, or at least slightly more interesting to read?

What do YOU think?


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What We Can Do vs. What We Think We Can Do

My 100th post! YAY! And to mark this special occasion, I will actually plan something out to write, and not just 1/2 ass it! Woo! And since this whole blog is about being a lady, this post will primarily be about being a woman mainly in terms of society, but there is some jiu jitsu thrown in there: here we go!

There is a certain stigma that women can only do so much: that since we are smaller we are weaker, more fragile, and not having much “muchness”, to quote Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. There are those, men and women who both root for the women’s movement, but still have the idea that women really cannot do all the same things that men can do, or at least be in close comparison. Some think this unconsciously, while there are others that believe  this crazy idea and while not saying it outright, act out such thoughts through their words, choices and actions. And they should be endowed with a big old mushroom print.

For anyone that knows me, I am not some half-crazed feminist that is standing over my computer with The Feminine Mystique in one hand and bra ready to burn in the other. I’m a girl. I like to feel good in our out-about-town clothes, put up my hair in some kind of fashionable way, and have been known to slap on a little lipstick now and again. My main beef with these people is that in a subversive way they are telling girls what they cannot do eventually becomes so ingrained in their souls that they start to believe this shit and end up limiting themselves, more often than not subconsciously and out of habit more than anything else.

Again, these things are never said outright by those around us, and luckily we have gotten to a point in our society that we are now telling girls they can be anything they want intellectually. Physically..we need to seriously work on this image. There is a sick sense of what a woman is supposed to look like in the media today, and how they are supposed to maintain a healthy weight. Not only that, there is a set of limitations that we set upon ourselves, for no other fact that we are women.  Obstacles were meant to be overcome, and that’s what makes us the people we are today.

How about this: start telling women they can do shit. Sure, we may not be able to do some of those physical activities just as well as some men, but we’ll do them a hell of a lot better than others.

Take jiu jitsu, for example. Women in jiu jitsu are known for having a very technical, tight, fast, beautiful game on the mat. It’s not the same game as a 250 lb., 6’4″ man who also steps on the mat, but they both have their good qualities, just not in the same areas. We may not be able to pull off a fireman’s carry, but the sweeps and execution of techniques that women are able to do have a level of speed and grace that a larger man would never be able to pull off.

I guess I am writing about this for a couple of different reasons: I hate when fellow women think they can’t do things when really they can. I used to be one of those girls. I was mired in self-doubt and lack of confidence, and through jiu jitsu and being around the supportive network of friends and teammates I have over the past year or so begun the process of stripping away the things I believed I could not accomplish.

…Like, you know…writing about stuff….on the big ole’ World Wide Web.

I think we could take over the world if we could just get past what we think we can do, and do something we thought never possible.

And if you ready all the way through this post, well congratulations! You get a cookie!


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Nothing really to write about today

Last night was class, but I wasn’t feeling so well so Max went to class and I took the night off. One of the good things about dating someone that trains at the same gym is that if one of you misses, the other can still go to class and then both can review later.

Which is exactly what we are doing later today.

Granted, this being said, you of course will never get the amount of detail that your instructor will show in the class itself, but this is an adequate substitution until whatever technique is shown again.

I guess I should also mention at this point that this is not a recommendation to go out and attach yourself to the closest guy you can find that trains with you. The relationship with Max and I is based on a lot of things: our mutual interest in jiu jitsu just happened to be a bonus.

There’s always a fine line to walk if you do date someone in your academy, and I would suggest treating it as you would dating someone at work. However you treat dating someone at work, because after you two break up, there is a good chance that both of you will still train at the same academy, I would think. It is certainly tempting though, someone that shares the same interest as you, is most likely at the gym or academy the same time, understands why you aren’t home until late and where all those bruises came from.

But as I stated, it’s something to be cautious of, just like you would at work.

Anyway, enough with the meandering thoughts, Catch you all on the flip side!

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I Bruised My Eyeball.

Well, actually, technically it’s not a bruise, it’s a blood clot (damaged blood vessels, more or less the same thing). And I didn’t bruise my eyeball, Max did. My poor boyfriend, it was totally an accident and he’s been beating himself up about it all day. I’m pretty non-panicked about the whole thing, due to the whole nature of what an accident is, you know, ‘something that happens that you didn’t want or mean to’.

We were practicing on our home mats (yes, we have mats. At  home.) this morning on a couple of different positions and such. He has been working on ways to attack from an inverted (basically when he rolls over sideways and is still mid-way through the roll, resting on his shoulders) position. During one of the repetitions, his big toe nailed my eyeball.

It hurt, to say the least.

It wasn’t done in anger, or resentment, it was honestly he was trying to do something and some aspect of it went wrong along the way. It happens to everyone. I just needed a moment to shed a few tears, because it really f*cking hurt, and then we could all move on from the subject.

It’s hard when you hurt your teammate, especially when a guy accidentally hurts a girl. I would imagine it makes the guy feel like he’s being a big bully, or that he should be more careful with the girls.

The tricky part about all of this though is that women don’t want to be treated any differently, because once that happens there is then a different standard for skill. You know what I am talking about….

“Oh, she’s good, for a girl, I guess.”

It’s a mind-set that is despicable and a down-right shame. Women can be just as good, if not better than some men, in my opinion.

Anyway, back to the eye: the only thing that hurts about it is the surrounding eyelid tissue that is a little bruised from being hit, but other than that I’m pretty good. In the meantime maybe I can tell people that I was infected with the Rage Virus from 28 Days Later or something and freak them out.


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