Male Wrestling Fans Telling Women What Representation They Need Is Counterproductive (Part 1)

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I probably should preface this in some sort of way to avoid backlash of a bunch of male super fans having their feelings hurt. But, ya know, you don’t need to be coddled anymore. All I will say is that this pertains to WWE in particular, and does not cross into other promotions.

There’s a difference as a male fan between being a fan of women’s wrestling and wanting to support it, versus what will later be discussed. Being excited about women’s wrestling, wanting better matches for the division, that’s great! Thank you, I want that too.

This is of course the opposite of what’s more often observed: acting like a snob and indicating what needs to be done and telling other women what sort of representation they need in the promotion. Trust us, as female fans, we know exactly what kind of representation we want and don’t need to be told what we need.

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Please don’t tell us you’re so tired of seeing  the same matches over and over again whether they came from NXT or the main roster. I’d rather take an eight minute match of Charlotte vs. Natalya that’s been on NXT before versus a two minute Bella Twins match of the past where weaves were ripped out and screams were heard before the bell rang signifying the end of the “match”.

Men telling women what they need in the division and what should represent them is the same as going to someone of a culture that is not of your own and telling them the appropriate way to represent their culture. It’s a joke, it’s laughable, it screams of pure privilege and reeks of arrogance mixed with ignorance.

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Please don’t tell me that Charlotte’s not a strong part of the division, how she’s a poor representation to begin with, or how she can’t do anything and she’s not behaving as a heel. She’s playing the role of a villain, you aren’t meant to like her.

Don’t patronize us by saying when you chant for others during her match that it’s because she’s a heel. We all know that’s not the reason why: it’s because you’re being disrespectful and feel the need to hijack the show for your own absurd smark agenda. None of us believe that, especially since you don’t exhibit the same behavior towards other heels in the company like Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, or Kevin Owens.

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You speak over her because you don’t care: because she’s a woman, or because she’s not Sasha Banks. I would say to take your pick, but we all know that both are the reasons why.

Don’t cry for Sasha Banks during every single women’s match, then toss her to the side when you finally get her on screen. Some male wrestling fans often reflect the behavior of a spoiled child.

You finally get them the shiny new toy they’ve been crying over for weeks and after they hold it with their dirty little paws for only a moment–they toss it to the side and ask for a newer model.

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Male smarks throw their fists in the air proclaiming to the WWE “my great overlord make us care about women’s wrestling!”

Why should they make you care? Their job is to incite interest, whether or not they do that is separate from you wanting to care. You show your care by watching the match for the wrestling and entertainment aspects and giving your respect to the performer. Not by chanting over them to hijack the show, to asking for another performer because you’re not seeing the woman you want to see.

It seems that even if WWE were to follow up their women’s revolution with something amazing, male fans would still find reasons to cry or would make up their own.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. They stick their noses in the air, look down upon these female fans and proclaim: “this division is no good to you, here is what you need”.

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Do you know what I need? I need male wrestling fans to value my opinion. I need them to hold an educated conversation with me. If they don’t agree to end it on amicable terms rather than call me a bitch or say I’m stupid, because they don’t have an educated response. I need for male wrestling fans to understand they’re not always going to be correct on a subject. I need male wrestling fans to understand they will never know true women’s representation and what that should be because more often than not, they’ve never experienced what it feels like to be a woman, much less as one in a male dominated community.

I need male wrestling fans to dig deep, pry their heads out of their asses, and understand that no matter how many hours of indy women’s wrestling you watch and proclaim you’re a feminist, your argument goes out the window the second you insult my intelligence and scoff at the match on your television screen, only because it’s not who you want.

Oh, and the next time you tell me I only watch wrestling to look at the men? I’ll be happy to remind you that sports entertainment’s foundation is practically built on the male gaze and appealing to your interest in women. After all, you’re part of the reason why more models than athletes found their way into the division for some time. Or do you not recall your famous mud wrasslin’ matches?

Stay tuned for part 2: which will continue with the male fan vs female fan dynamic in the WWE Universe.

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9 thoughts on “Male Wrestling Fans Telling Women What Representation They Need Is Counterproductive (Part 1)

  1. Hey Panda, super interesting article. I was just wondering what your opinion on the draft is? Do you think it’s beneficial for women to be on both brands or do you think it’ll cause them to suffer in the long run due to the lack of depth, at least compared to the men’s division, in each roster?

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    • Thank you for the comment!
      I like the draft, I think creatively it can be absolutely incredible when executed properly. When it comes to the women I think it is beneficial to be on both brands because it’ll give them more exposure. Having the women on specific brands means that they HAVE to use those women to create a storyline. Ideally, that’ll mean women who weren’t getting opportunities will now get those chances to show what they’re capable of. Seeing the same three women over and over again when not in the random 10 diva battle royals was growing boring, and I do think it hurt the division.

      I think it would only cause them to suffer in lack of depth if WWE chose to only focus on two women for each brand for a feud. However, that would be an incredibly dumb plan and extremely poor use of the talent. A change in their use relies on what WWE creatively decides to do, but the brand split is a good start for change and better use.

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      • I see what you’re saying but does it not become problematic when you only have six women on one roster and seven on the other? At that point you surely are going to get the repetition which leads to the women’s division getting boring. Especially on Smackdown where three of your wrestlers are from NXT, though I must say Alexa is an excellent heel and seems more than ready, and aren’t as used to a setting where they’re on TV every week?

        Also there’s the problem of the women’s championship being on Raw. Creating a mechanism for women to compete with the raw roster defeats the point of the draft but having a second women’s championship seems unlikely, especially considering how recently we got the Women’s Championship

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  2. Of course there will be repetition, but at least the repetition will be more varied and allow different match ups. Ideally, it wouldn’t be Nikki Bella vs Paige for 6 months to a whole year.
    Hey, if they’re called up from NXT I’m assuming that they’re ready to be on the show every week, so that’s not really a concern of mine.

    I see your point. Perhaps SmackDown would be more story driven for the women. Not every story has to be FOR a title, although that usually makes the outcome a little more sweeter or bitter, depending on who wins.
    It might be that SmackDown will be more story driven for the women, I doubt they’ll have their women’s division and just not do anything with them at all because there’s no title. If the story is good, the feud can be carried by those involved.

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    • I think the raw roster have sufficient talent to mix it up and keep things fresh. The trouble with SD is that it has Becky and Nattie who while both excellent workers have already been feuding for a month without much storyline progression. It then has Naomi who can be good but is returning from an ankle injury and may not immediately be at her best. After that we have Alexa Bliss who has the potential to be excellent but again has only just moved up from NXT. And then we have Carmella who’s okay but still neither the best talker or worker and arguably should have stayed in NXT a bit longer to develop more. Finally there’s Eva Marie who probably doesn’t deserve quite the level of hate she receives but still isn’t great.

      It just seems like a pretty tough task to tie that together with a story at the best of times, let alone with no title to chase and the WWE writing team at the helm. It does seem at the moment we’re likely to get Becky and Nattie fighting for a while which probably wouldn’t be ideal whereas with the women together it would be easier to get the variety needed

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  3. I see your point, but again I think it’s more of a wait and see thing. Who knows what they have planned for SmackDown, it could be actually really good the way they’ll mix things up, but I absolutely see where you’re coming from. I just feel that when the women were all together, most still weren’t getting their representation. It’s just a chance to get different match ups and stories going.

    It does seem like a tough task, but it’s also their job to take take these tough tasks and accomplish them, so I’m willing to see what direction they go with the women’s division. I’m hoping they can make something incredibly entertaining and engaging from it all.

    It’s a double edged sword, really the only thing to do is see what direction they take

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