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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.