Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battering
I was trying to think of a clever title but my mind's not working correctly so I just gave up.
In any case, a few weeks ago, I decided to go to the viewing of Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying and Battling. And y'all, let me just tell you that wrestling is some screwed up shit that brainwashes everyone (mostly men) who watch it. And it's funny, because people don't realize what's going on. They think it's "just entertainment" and "nothing is meant by it". When will people comprehend saying something just "is" is not a valid excuse for anything? Everything comes with baggage, whether you can read into it or not.
One of my favorite things that men were saying, in the film, when asked about wrestling in general was, "It's just a soap opera for guys". I just--. Literally, I had no words.
And then the movie began speaking on women, and the effect that wrestling had on them. Not only are women sexualized (like every other form of medium that's controlled by men with minds of thirteen year olds), but they pretty much stripped of everything they have. They are used as sexual figures to satisfy the need and desire of every man who watches in the audience. They are dressed up in clothes that reveal a lot of their body parts, and not just that, they need to fit the archetype that's given to them. There's this ridiculous and disgusting audition procedure for the women of the WWE called "the ho train", where they go around the country to pick up women. Like, honestly? "THE HO TRAIN"? If that doesn't scream misogyny, I don't know what does. Oh wait, I lied, I know what does. The fact that they literally beat these women up on stage -- men, that is. They are constantly being humiliated and forced to do acts that are just...plain sick (e.g. putting her head inside a "bucket of bile", or forced to get on her knees and beg for her job, or being stripped down in front of the whole crowd). You don't have to be a feminist to know that this is disgusting.
Women in the WWE are used to pretty much reinforced men's heterosexuality. They are often made to fight with other women in sexual positions, forced to kiss, and made to confused the "hatred" and anger for sexual tension. It's funny though, because when we looked at the fighting between the men, it was almost the exact same thing, except people didn't make a big deal about that because the men were being manly and fighting and bullying each other and everyone knows that that's what being a man is about! The best part was when we were shown some fighting positions between men, and in the background and sensual tune played in the background, making us realize just how homoerotic wrestling really was, except everyone who watches fail to see that part of it.
When the audience was presented with a legitimate homosexual couple, they boo'd. Chuck and Billy weren't introduced to show diversity in wrestling, it was to enforce yet again how manly the rest of the men were. It also enforced the bullying and humiliation through homophobia. Ugh, it made me so angry. But what made me the most angry was the fact that people were buying into this bullshit. They were still saying that "IT'S JUST WRESTLING. IT'S HARMLESS FUN." Dude, are you kidding me? Do you really think you're four year old son is going to be able to tell the difference between reality and television? Do you really think this is going to go unnoticed for the rest of his life? Or do you think he's going to go to school and try this with one of his classmates?
One good example of what I ended the last paragraph can be seen in the film when one of the wrestlers brought his three and four year old offsprings (I guess children is a better word, but whatever) to one of his match. Before the match, he told his kids that it was all fake and that he was friends with all of the people he was going to fight. And yet, when he was in the ring, his children started crying and asking for his daddy. If they got the backstage pass and told it was all fake, and they couldn't differentiate between the two, what does that say about the youth that's watching this at home? Who have a tough time believing that it's fake?