Making Female Boxers Wear Skirts Is More Silly Than Sexist

boxing glovesAn attempt by the Amateur International Boxing Association to make female boxers wear skirts doesn't represent the first time female athletes have been treated like sex objects. But it may be the silliest. Boxing authorities in Poland have actually had the audacity to say this will make the competitors more "elegant."

Because nothing says elegance like beating someone's face in in front of a screaming crowd! Of course, if the person with the mean right hook shows a little thigh in the process, she's grace personified ...

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I mean no disrespect to female boxers. There is an elegance to their movements. Think Mohammed Ali's classic quote, "Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee," and it's not a stretch to consider this a sport that shows poetry in motion.

But let's get real. Boxing is also violent and characterized by the excessive show of bodily fluids: sweat, blood ... it's not tea and crumpets with Kate Middleton or her big fat royal wedding.

Considering women weren't even allowed to engage in this type of combat for years because it was "unbecoming," and they're still fighting to get it into the Olympics, to say that slapping a little piece of fabric on a contender will substantially change the entire outlook on the sport is so ridiculous, it's hard not to laugh.

And yet, it's not that funny, is it? The skirts are clearly taking women backward. Fighters wear shorts because they can move in them easily, and they're not worried about showing the crowd their hiney while they're trying for a TKO.

Not surprisingly, the women who are fighting as hard outside of the ring to make female boxing the newest Olympic discipline at London 2012 as they do to win a round in the ring are not crazy about trading their shorts for skirts. So far the AIBA says it's only optional, but pugilists in Poland have been required to make the change, and there's a fear that other organizations may follow suit.

If elegance is what they're looking for, might I suggest white gloves instead?

 

Image via sportsandsocial/Flickr

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