Thursday, December 17, 2009

THE GAME IS RIGGED AGAINST THE MEN, AND I DON'T HAVE ANY GOOD SOLUTIONS

I'm having an argument with a guy at my gym -- I'll call him Richard Nixon, just to keep his identity extra-obscure -- about whether I could theoretically hold my own in a fight with him if we were the same size, age and strength.

"I'm 59 kilos," I wrote to him indignantly, after he unjustly accused me of being much shorter and lighter than him. "I stand by the assertion that if I were younger, faster, a better athlete, and better trained, it should be absolutely possible for me to hold my ground."

"Still doesn't matter," he wrote back.

To justify my assertion that it was at least theoretically possible for a woman to hold her ground in a fight with a man, I sent him this video of Lucia Rijker fighting Somchai Jaidee.


Now, he knocks her out in the second round, but I think it's fair to say she holds her ground.

Here's what's interesting about this. Lucia Rijker is one of the toughest women in the world. She's a four-time world championship kickboxer and two-time world champion boxer, undefeated in 54 fights, with 39 KOs. She's trained with Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson. They call her "The Most Dangerous Woman in the World," "The Queen of Lightning," "Lady Ali," and "The Dutch Destroyer."

Somchai Jaidee is an absolute nobody. I challenge you to find any information about him except the single fact for which he's known -- he knocked out Lucia Rijker.

This was Rijker's only professional defeat. Mind you, it's the only time she fought a man. This does seem to lend support to Nixon's assertion.

But this isn't actually my point.

My point is that it's psychologically interesting to watch that video. I'm pretty desensitized to the idea of men sparring with women and roughing them up, but even I find it hard.

A guy in that situation simply can't win. Somchai's facing an inarguably tough opponent who is more than capable of inflicting serious damage on him. They're well-matched for weight, and she's by far the more experienced fighter.

But the crowd hates him for fighting hard and hates him even more for winning. They're completely on her side. If he doesn't really fight, she'll slaughter him. But when he protects himself and his record as a fighter, he ends up looking like a guy who hit a chick, and no one likes men who hit women.

If a guy in that situation loses (legitimately), it's a total humiliation. He got beaten up by a girl. If he wins (legitimately), it's worse than a humiliation. He beat up a girl, which is for very good reason an absolute social taboo in any civilized society.

Winning certainly doesn't look like any kind of honorable athletic victory for Somchai here. He fought well and won fair against a tough opponent. But look at his face, when he holds up the trophy at about minute 5:38. That's not a guy who's feeling proud of himself, even if he deserves to.

(By the way, you can't tell from this video, but Rijker is actually a very good-looking woman who doesn't look like a man at all.)

I should remember this when I feel frustrated that guys around here don't seem all that eager to train in an enthusiastic way with women.

Of course they don't. They have huge social and emotional reasons not to want to, and that's exactly as it should be. No one wants to live in a world where men think, "It's fine and very manly to hit chicks." The taboo against hitting women is an excellent one.

Still, it creates a dilemma for women who want to train in a realistic way, and for men who have to figure out what to do with them at the gym.

You see this phenomenon even more in this video:


I'm not sure who they are, but either they're completely poorly-matched, because he doesn't have a clue what he's doing, or he simply can't bring himself to fight back. He misses chance after chance, and he ends up bloodied and obviously hurt.

Again, he just can't win. If he kicks the crap out of her, he looks like a bully. If he doesn't, he looks the way he ends up looking here. The social expectation is that a guy that size should be able to control a feisty chick like that without really hurting her -- except that in reality, if she's as strong and aggressive as this woman obviously is, that's not so simple to do.

A guy who wins a fight with a girl, no matter how much bigger or stronger she really is, and no matter how much better an athlete she is, gets absolutely no credit for being fast or strong or tough or well-trained, even if he really had to put up his best fight. He just gets credit for being an asshole.

You might expect me to take exception to some of the comments posted below that video, e.g., "Ladies, unless your name is Gina Carano, stay out of our sport."

I don't, actually. I can completely understand the sentiment. The game is rigged against the men, and I can perfectly well see why they're not happy about it.

I don't have a good solution to the problem. I am certainly not going to suggest that it's a flaw in our society that most men find it very difficult to hurt women.

I appreciate it that the guys at my gym are trying their best to cope gracefully with my being there. They're giving me a chance to learn something I really want to learn, even though it's awkward for all concerned.

It speaks well for them that they're willing to try.





28 comments:

  1. I guess the only thing approaching realistic training would be Impact Self Defense or what used to be called "Model Mugging." I think that is geared more for women who think nothing can be done in an attack, rather than those that know something CAN be done, but want to as well trained as possible.

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  2. I don't know. I wrote a lot about this in one chapter of THE COMPLEAT GENTLEMAN, and my conclusion was that we tend to misapprehend the situation. Sure, a well-trained man may have a physical edge over an equally well-trained woman of the same height and weight (a situation likely to be seen only in the ring), but she will likely have an edge over most untrained men. Same deal with world-class women weightlifters and sprinters: against world class men, they can't compete, but against the rest of us - we don't stand a chance. Still, I take your point. I've sparred women - although never in full-contact mode - and I always used a defensive strategy.

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  3. I have run into this many times.. and like you say - I always come out on the losing end no matter what. I've always tried to treat women the same way I treat men, including while fighting/sparring. Larger than me, stronger than me, smaller than me, weaker than me, more skilled than me.. doesn't matter.

    So much for fairness.

    I just try to avoid it anymore. Luckily I figured that all out when I was young and about 125lbs so it didn't seem as bad. These days they might haul me off to jail.

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  4. Maybe my experince is different because I'm trained in judo rather than MMA, but I haven't noticed this problem. I've sparred with lots of women. The brown belt who was in my dojo had competed at the world military games. She beat me all the time, and it was no big deal. She's better than me.

    She did run to a bit of resentment in tournaments when she would spar with men, because there were no women in her weight class. But nothing major.

    But judo is not exactly "beating someone up" either. No hitting.

    Just some thoughts. This might be a phenomenon more specific to striking sports.

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  5. Somchai Jaidee nobody??? He was a world champion, many men and every other woman would be go down to the first hit.

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    1. So per certo che diciannove anni fa, cioè quando mise KO la campionessa del mondo Lucia Rijker (pesi leggeri), Somchai Jaidee era un thai boxer campione della Nuova Zelanda (pesi leggeri), considerato un atleta di secondo livello fra gli uomini...
      Non mi risulta che sia mai stato campione del mondo.

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  6. Ma che stronzata sarebbe 'sto video? Ma fatemi il piacere, sottospecie di omuncoli senza palle...

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  7. Personalmente NON avrei alcun problema a picchiare una donna, né in palestra né altrove...
    Non me ne fregherebbe proprio nulla di passare per uno "stronzo", per un "violento" e quant'altro.
    Le signore e signorine vogliono la "parità" ? Bene e allora parità sia, anche nei cazzotti in faccia e nei calci nello stomaco.
    Anzi, detto molto francamente, io ci metterei ancora più impegno che contro un uomo.
    Ergo, farei l'esatto contrario di quel che ha fatto quel pseudo uomo nel secondo video, dopo di che manderei a cacare tutti gli omuncoli che mi sono intorno e, molto probabilmente, a qualcuno rifilerei anche qualche cazzottone in faccia.
    Per quale motivo? Semplice: per aver "tifato" contro di me, quindi per aver TRADITO un appartenente al proprio sesso...
    Vedete, alla fine della fiera, il problema numero uno di quegli uomini (pochissimi, purtroppo) che ragionano come me, sono proprio questi castrati che infestano il mondo occidentale e che ormai sono la maggioranza assoluta; ed è per questo che le femminucce si "allargano" sempre più.
    Scrivo "mondo occidentale" perché è in questa parte di mondo che tale fenomeno è estremamente diffuso.
    Provate a fare un giro in Albania, in Romania, in Russia o in qualche altro Paese dell'est, poi ditemi se è la stessa cosa...
    Da quelle parti esistono ancora degli uomini con i coglioni, ovvero uomini NON castrati, che non si genuflettono ogni nanosecondo di fronte alle loro "Padrone". Uomini che si fanno rispettare, perché qualora non l'aveste ancora capito, i rapporti fra i due sessi sono basati sulla FORZA e NON sull' "amore". Le complessatissime e invidiosissime femminucce, contrariamente a quanto si narra e a quanto vogliono far credere, DISPREZZANO profondamente tutto ciò che è debole, ed in particolar disprezzano gli uomini che appaiono o sono deboli, sia fisicamente che mentalmente.
    La mancanza di rispetto che le femmine occidentali odierne hanno nei confronti degli uomini (occidentali), nasce proprio dal fatto di percepire e considerare i medesimi come "il nuovo sesso debole".
    Sveglia ragazzi!, smettetela di fare i "cavalieri" e tirate fuori i coglioni! Chiaro?

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  8. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/sc-dc-adv-women-cage-fights-20120304-112,0,3098476.story

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  11. I have been to gyms where this hasnt been a problem. so...I am not sure whats going on at ur gym. A lot of it has to do with the attitude of the woman involved. If she makes it clear shes there to train, then nobodys gonna feel bad hitting her. Shes there to learn just like the men and she understands getting hit is part of the sport..Im a female by the way.

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  12. Somchai was Australasian champ that time with a record 13-1...Sure, men are better in the sports! But "nobody" is an ABSOLUTE nonsense. I could add: Somchai fought 5 World champions(males).

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  13. is that ediana gomes of invicta fc that wins against the man?

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  14. somchai is average...
    same thing when over-the-hill tito easily toyed with then top-of -the-hill cyborg.
    similarly, gegard easily toyed with rousey.

    ReplyDelete
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