Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mud, Sex, and Shackles

MUD is disgusting, and meaningless violence is abhorrent. Why then is it that female mud wrestling has such a huge appeal to men? Last week many of my classmates brought up the question of why superheroines were so sexualized, and the answers to both of these seemingly unrelated questions may be intricately tied. Although the concept of a physically powerful woman is not new, it is still viewed as an aberration. Men have controlled society since they realized that they could use their physical prowess to both impress and intimidate women. It is no secret that women are just as opinionated as men, but pending physical violence most people would rather keep their opinions to themselves. From this trope stems the idea of a silent, submissive woman. Superheroines directly and completely reverse this concept which, while empowering to women, is an affront to the established patriarchy. By taking a superheroine, or any woman for that matter, and having her fight among filth for a man's entertainment, it takes all of her power and strength and places it firmly back under the control of men. When men design pornographic images of superheroines they are not celebrating the beauty and allure of strong women, they are subjugating those women who would dare stray from the norm. It is a powerful subliminal message that pervades our society, but hopefully time will, as it does most social issues, heal all wounds... (pun intended)


  1. I agree. However, I also question the women that are involved in mud wrestling. Since these are actual women, and not women in comics who were created by men, I would expect them to have more dignity and self-awareness of what they are doing. Maybe they actually like mud wrestling in bikinis, just like other women like jello wrestling. I don't think that it's solely the men's fault that women are involved in these types of activities. People have free will and they choose to do what they want to do.

  2. I love that you pointed out something that most people probably don't ever think about--the idea that many of the industries involving superheroines or powerful women are run for the main purpose of entertaining men, and what this means for women. One can argue that the increasingly frequent appearances of these "physically powerful" women in pop culture is supporting gender equality, but when one takes into consideration the underlying tones, all is not what it seems. Time, can you work it?

  3. You also have to realize that the creation of new archetypes of women (in this case, fighting women) create new fantasies for people who are sexually oriented toward women. In other words, we have to be careful not to attribute everything to patriarchal oppression. As there are pornographers who are women (many of which try to create a feminist-friendly style of pornography), there are almost certainly, as Jennifer says, women who just like mud/erotic wrestling. What's far more dangerous is dictating--for whatever political reason--what women can and can't do, or what women should feel about certain activities.

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