Inkwell readers have sent in several articles about the recent WNBA brawl. I find it amazing that the prevailing view from women’s sports advocates is that the fight was a positive sign for women somehow. Take these articles for example:
A sports culture that historically has preferred its female athletic icons ponytailed or pixie-framed (our Olympic gymnasts will soon be tumbling their way across television screens, into American hearts) could stand a little reconditioning on the appeal of strong, aggressive women, who not only can dunk but can dish it out.
Some will say this is an example that women’s sports are going down the same dark path as men’s. That this represents some kind of trend or larger issue. For the most part, to that I say, “Poppycock.”
From Jezebel: “Why The WNBA Brawl Could Be Good For The League”
Absolutely. The fight, which, by the way, isn’t the WNBA’s first, showed that squaring up isn’t a man thing. It’s a sports thing. It’s an athlete thing. It’s an I’m-so-ticked-off-that-Candace-Parker-just-drilled-me-in-the-chest-and-the-refs-didn’t-notice thing.
In its way, this is a revelation for women’s sports. I’ve long been sick of the halos and pristine white robes put on female athletes. During the Olympics, we’re force-fed stories about how Susie Swimmer and her mom are BFFs. We’re told Jane Ice Skater enjoys pottery, ocean views and Coldplay. The WNBA goes out of its way to showcase its players as community-minded citizens we can safely entrust to mold and shape our little girls.
Really? Now I certainly don’t think that one fight is a sign of the apocalypse, but it doesn’t seem right to sit back and praise such behavior. If this was another NBA brawl instead of the WNBA, this crowd would hardly be supportive. After all, we’re used to hearing that women’s sports are great because of better sportsmanship, less violence, and a family-friendly environment. So why won’t anyone step up to the plate and criticize fistfighting in a ballgame? Talk about shameless boosters.