whoever you want to be…

Wrestling with sexism, by Carrie Dunn

Dress it up all you like, but Fighting Spirit Magazine’s new ‘Siren Search’ competition is hideously depressingly sexist.

In case you’re not a regular FSM reader, it’s one of the biggest professional wrestling magazines in the UK.

And they’ve just launched a competition to find new female talent for the industry. So yes, ostensibly, the idea behind the ‘Siren Search’ – SIREN SEARCH! – is to get more women involved in British professional wrestling.

That is a terrific idea, and one I fully support. Just read wrestler Nikki Storm’s fantastic rant on Ringbelles, and you’ll realise just how appalling conditions still can be for women in UK wrestling.

They’ve got a four-person judging panel, with Kat Waters, aka wrestler Katie Lea Burchill from the WWE, as the one taking the Len Goodman role.

She’s joined on the panel by the Alpha Female (another wrestler), Alex Shane (a former wrestler, but now a promoter), and Jamie Lewis Hadley (a promoter).

They all talk very nicely about how important it is to them to find women with “talent”, not just looks.

Except, you know, these Sirens won’t be wrestlers. Who’d want to see that, after all?

To be fair, their justification for saying that wrestlers aren’t part of the search is because you’d need to have proper rigorous in-ring training for that. (Hilariously, they seem to think that being a TV presenter, a reporter or an actress doesn’t require proper schooling to do it well.)

So the Siren Search apparently seeks women with “look, presence and charm”. I think we can also safely assume that means “willing to wear skimpy outfits, big tits, and happy to fake lesbianism for titillation purposes if need be”. (Think I’m joking? Here’s Kat Waters in action as Winter in TNA last year.)

Hadley, God bless him, says he’s struggled with the portrayal of women in the media. Me too, Jamie. Portrayals just like being called “sirens”, perhaps? A term historically associated with women who lure men in with their gorgeousness and destroy them? Just like women have been portrayed in wrestling for the past few decades?

Still, I do look forward to equality of opportunity, and FSM’s no doubt forthcoming Stud Search, where men are given a break from being expected to take all those nasty hits in the ring, and instead are given the chance to wander round in tight sparkly hotpants, smiling sweetly, and carrying the female wrestlers’ gear for them.


About Carrie

Journalist. Sports fan. Doting auntie. Musical theatre lover. Warcraft geek. World's foremost expert on all things Steven Howard. What would CM Punk do?


This entry was posted on May 20, 2012 by in Bea Feminist, Bea Sporty and tagged , , .
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