Most of us saw Test slamming Mae Young, an 80 year old woman on Raw, and it got me to thinking. How far is too far as it relates to violence against women in the WWE (and pro wrestling in general? Let me know what you thing
Wasn't there a thread on the main board about this not to long ago? Anyway, here's my main feeling on the whole thing: It's just a TV show! They aren't really trying to hurt anyone. I love to see the women hang with the big boys (see Jazz, Victoria) and I think it is empowering. It's not like they aren't trained to go through a table or whatever, it's just part of the show.
Of course there are differences, and this is where it gets confusing. It's okay to power-bomb Trish, because she is a wrestler- but it's not okay to twist Stacy's wrists because she is a valet.
That's the big problem. Test slamming Mae didn't promote violence against women to me. It just made Mae look awesome. My 80-year-old grandmother could barely walk- let alone do something like that! It made Test look like a horrible person and gave a definite "attacking old ladies is bad" message. But when Jackie Gayda came out and Lawler wouldn't shut up about her puppies and she was being the grand-daddy of all sex objects, that's when things got bad. The message was "women are just pretty things to be ogled" and when people start thinking like that then they start to think they can treat women like things and not people. Jackie garnered NO respect, while Mae earned TONS.
Am I making any sense? I know I'm rambling. To sum up: It is one thing to take tons of abuse as a wrestler and come away looking tough and awesome. It's another to take a tiny bit of abuse as a valet and come away looking sympathetic. And it is still another to appear solely as a plaything and come away doing more damage to women than either of the other two.
Yup. Exactly what Toast Jr just said. (Except the part where you claimed to be rambling -- you weren't.)
The "rules & guidelines" violation in my mind was this: Eric sent Mae (as a wrestler) out there for "a match" with an unspecified opponent. She didn't have an opportunity to bail out of the "match booking" before she got whacked by her opponent. That amounts to non-consensuality, orchestrated by Bischoff. So Test gets heel heat, both for whacking an old lady, & for being Eric's toady. Eric demonstrates that he's back to his old ways of abusing his power, in spite of Austin's lurking presence. And Mae looks a little foolish for trustingly going out there, but awesome none the less.
To me, the definition of "violence" is very much tied to consensuality. And in Real Life, that can sometimes be problematic to determine. The chronically abusive guy says "Yeah, I hit her. But if she minded, then she'd leave." Translation: "I assert that she's giving her tacit consent by staying." That's (probably) not the case, but is pretty difficult to refute if she won't (or can't) stand up for herself. Given that, I can understand the position that draws a line at a point where there's no ambiguity. "It is never acceptable for a man to hit a woman" is clear, unambiguous & leaves no room for "misunderstanding." (I gather that's the rule that Canada uses to censor WWE violence against women.) To me, that's overzealous, but I understand the intent.
About a million years ago when I did karate (Same style as one of Sean O'Haire's black belts, according to Tazz!), we'd have guys come into the school who were reluctant to work with the women. They'd been brought up that you just do not do that sort of thing with/to women. This poses a dilemma. I certainly appreciate where the guy's coming from, & wouldn't want for a moment to convince him that "violence against women" is a good thing. At the same time, he's doing me a disservice, not wanting to work with me within the controlled environment of the school. I'm there to learn to take care of myself in a world containing less chivalrous guys. And to that end, I need to be able to practice with the "good guys". Most of them managed to get this worked out for themselves, but there were a couple who never did.
Hey, I agree with both of you, no doubt, it's a TV show, who cares if he hits her (especially if I'm making a sandwich)? Seriously, it doesn't bother me because I know the difference between reality and fantasy. But there are some people out there who are not too keen on anything Mae Young related, so that's why I brought this up for you guys.