Fellow E-Wrestling columnists wrote about WWE’s revolutionary women movement. They believe the its revolution reached its apex, thanks to Sasha Banks and Charlotte’s upcoming Hell in a Cell match. While I respect their opinions (and just because I disagree with them does not mean I disrespect their beliefs or disrepect how they justify those beliefs), I could not vehemently disagree more.
Throughout its history, WWE has been infamous for objectifying women. It has depreciated them. It has treated the beautiful ones as eye-candy, and the not-so-attractive ones as lepers. It has shamed women for their appearance, finding ways to humiliate and embarrass them on live TV. For reason that WWE is a scripted show – the company has gotten away with its depreciation of women for years, giving off the illusion that these women agree to the way their characters are portrayed and that it, somehow, does not make it hurtful.
But now, WWE is supposedly different, and do not worry if you have not noticed, because they will remind you about it any chance they get and that is one of the biggest problems….the company cannot shut up about it.
Self-congratulatory is the ideal word to describe the movement. WWE is patting themselves on the back for actually treating women like, you know, actual human beings, and the most ironic part of it all is that the people who started the revolution are the same ones that treated women so poorly in the first place. They should be ashamed of their old actions instead of bragging about being decades late on a movement.
The best actions are the ones that go unnoticed. Certain people do them because they are kind-hearted, compassionate people. They do not think about what people will think or react. They do not care if society lionizes or criticizes them for it. They do it because they believe, deep down in their souls, it is the right thing to do. Conversely, WWE is doing this women’s revolution for two main reasons: it cares about its new family-fun image, and there is a general want for more independent, strong-willed women characters on television.
As the saying goes, though, people’s true colors always show, so despite what WWE now wants us to believe, the sexism in their show is still transparent, and there is nothing more backhandedly sexist than the upcoming match that “completed” the women’s revolution.
Look, I look forward to Charlotte and Sasha Bank’s Hell in a Cell match. They are two highly gifted wrestlers, with amazing chemistry, and are unafraid to put their lives on the line to entertain. It is what many people, myself included, wanted to see: WWE pushing talented women wrestlers instead of untalented women wrestlers for their look, or lack thereof, if they are a heel (although, the so-called ugly heels were far from ugly, in the first place). The buildup, however, has been so counterproductive.
The whole pitch for the angle is that it is so unbelievable that women will actually fight in a Hell in a Cell. It is also all about “making history” opposed to allowing two women who hate each other fight in a demonic structure to prove, once and for all, whom the tougher wrestler is and therefore deserves to be the women’s champion. If WWE promoted a Hell in a Cell match as “two African American wrestlers wrestling for the first time in Hell in a Cell”, most people’s reaction, I hope would be, why does that matter? Well, that is my same reaction over this upcoming match…why does it matter they are women?
Moreover, WWE’s sexism is still transparent backstage. The company has tried telling women who they should not date. They tried breaking up Rusev and Lana because Vince McMahon accordingly did not think it was “right”. They also accordingly tried breaking up Paige and Del Rio.
Now, it has been reported that Kevin Dunn wants to limit Becky Lynch’s promos because he “cannot stand” her accent. As some may know already, Dunn is someone, for whatever reason, Vince McMahon respects and values, so listens to what he says. He has stopped many wrestlers’ pushes because he did not like them, though two wrestlers’ pushes he never stopped were Sheamus and Finn Balors’ pushes. Both, of course, have thick Irish accents and one of them, that being Sheamus, got booed as a babyface. Still, he had no problem with their pushes. So, why would he suddenly care about a thick Irish accent? Could it because he thinks it unattractive on a women, thus off-putting to a male, and not marketable? No matter how you look at it is either sexism or xenophobia. I think it’s a combination of both, but take your pick, Mr. Dunn.
WWE has a long way to go before the women’s revolution is “complete”. They have only scratched the surface, and are almost rendering the entire movement by patting themselves on the back for actually treating women like human beings. Not to mention how women are still treated backstage too. Until fans can watch women have compelling matches and feuds without having to hear about how great it is because they are women, and until women are treated properly backstage, the revolution will never be complete.