Amalgam Rhapsody: Objectify or Diversify? Submitted by LoneLee on 01/21/2019 at 03:37 PM
Once again, let's talk about the Women's division! The ever popular Women's division...It's seems like I go to this topic at least once a month, and why not? It's continuously developing or regressing depending on the show you're watching. Consistently producing astonishing matches and compelling characters. Without question, this is the hottest time to be a lady wrestler...so what's the issue this time? Well, I have to choose my words carefully. I'm going to hit a hodgepodge of affairs so please bear with me in this week's Amalgam Rhapsody.
One of our fellow NoDQ admins fell under criticism for proposing the question of who currently is the most "attractive" woman in wrestling. Now before we jump straight to condemning or defending it, let's remember the question is simply a raising an opinion, which is the foundation of our site. What I will say is that a direct question presented in that fashion will always, always, ALWAYS be subjective. No different from asking "Who is the greatest wrestler of all-time?" or "Who is the greatest Intercontinental champion of the 90s?" (the latter is Shawn Michaels, don't @ me). The subject matter is in the eye of the admirer. You may like a certain fashion, build, voice, ethnicity, or bravado. Perhaps if the admin had presented the question as "Who do you find to be the most beautiful woman in wrestling?" does that make it slightly more acceptable? It would still be up for debate. In any case, the question had been deemed as being too superficial for a time when women are on the rise as athletes and getting to an equal level in the business as the males. Having said that, at what point can we finally consider every man and woman to be on equal ground?
Do we need inter-gender matches? Not sure what that would prove even though they are becoming more and more prominent. Does a woman need to main event Wrestlemania? It'll happen this year, we all see that coming. Would it had made a difference if my colleague had paired the question with "Who is the most attractive man in wrestling?" On the contrary to objectifying women, there are plenty of fans who admire the male wrestlers for the same superficial reasons. And why shouldn't they? My argument isn't that "it's okay to think suggestively about men, but not about women?" it's that the vast majority of people, not limited to gender specifics, find appeal in each other in all forms. Just as well as they detract from a certain type. Still follow me? Try this.
Let's compare the polarizing figures of Scarlett Bourdeaux and Mandy Rose. Since day one, both ladies have presented themselves as the object of affection by every man. Mandy with her slow-motion provocative entrance and Scarlett by stealing Tye Dillinger's gimmick constantly reminding us she's a 10. As someone who has been accused of focusing on the Attitude Era too much, of course I'm gonna refer back to it once more. These were types of characters portrayed as fan-favorites or babyfaces because they were the norm during those times. Women were objectified for their playmate like figures rather than physical prowess. Society changed but the reaction they incite did not. Only how they are perceived differs now. As long as they prompt a reaction from the fans, negative or positive, they'll have a place in wrestling given the fact that both women are fantastic athletes in their own right. They play a perfect heel foil for a higher moral standing character. But it doesn't work for everyone when it's done just for the sake of doing it.
The only absurdity of the Mandy SedUso storyline as I call it is why have the need for a photographer in a hotel room when there's already a national TV cameraman capturing the entire scene? WWE still isn't sure where to shut the door on suspension in disbelief in that regard. Nor are they sure where to put the right moment for the right character. Why have a stagehand walk in on a topless Alexa Bliss? It wasn't played into or mentioned in her segment nor has her character ever been portrayed with an over-sexualized persona. Alexa has always been a cunning and conniving competitor. Was this the first step to a new element in her role? The wonderful ol' Wrestling Observer claims this was the beginning of WWE's edgy attempts at garnering a higher male teen demographic. I sincerely hope not. It got people talking but maybe for the wrong reason. I'd rather be in hopes that this is WWE's way of offering distinct or alternative characters. Maybe Alexa's character will be the first, not to taunt and tease others with her charm, but become irate that she is becoming objectified for her physical attributes rather than her accomplishments. Definite an idea she could pull off. This would also add a great layer of character depth, something even the male roster severely lacks.
That really should be the main focal point right now in wrestling as a whole. Alternatives. The television debut of WOW - Women Of Wrestling made an incredible statement. Not simply due to the fact being it is one of the only offerings for an all female show but an incredibly diverse cast of characters as well. Be it corny production, far-fetched Lucha Underground-type vignettes, or an excessively excited announcer in David McClane, every match and wrestler felt important. The one advantage they have to WWE is the cream of the crop in all of women's wrestling on their roster in Tessa Blanchard. Her outstanding success and future will have to be another blog for another time.
Lastly off the rails just for a moment, do I need to touch on Priscilla Kelly or is that old news already? Exactly. She won't be blackballed for a spot that got people talking and it will be an afterthought over the passing weeks. In that respect, does that spot hurt how people view her, the entire sport of wrestling or just the women's division? Place thinking emoji here...
In closing, the point for women to be on equal ground in the wrestling business is upon us. Once we get passed this stigma of "first ever" matches and pageantry of ongoing success in the business for females they'll just be another standard fixture in the weekly drama we all enjoy. It's already not an unordinary occurrence for women to headline a show or PPV. It's damn near expected that they have one of the top quality matches on every card. Sure, there might be a few hiccups along the way or bad booking decisions but we need to stop lumping them together as one. One character doesn't damage a division nor does one character build it. They are all integral parts of their division and diversity encourages a reaction as prompted. Individual diversity of the characters as well as our constructive opinions help this division and the sport continue to grow.