Dana White, president of the UFC, has released star bantamweight Miguel Torres from the organisation because of an ‘insensitive’ tweet that the fighter made over the subject of rape. Torres joked that :
“If a rape van was called a surprise van, more women wouldn’t mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises.”
Dana White (knight) is a man who has become extremely rich through transforming ‘cage fighting’ into the fastest growing sport in the world. Two men locked in a cage, trying to destroy each other’s bodies, to the acclaim of thousands of spectators and millions watching at home or in bars. White has tapped into the early 21st century crisis of (white male) masculinity and made millions of dollars from it. He has recently managed to gain a virtual monopoly of MMA by buying up rival upstart organisations, and has famously paid his fighters a relative pittance, despite MMA having overtaken boxing in popularity several years ago, even in most of Europe.
Dana White vowed that Brett Rogers would never fight under him again, following his arrest over domestic violence allegations (before he had been convicted), praised former UFC fighter Roger Huerta for stomping on and almost killing a man who had punched a woman in a brawl, and consistently refuses to allow women to fight in the Octagon – I guess that would be ‘exploitation’.
The most recent UFC main event featured what has been acclaimed as the best fight in mixed martial arts history – a fight that was so brutal that a semi-conscious fighter (Shogan Rua) spent the final two rounds heroically dominating and trying to finish an exhausted Dan Henderson, and yet whose brain was so smashed up he may never again be able to compete at the top level.
It’s difficult to decide what an MRA should think of a sport as brutal as MMA, in which men try to annihilate each other’s health and bodies as a form of entertainment. It’s true that, as in the fight described above, the sport can epitomise male heroism and athleticism. On the other hand, it could be described as a form of exploitation, in which gifted male athletes are (poorly) paid to become brutal savages in order to feed the sense of masculinity of its audience – a definition of masculinity arguably at the service of women’s feral sexual needs, something re-inforced by the regular appearance of the nubile young scantily clad ring card girls (to remind both fighters and audience what the disposable male blood letting is ultimately all about).
Having said all that, and despite the owner of the organisation being a complete mangina asshole, I’m still a fan of MMA – in fact I have been since the days of Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and Dan Severn (quite rare for a Brit!).
Anyone wishing to reflect more upon whether sports like MMA exploit men, should read Warren Farrell, who discusses it quite extensively in his books, particularly the symbolic sight of nubile cheerleaders encouraging aggressive young males to risk life and limb battering each other in American Football.
Meanwhile, the chances of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera ever being re-elected appear to be over, after he also made the mistake of making a ‘sexist’ joke about rape.
Politicians in Chile have criticised President Sebastian Pinera for a joke he told at a summit on Monday.
Senator Ximena Rincon said the president had embarrassed Chile with his “prehistoric and sexist remark”.
President Pinera asked what the difference between a politician and a woman was, saying a politician meant “No” when he said “maybe”, while a woman meant “maybe” when she said “No”.