Megan Gailey is one of our favorite stand ups. She’s also more knowledgeable than everyone on the BYT staff about sports so we’re asking her about sports. Today’s column poses the question, is Rondo Rousey alone?
Ronda is the epitome of a bad bitch. She’s probably the most dominant athlete in any sport right now and I pray to the UFC gods above that they can keep her at least a little interested so it can keep going.
I hate fighting. I hate boxing. I hate it all. Not because of some moral high ground, I went to public school and got trampled as an innocent bystander en route to Spanish class. So Ronda Rousey presents a very interesting theory: female heroes trump personal dislike. I can’t really watch the fights. I’m at the point in my life where I fast forward through most of Game of Thrones because it makes me scared. But despite being a huge baby that would love parental controls on everything I view, I love Ronda.
Rousey is changing the way the world views female athletes. Tons of kudos to Serena, Venus, Cheryl Miller and thousands more past and present but for some reason Ronda is talked about in a league of her own. No pun intended. Maybe it’s because she’s undefeated in UFC, maybe it’s because no one has come even close to shaking her. And probably a big portion of it is, she’s hot. Does that suck? Yeah. But is it an ends justifies the means situation?
After a summer where Serena Williams won Wimbledon, to capture her third major title in a row (and is en route to winning the U.S. Open, completing the calendar Grand Slam) the main topic afterward was her manly figure? Manly? She’s a fucking empress that has done so much for the sport of tennis, young girls and really any American with professional tennis aspirations. She’s also in the midst of something really magical and has pulled it all off with grace, humility and a smile.
Rousey presents such an interesting marketing and branding dilemma. She is so talented and impressive athletically and also beautiful physically. When people talk about her, you can tell they don’t know what to say first. Does hot go before or after bad ass? Both are correct. It’s not an Anna Kornikova or Danica Patrick situation, where the PR machine seemed to outweigh the raw talent. This happens for men too. Michael Sam stood for a change in how we viewed professional football players and sexuality. He got more press than any late NFL Draft pick has ever gotten. Unfortunately, he got cut. He wasn’t good enough at that moment for that team and then that change that we were ready for, ceased to exist.
I love Cheryl Miller. I love all the Millers. And as far as their dominance in their respective sport goes, Ronda and Cheryl are very similar. Both were and are talked about as being equal to their male counterparts. Cheryl competed before the WNBA, before female sports were celebrated and before the HBO show Girls. She played before feminism was mainstream. She also was never asked to pose naked (she very well may have been but I bet not as much as Ronda gets tweeted “show us your t**s”).
Rousey next step is a big one. She’s already slated to be a part of four projects that are specifically being written and tailored to her talents. This week it was announced that she’d play the lead in the Road House reboot, a role originally played by Patrick Swayze. And that’s where bad ass goes to the next level, she’s got the ability to take roles that would traditionally be for men. The only anticipated issue is keeping up the dominance in her sport as she makes the crossover to movies. But at this point, she’s good enough to leave and not look bad. But she won’t.
I love Ronda. I think everything she does is good for her sport and for changing the way young girls look at themselves as competitors. But as we build her up, deservedly so, let’s try and focus on some other bad ass bitches, because Ronda isn’t alone.