When Ronda Rousey refused to shake Miesha Tate's proffered hand immediately following their fight Saturday night, commentator Joe Rogan described the boos as the loudest he ever heard, making it difficult to even hear the replies.
However, more boorish behavior on the part of some male fighters has received a far different reaction, even celebration.
Justin Pierrot, writing for MMASucka, suggests that the differing reactions are due to gender bias.
We expect women to not show their anger or their frustration in aggressive ways, but instead keep it inside, or – worse still – break down into hysterics.
Many of these people also likely cheered Nate Diaz when he gave the double birds to Kurt Pelligrino during his fight-ending triangle choke.
This past Saturday night Ronda Rousey defeated her nemesis, Miesha Tate, and declined a handshake.
(Image courtesy of Esther Lin)
While it’s certainly an act far from the norm in MMA (even more so on the women’s side of the sport), it’s certainly not the most disrespectful thing to do after a victory. Remember Tito Ortiz? Long before he became a walking punch line, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” was mocking his defeated opponents by pantomiming that he was digging their graves. This act was done mere seconds after being pulled off of them by the referee stopping the fight. This act gained him innumerable fans.
So how is declining a handshake any worse than that? Before any of you start talking the traditional martial arts credo of respect for all, first ask yourself if you expect the same out of your favorite male fighters. If the answer is, “No,” then ask yourself why that is. If your answer to Question #2 is something along the lines of “Boys will be boys,” then congratulations: You’ve got gender bias.
We live in an equal society. Men and women are both allowed to act as they wish, and moral outrage over behavior should not be a double standard. You can disagree with someone’s actions – and for the record, I don’t agree with Rousey’s decision despite understanding why she made it – but apply the same standard. If not shaking a hand or shouting in a foe’s face is bad, then pretending to dig your opponent’s grave is worse; regardless of who does it. You can’t cut someone more or less slack simply because of what’s between their legs. It’s that simple.
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What do you think UG? Is admired bad boy behavior suddenly noxious if a woman does the same thing too?
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