Weekend Paradoxes Part 2: WrestleRama

Live international pro wrestling for the very first time in Guyana. Someone on the radio called it ‘historic’. Totally.

A historic moment when Guyanese were able to achieve the highest glamorization of commercial violence as modelled by our Western friends. Fabulous! Because it’s not like we don’t have a severe enough problem of violence against females and children in this country that it would make your stomach sick if you could hold it all in your head at one time and you would have to laugh from the perversity of the mere thought of painting violence in any shade of positivity, right?

This one won’t be a long piece. It should not be necessary for me to tell you why glamourizing violence is unhealthy. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this statement:

“The organiser also stressed that it is the objective of the promotional group to do something that will promote positive family values, ease the tension and foster unity amidst all the negativity Guyanese face in the society.”

is completely bum-backwards.

You know what matters? What you tell your children is okay and what’s not okay. Sure, they learn stuff in school and from their friends but a large amount of their reality is shaped at home. When you say some instances of violence are “clean fun”, you teach your little boy that it might not be a big deal if he slaps his future girlfriend around a bit. You teach your little girl that it may be okay that sometimes her future boyfriend slaps her around a bit.

When are we going to start behaving responsibly?

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Paradoxes Part 2: WrestleRama

  1. I have actually hesitated before penning this because I would not want anyone to imagine that by defending contact sports I am advocating somehow the battering of women. So most men would shy away from saying a word. So the strategy I will pursue is just to ask you a few gentle questions. Would you ban Boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling from the Olympics? What about Fencing? Would you allow your son to play Rugby?

    1. I am not the banning sort of person. So, no I wouldn’t ban boxing and wrestling from the Olympics. Not that I watch the Olympics but I’d rather those weren’t categories. As far as I know, you don’t use actual points when fencing. If so, I’d rather they didn’t. Rugby is fun I know from playing – tackle rugby. I think tackle is sufficient for the game.

      I would encourage any son or daughter of mine to pursue the arts for fun – literature, music, and so on and so forth.

  2. OK, you seem pretty reasonable.

    First point, though, is that you have made a correlation of sorts between the guy who might pay to enjoy wrestling and the type who is likely to beat his wife. Unwarranted. If you had said the same of an alcoholic it would have been closer to the truth. So that’s a bit of brow-beating that you’re indulging in.

    Secondly, we have to come to terms with human nature. We are all animals. DNA shows how we are all related. The male of the species fights in one way or another to pass on his genes in the animal kingdom. In human societies, this need to show dominance takes on more subtle forms. For some it may be a muscular body, the ability to dance strenuously (consider folk dances or Elvis the Pelvis)), the possession of a fast car and a daredevil approach (brings out the mother instinct), athletics, enormous wealth or power (the greatest aphrodisiac), brains (nerds can also attract but not so much) etc.

    Others males of the species recognize power (charisma) and may look on in envy. But they are also prepared to pay to see raw elemental physical domination on display. That is why contact sports draw the crowd. American football, hockey (North America), mixed martial arts are particularly popular because they are contact sports but also involve brain power. Chess involves pure brain power but it is not going to cause women to swoon over the World Champion or to provoke particular envy/admiration in men.

    So we can be a little more sympathetic to Wrestlemania. A normal male is not going to want to go home and strangle his wife. A teenage boy is more likely to test out his skill on someone who is usually readily available, in a controlled environment – the perennial younger brother. So this stuff about it causing wife-beating is a stretch.

    Please don’t shoot the messenger.

    1. Ah, but I was talking about teaching kids that violence is cool. I think reasonable grown ups may be able to discern “entertainment” from acceptable normal behaviour but I’m sure we can agree that kids might have a hard time drawing boundaries. It worries me most especially in this country where the rate of domestic violence is so high and where I find violence to be pervasive – from the way kids are “disciplined” in school to the way people communicate with one another.

      I can agree 100% with your sum up of why “normal males” think something like Wrestlemania is cool. I also understand why some people become alcoholics and why some become abusers (and often, both). Just because it’s understandable doesn’t make it right or the best way. Of course, I can be sympathetic towards individuals – some don’t know any better, some succumb to addictions or follow in the footsteps on their parents or they have been severely mistreated in childhood and the list goes on and on… But no, it does not make me sympathetic to alcoholism or abuse or Wrestlemania.

      I would just like to see more emphasis on peacefulness, empathy, cooperation and so on when it comes to the future generations instead of having supposedly reasonable grown ups peddle this sort of thing as “family entertainment” with “family values”. And I would like to see less of this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3551814231974&set=a.3439961155717.159937.1171178818&type=1&theater

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