That’s right. I am fifty-five years old, and I stayed up until 2:15 a.m. the other night to watch Ronda Rousey’s UFC fight. I wasn’t alone. Many of my boomer friends where doing the same.
Why did we endure six boring preliminary fights with guys who had seemingly been yanked from a recliner in front of their television to fight?
Because Ronda Rousey was the main event.
You can tell me that UFC fighting is violent (it is), and barbaric (sometimes true), but that’s not the point. The point is that Ronda Rousey has taken on the once all-male sport and unapologetically become the main draw.
Because Ronda takes her anti-hero status and wears black proudly. She walks out to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” with a look in her eye that is unabashed aggression. There’s a shark-like quality to her gaze that exudes focus and dominance.
Ronda knocks her opponents to the ground, often in less than a minute. Once down, she leans in to finish the job. She makes it clear that when she’s in the ring, she’s there to win.
As women, we have long been taught to be polite, pretty, and quiet. We’re taught that even in the ring of competition women should be focused on good deeds, not triumph. I don’t think Ronda got the memo.
Like many women, I’ve dealt with this all of my life. I once had a Ford service guy ride with me in a brand new car which had a badly bent frame. As the car rattled until our teeth clinked together, he said, “Well, you know, this is a very bumpy road.”
Had I possessed Ronda’s zeal at the time, I might have pulled over, removed my seat belt, and forced him into an armbar submission.
Instead, I said, “Measure the distance between the tire and the wheel-base. There’s a six-inch difference from side-to-side. That’s a bent frame.”
His response was – “Darlin’, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
I’m not sure if that meant I was supposed to put out or accept his explanation of a bumpy road, but either was out of the question. I ended up with a new car. Vinegar worked a little better than expected.
Ronda doesn’t just win – she succeeds because she out-prepares her opponents. I tried that approach with a class in college, and yet I remember the day a professor told me that I was a little too opinionated in class and needed to just “hold my thoughts and focus on learning,”
I should have used a Ronda Rousey weigh-in staredown, flexing my jaw and leaning into his corduroy jacket and condescending attitude.
After Ronda’s victory the other night, she thanked both the fans who cheered her on and those who booed her. She smiled through her watery eyes and said she liked the fans who booed her more, because they made her better.
This woman doesn’t have balls, she has courage. She eats criticism for breakfast and turns it into fuel for the fight. She works harder than anyone around her, and declares victories before they occur.
Not because she’s cocky, but because she’s the best. She’s proven it over and over again.
At the age of fifty-five, I’ve realized that women are programmed to worry about everything – Are we pretty enough? Will that guy call us back? Are we acting too smart? Does our purse match our shoes? Are we too opinionated at work?
Ronda don’t play that. This is a woman who should travel to schools to teach young girls how to accept criticism as a compliment . . . because critics are people who live in the shadows, afraid of the battle.
I learned my strength from a grandmother who in her late seventies went to the emergency room because she was injured while playing youth softball. I have an aunt who divorced when it wasn’t cool and went on her get her PhD as a single mom. Those women taught me that women don’t have to apologize for anything, unless we are truly wrong. You know, like if we stab someone or something,
I’m not immune to insecurities. I remember dating a guy who told me that I should wear shorter skirts and better quality pantyhose (I tended to select the L’eggs made of rubber because they never ran). When I asked him why, he said, “Because you’re prettier than you dress.”
Today, after learning from Ronda Rousey, I’d have to choke him out.
Let’s talk about Donald Trump for just a second, although this is a second you’ll never get back. Donald Trump’s recent tweet about Hilary Clinton stated –
“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
Apparently, a woman who has been a Senator, Secretary of State, and a Presidential candidate has one job and one job only – to sexually satisfy not only her husband, but all of America.
I hope that Ronda Rousey reminds us that we are allowed to be powerful. That we can look sexy or strong or sloppy or whatever . . . as long as we do it because we want to do it.
Like Joan Rivers, or Amy Schumer, or Ronda Rousey, or Gloria Steinem continually teach us – we are allowed to dish it out. And when the angry comments come (and they will), we can take it.
And, Donald Trump, try telling Ronda Rousey that her job is to get married and satisfy a husband.
I predict that you’re down in nine seconds, in a submission that you aren’t going to like, not one little bit.