Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TKO for Women: Equality Is Fine, but Only to a Point

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TKO for Women: Equality Is Fine, but Only to a Point

Article excerpt

She is a slick, accomplished technician. She can slip the jab and counter with a crackling overhand right.

She knows how to pivot and how to bring the full torque of her body into a left hook that is shattering in its force, concussive in its impact.

She is a ferocious predator in the ring, always on the stalk, and even when her pink trunks are splattered with crimson and she is swallowing her own blood, she . . . I'm sorry, but here is where we're stopping. Because it's always right about here where I have problems with female boxers in general, and with Christy Martin in particular. It is unsettling. It is disquieting. A woman gets her nose broken, an eye closed, a lip fattened, I get squeamish. If that makes me sexist and chauvinistic, then I confess, and without apology. This has nothing to do with gender equality. It has nothing to do with gender bias. It has everything to do with old-fashioned notions. If Martin wants to make a buck by bleeding in public, that's her right. I'm in no position to pass judgment. And a part of me will admire her grit and pluck. And yes, a larger part of me will cringe and squirm and want to jump up and shout: "Stop it!" There are many noble causes that deserve to be advanced. But women pounding the stuffing out of one another in a boxing ring is a movement that serves no worthy purpose that I can fathom. Of course, men doing the same thing is without discernible redemption as well, but the fact is, it is our oldest sport and has a visceral, atavistic appeal to our dark side. Despite the best efforts of the reformers, it will always be around. I am for equal rights. I am for equal pay. Women want to go to the Citadel, fine. Women want to serve in the military, fine. But not in combat. That is where I draw the philosophical line. This is my reason: Women are the only ones with the precious gift of giving life. I don't want to see them taking it, too. We do enough of that for both genders. Martin, 28, is 5 feet 4 and 133 pounds. She is from Bluefield, West-By-God-Virginia. She is billed as The Coal Miner's Daughter, and unlike most claims in boxing, that one is true enough. …

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