Changing Ideals of Women in Sports, UFC, and Ronda Rousey



Anyone who follows any sport knows about UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey. In the past year, she has broken as a star in the UFC (ultimate Fighting Championship). Rousey began to pave her path when she became the first woman to sign with UFC in 2012. Since then, she has become the most dominant female fighter in the UFC, up until her lose to Holly Holm. Because of Ronda’s success in the UFC a long with her current loss to Holm, Rousey has made all fans of UFC and fans of fighting sports to turn and follow the women’s UFC fights. In becoming one of the head stars of the UFC and in any women sports, Rousey is not only challenging social norms for women in sports, but also social norms for women in society.

When asked about her opinion on a pay dispute that is going on between an Australian women’s soccer team, Rousey responded “I think that how much you get paid should have something to do with how much you bring in, I’m the highest paid fighter not because Dana and Lorenzo wanted to do something nice for the ladies. They do it because I bring in the highest numbers. They do it because I make them the most money. And I think the money that they make should be proportionate to the money they bring in.” On another occasion when asked about criticism of her body as being “too masculine”, Rousey responded, “I think it’s femininely bad-a** as fuck, because there not a single muscle in my body that isn’t used for a purpose, because I’m not a do-nothing b****.”

It is interesting to see how Ronda Rousey does not specifically fits what it means to be “masculine” or “feminine” by societies standards. In addition, Rousey has not identified herself as a feminist and she has continued to be criticized by both genders for being to “masculine” and not standing up for what is believed to be equal pay. It seems that our culture wants public icons to be superficial and their views to be easy to understand. I hope Rousey continues to challenge gender norms in sports and in society and helps pave the way for women in other sports.