Ronda Rousey and the Fight to Break Gender Inequality Barriers
In life everyone is born to do something, for Ronda Rousey that something is fighting. Not only has Ronda fought physically but has also fought to disprove critics of men’s based physical sports, break gender inequality barriers such as traditional gender roles and has overcome sex segregation in the work place. Not only has she had success against her opponents in the octagon but most importantly has created an example of how women can break gender role barriers.
At the young age of 11 Ronda Rousey became intensely interested in the physical sport of Judo. By age 17 she had already competed in two world Olympics and became the first American women to earn an Olympic medal in judo. This was only the beginning for Ronda. In 2012 Ronda had become a living example for women’s empowerment when she became the reason for UFC President Dana White to give women’s MMA a chance after previously stating for years that he would never hold a female fight in the octagon. Dana’s statement is a perfect example of how “sports’ masculinity have focused on the neglect or heavy exclusion of women.” (Reader 223). Ronda broke this way of thinking when she became the first women s MMA fighter to sign with the UFC.
During the first 3 years of her career Ronda has managed to shut down sports critics and has proven that gender roles can be abolished. “Gender Roles refer to a society’s expectations of peoples behaviors and attitudes based on their biological sex.” (Barkan 8.1). In an interview with USA Today Ronda shares her opinion on gender roles stating “ I think women’s fighting in the octagon really affects everything that women see as possible for themselves. It’s not about trying to find a role that already exists that you can fit into.” (Fox News) This statement alone proves how much “Gender is a social construction. How we think and behave as females and males is not etched into stone by our biology, but rather is a result of how society expects us to think and behave based on what sex we are.”(Barkan 8.1).
Lastly, Ronda has also broken barriers regarding sex segregation in the workplace. “ Sex segregation in the work place exists partly because socialization affects what jobs young men and women peruse and partly because women and men do not want to encounter difficulties they may experience if they took a job traditionally assigned to other sex” (Barkan 8.3) such has fighting which is generally more common among males. Even though Ronda has broken barriers of gender role and status since UFC started in 1993 she wants girls to know that “every girl doesn’t have to become a fighter, but every girl can see that even if something is perceived as a guys thing, it doesn’t mean it isn’t for them” (Fox News.)
In conclusion even though “Boys Athletics tend to be more physical and aggressive and puts more emphasis on winning and being tough in the face of adversity and dealing with pain and injuries.” (Reader 220). Rousey has proved that gender doesn’t make a difference when fighting. With the use of “Television shows, movies, popular music, magazines, Web sites, and other aspects of the mass media influence our political views; our tastes in popular culture; our views of women..”(Barkan 3.3) will help change people’s view on gender inequality and gender roles, with the use of mass media Ronda will continue to inspire women and break traditional gender role norms, sex segregation views in the work place, and will continue to make a name for herself and other