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I’ve had a couple of weeks to think about the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympics, and I’ve come to see that the people who object to that development are misogynists, morons, or both.
Perhaps they are descended from the people who were outraged when women first began smoking cigarettes, a practice which, like boxing, was once reserved for men.
When women did start smoking, they had to hide their habit unless they wished to be considered loose or depraved.
Similarly, until the International Olympic Committee voted to add women’s boxing to the 2012 Games in London, most women who enjoyed beating each other up had to do it in back alleys or bars, though some of the more fortunate among them could practice their passion in the dark corners of gyms inhabited mostly by boxing men.
But those days are gone, and good riddance. As the IOC’s decision demonstrates, we live in a time when it’s generally recognized that women should have the opportunity to enjoy all the rights and privileges previously reserved only for men — and all the damage as well.
This doesn’t mean that women must smoke or that they must box. But if they want lung cancer, heart disease, short wind, stained teeth, bad breath and an addiction that’s becoming increasingly more expensive, they, like their male counterparts who desire those conditions and distinctions, have every right to embrace smoking.
If they wish to incur brain damage and kidney damage, and if they choose to risk blindness and early-onset dementia, let ‘em box, just like the boys.
Some who have objected to the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympics have argued that the field is not sufficiently competitive, suggesting that there will be mismatches. They’ve worried that women from countries with a history of supporting their sport would have an unfair advantage over novices from lands where women have not previously been encouraged to hammer on each other.
But a handful of pathetically lopsided poundings would be a small price to pay in the pursuit of equality, as I’m sure the women destined to bleed, mumble and wobble into oblivion on that grand and glorious errand will be the first to acknowledge, if they’re conscious.
This program aired on August 26, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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