Monday, August 18, 2014

All Our Problem

We were careful in describing his career path on Thursday... Because we sensed this was coming. Accuracy is always important. But really, is this necessary?

(Go to 9:00 on the video below for the fireworks.)

Look, we get it. Dana White wants to talk about Ronda Rousey. He wants to talk about the all female cast of competitors on the new season of "The Ultimate Fighter". He wants to show us all the progress UFC has made in integrating women MMA fighters and valuing the contribution women are making to MMA.

Dana White and other UFC executives don't want to talk about War Machine, especially since he hasn't fought for UFC since 2008. They don't want to talk aboht Josh Grispi either, even though his last MMA fight was for UFC last year. (Basically, they're now receiving the Jason Miller treatment.) They don't want to talk about male MMA fighters running into domestic violence related trouble, especially when they feel they've done so much in recent years to promote equal rights in MMA.

Yes, UFC has made some progress in leaving behind its sexist past. Yes, War Machine had been under contract with Bellator this year (until he was released from that contract when this story first broke). But really, what's the point of arguing over who he was under contract with when?

Look, we get it. No one wants to take responsibility for the transformation of Jonathan Koppenhaver into War Machine. And no one wants to acknowledge the severity of rape culture in America. Even many (mostly "TEA" flavored) politicians scoff at the reality of violence against women.

Nope, it's easier to cry about some mythical "war on men". It's easier to dismiss the "disposable". And of course, it's so much easier to simply blame the victim.

Christy Mack is a porn star, so she must be a "slut" who "deserved it". Marichuy Gamino is an "illegal" and a "t----y", so she "deserves it". Jada went to the party, so she "deserves it".

No. Just no. No one "deserves it". No one deserves to be assaulted to near-death. No one deserves to be thrown into solitary confinement after reporting one's sexual assault. And no one deserves to be drugged and raped at a teen party.

As we said Thursday, this isn't just a MMA problem. This is an American problem. And it's long past time for us to blithely dismiss violence against cis and trans* women.

Dana White may be callous in trying to dump the entire War Machine fiasco onto the lap of a rival MMA league simply because that was the last league he worked for. However, we're no better when we ignore or marginalize violence against women that doesn't involve MMA fighters. This is all our problem. So what will we do to solve this?

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