Thursday, August 8, 2013

Men Admiring Women

Sometimes I take for granted how awesome my gym is for women. We have ladies ranging from white to black, my first partner was MMA fighter Jessica Aguilar and world champion Gezary Matuda calls our mats home. 

Gezary Matuda

I was sitting next to one of our promising green belt guys last night during the first round of sparring. He nudged me and motioned toward Gezary--"Wow...did you see that transition?? That was insane. Her flow is ridiculous...did you see what she did?? It was like...Bam! And she was on top!" He sat in deep focus the rest of the round.

That...that right there is one of moments that's a stark reminder to me of how special BJJ is. You don't hear men admiring...genuinely admiring women very often. Mentioning how technical WNBA players are doesn't count...I'm talking sincere admiration, in the sense they see something that they personally want to see in themselves.

I didn't think about it until later, but this also highlights the importance of the signals men send other men. No doubt the green belt saw other guys congratulating her, getting advice from her and watching for ideas. Her husband trains and is two belt ranks lower, and on the mats, the belts are all that matters. Jiu jitsu is the standard.

There is so much value to be found in mixed-gender classes, and even cross-gender sparring. I'm a firm believer that the -isms of societies can't be cured until we learn to see each other as individual humans, each deserving of respect--there are precious few things out there more human than the lessons and insights that BJJ gives. 


Liam H Wandi said...

I have no choice but to. I was raised by very strong women :)

Megan said...

Yeah...the people you are raised with determine a LOT.

Trudy said...

I love this essay! And yes, men admiring women beyond their interpersonal relationship with one, beyond how they think of her in terms of the own sexual gratification (which is objectification not admiration at all), beyond thinking of her in juxtaposition to another man and her service ("wow his wife is awesome, she did X for him")is really powerful.

Megan said...

Yep!It's an elemental admiration. Very rare.