After a knock-out, drag-out fight to get into the Olympics, women’s boxing will make its debut at the 2012 London Games. It’s certainly great news that women have earned equal rights to the ring, but there’s just one problem: They may be forced to wear a skirt during competition.
Yep, it seems the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) is having a bit of a dress code debate centered around whether boxing shorts or boxing skirts should be worn by female competitors. Nothing final has been determined, however, and the sexist (presumable male?) officials will meet in January to discuss what exactly women should wear–because, you know, it’s all about making sure we look cute and feminine, even when punching someone in the face.
The AIBA believes that wearing skirts would help the women “stand out” from the men. Apparently, the sports bras aren’t indication enough that we are a different sex. Perhaps they should include boxing skirts in all kinds of adorable girly colors with sparkles and glitter (a pet peeve of mine already discussed here last month). But why stop there? How about making these women wear some pink boxing gloves with little hearts and smiley faces on them. And an oh-so-cute mouth guard, preferably in an array of colors to match their cutesy outfit.
My Blisstree associate, Hanna, has boxed for many years and says she has never seen a boxing skirt:
It’s interesting because it’s an entirely new sport for the Olympics, so they have a great opportunity to make a really cool or progressive uniform choice. And skirts would be…the opposite. Boxing in a skirt just seems like it devalues what they’re doing. It’s a girl who could take you out, so let’s put her in a skirt to make it cute instead of tough.
Ireland’s three-time world champion Katie Taylor also makes a good point. She told the BBC:
I won’t be wearing a miniskirt. I don’t even wear miniskirts on a night out, so I definitely won’t be wearing miniskirts in the ring.
Here’s the bottom line AIBA: Girl power doesn’t have to mean girly power.