- Alicia Takaoka
My Fave is Problematic: Wrestling Edition, part 2
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month (an addition to a bunch of other things like Breast Cancer Awareness month), so I felt like I should take this time to talk about some of the abuse and atrocities reverberating in one of my fandoms before talking about some of my own sex abuse and trauma this month. Stay tuned lol
#speakingout is a hashtag trending on Twitter. It is about what women have endured to be a part of the wrestling business. It started on June 17th, 2020. Kimber Lee was one of the first people to share her story of abuse and sexual assault in a twitter thread in June. Numerous women have spoken out, sharing the atrocities they were forced to endure just to have tv time.
In an interesting twist, the Wikipedia page for the Speaking Out Movement only focuses on the men accused of crimes and abuse as well as how these allegations have been handled by their promotions. It also focuses on the fate of some promotions and the government actions taken in the UK to investigate these claims.
You know what is missing from this page?
The stories of women.
Not a single woman or man who shared their stories are mentioned here.
I’m conflicted about this. I can see it as shaming the abuser. Leave a record of what this person has done so it can be seen by the world forever, in perpetuity, pending future revisions from other wiki scholars. However, this idea of removing the woman entirely is outdated and sexist.
These women were brave for sharing what happened to them, and they are being removed from their own stories. It’s shameful. Before I go in and make some edits, I just want to share that this is how it is at the moment. Women who have named their abusers are removed from history without their consent.
If a woman shares an account of what happened to her, of course she will leave her name out of it. If she chooses to remain anonymous, of course she will leave her name out. To purposely omit the names of many accusers, however, is an act of removing agency, autonomy, and power. It is an act of silencing the victim. For an editor of a page to consciously choose to leave someone’s name out, even if done with thought and intention, is misguided and based on some ideology, complex, or sex script that should be examined in a therapeutic setting. Not in a harsh way because therapy is amazing! It’s more in a guided, meditative way to try to understand the unconscious biases that made this decision be the one that was selected. Was this decision selected out of a desire to protect? Was it rooted in male privilege? The only way to know is to explore these with the help of a professional.
Why am I talking about this now?
Well, the answer is two-fold. October is domestic violence awareness month. Domestic and intimate partner violence is surrounded by stigma and conflated by negative self-talk about what people deserve. Those are just stories, and they are not true. If you are in a situation where you are being gaslit or physically, verbally, sexually, academically, and/or spiritually abused, you do not have to hold this secret. Seek help. Tell someone you trust. Make a plan and get out. I did, and I am better for it.
The second reason to talk about this now is that Joey Ryan filed a defamation lawsuit against the women who accused him. He named those anonymous women. What a coward he is. His gimmick is played out, and so is he.
Fuck Joey Ryan and his defamation lawsuit.
Really, are all those people lying? Because that is a complex web of lies and slander to keep track of.
I seriously hope all of the people accused (and even those who weren’t) take these accusations seriously and seek help to understand and undo these complex ideologies and behavior patterns that make them think it is alright to force others to do their bidding. Even if “nothing was found” during the investigations, looking into these things will still help to heal and develop deeper relationships with those you are about and those you meet in the future.
Seriously, we cannot move past this cycle of hurt and harm if we all don’t work together to become better for ourselves and for our future.
#ruinyourchildhood #rethinkyourchildhood #DrAliT #thinkcritically #feministstorylines #feministwresting #wrestling #myfaveisproblematic #speakingout #domesticviolenceawareness #speakup #intimatepartnerviolence #fuckjoeyryan
Image by @wrstleisland (Wrestle Island on Twitter)