Written by ‘Steven Johns’ *
Does it really matter if a referee is male or female?
Is it a conditioned misconception that a woman can’t do the same job as a man? Especially in a male dominated sport that is, let’s face it, as brutal as a sport can be. Assuming women are any more sensitive to violence than men.
Well first off, I’d like to say that there are plenty of male referees that are complete shit and make mistake after mistake and still get asked to continue doing a terrible job show after show.
That being understood makes me ask the question of why a female ref would be so scorned for a simple mistake like an early stoppage or a questionable stand up or whatever the problem was/is.
That is surely down to an obvious bias towards females in a male dominated work place because as I just said there are soooooo many bad male refs that continue to be employed while there has (to my understanding) been no great increase in female MMA refs, while female competitors and fans are growing at quite an astounding rate. This is a sport that is simulating something that most people frown upon unless it is in a sporting environment.
I say if someone has the relevant experience, understanding and love of MMA then it makes no difference if they are a fat ugly ass man (who looks like they never once competed or even watched MMA for that matter); or a brutish short-haired, stern looking lady (who probably only took up the position because she wants to see men beat each other half to death and women grapple with fuck all on except hot pants and a sports bra). As long as they do a good job of protecting the fighters and allow them to almost kill each other in the beautiful display of human chess that we have all come to love and cherish.
I say fuck genders, let’s take it a step further and see if Chris Cyborg can hang with men at 145 and can Gabby Garcia beat up a male pro wrestler? Trust me, no one gives a f+ck who the referee is if the fight is a good match up or a seemingly impossible mountain to conquer for one or the other!
The obvious question people will throw back will be;
“How can a 100lb female who’s never done BJJ before stop a 200lb man from whaling down shots on his opponent?”
I say, I believe that problem is the same for a 100lb male ref with no BJJ experience. That’s why you would have a big ref for big athletes and a smaller ref for smaller athletes. Plus, if they have no BJJ or MMA experience, regardless of gender they shouldn’t be in there.
In short; no, it does not matter the gender of a ref. Some are good, some are bad; but one thing is for sure if you are concentrating on the ref you have got your priorities wrong.
Long live gender equality and long live people’s ever differing opinions.
* = Steven Johns is the pen name of our guest blogger. He is a former professional fighter who is still involved in the industry.