Fact: Hey, TNA Impact Wrestling, it’s 2011!

There are many, many solid objections to be levelled at Impact Wrestling’s egregiously offensive “Thong Thunder” lingerie match from last week.

There’s the fact that the Knockouts division chain of command seems to be just as convoluted and nonsensical as WWE Raw’s – Karen Jarrett reigns supreme, and holds power of hiring and firing, even though Sting and Dixie are nominally in charge; that’s why the women all stood around looking disgruntled but didn’t bother taking their grievance to a higher management level.

There’s the fact that, however you try to play it, a group of women running and rolling around in their underwear is soft porn. For a division which emphasises the ability of their female talent, to reduce their role on the show to this is embarrassing and undignified for everybody involved. Including the viewers. (Hey, TNA! Guess what! Women and gays watch wrestling too! Let’s face it, wrestling has a distinct homoerotic undertone, no matter how much you may want to disguise it! Are you going to get the X Division working in their scanties? No, I thought not.)

Karen Jarrett pointed out that the Knockouts were mostly more covered up in their lingerie than they are in their regular ring gear, and berated them to “show more skin” next week. I’m sure the lack of exposed flesh will be used as a defence by those who see nothing wrong with lingerie matches as a rule. However, it’s the principle of the thing. Lingerie is equated with sex; dressing your female talent in lingerie encourages them to be objectified and viewed as sex objects.

That’s not to say that wrestling fans should not find wrestlers attractive; I feel fairly sure that’s inevitable. However, when you’re being encouraged by the company itself to see an individual firstly as a sexual object, and then as a wrestler, you are on a slippery slope; a slope that ends with your champion being Kelly Kelly and the catchy little motto “Wrestling Matters” being a total mockery.

At the end of the day, it’s 2011. We shouldn’t be seeing this kind of hideously offensive sexist bullshit on primetime international television. Impact Wrestling should know better.

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12 Responses to Fact: Hey, TNA Impact Wrestling, it’s 2011!

  1. ValkyrieSmudge says:

    What was the actual reason given for the match? Has Karen Jarrett turned into some sort of crazy misogynist?
    It’s worrying when something can make WWE look feminist by comparison!

  2. If they’re going to do that, why don’t they just sling the women in a paddling-pool full of custard and be done with it?

    Also… Thong Thunder? Really?? That sounds like a gastric issue, not a sports event, no matter how large the quotes around ‘sports’ are.

  3. Mike says:

    “Are you going to get the X Division working in their scanties? No, I thought not.)”

    To be perfectly fair and scrupulously even-handed, most Eric Young matches end up with him having no pants on…

  4. Carrie says:

    By which I mean that Eric Young taking off his trews isn’t presented as erotic – it’s a joke. Or gross.

  5. workmancer says:

    I don’ think the Knockouts division has emphasis on wrestling so much as bigger than anyone else’s implants. Nothing was more evident of that than when ODB and Jaquiline Moore returned… after they replaced Daffney. I think the average bra cup size for the division is triple D. That’s why they get the ratings.

    But I don’t think they should have had that G rated slumber party on Thanksgiving.

    Now that Karen’s in power, it seems like some bad B movie from the 80s where its an all women’s prison.

    • Carrie says:

      Take the point about the implants, but they do try to set themselves up as being better than WWE in the amount of televised ring time they give the women, and obviously there are also two titles to go for, as Winter pointed out last week.

      • workmancer says:

        They do. Their in ring time is usually 8 – 10 minutes per show. WWE’s is less than 5. But WWE uses theirs more as intermission. TNA’s women have had bad matches, but not at the ratio as the WWE’s has bad matches. But maybe they’d have better matches if they broke the 5 minute mark.

        Heck even TNA has matches less than 5 minutes long are bad. Perhaps Jesse Neal can have a better match with Bully Ray if they went 10 minutes.

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