Thursday, April 30, 2009

Give it up for the ladies.

The Sisterhood of the Squared Circle had a good night last night. Both of the two Feverlast bouts scheduled were male vs. female with the female coming out on top (India Nadeau scoring a knockout in her first match, followed by Ardsley Ballinger going the full three rounds in her fight to win by points). Follow that up with Shan Pevensey and Crystal Meersand having a serious woman-to-woman discussion with the original Averlast gloves, and in addition to that the official announcement of Abbiee Benazzi's promotion to the heavyweight division, well, like I said, it was a good night.

It's been a while since I've talked about the male/female divide when it comes to fight sports in SL. No doubt the idea of a man and a woman facing off in the boxing ring (or MMA octagon, just to give the arena across the hall its props) raises a few eyebrows of those not familiar with SL. So to emphasize a point I've made before: Physical gender differences in SL are entirely aesthetic. When it comes to avatars, a five-foot-nothing stick figure is the physical equal of an eight-foot-tall musclebound hulk. The upshoot of this is that men and women of all shapes and sizes can wade in with mad abandon and reasonably expect a fair fight.

People being people, some can't seem to wrap their heads around the concept of a level physical playing field between the genders. This can lead to something as innocuous as some promotions maintaining separate championships for men and women, but sometimes it takes an uglier tinge in the form of the guy who can't handle "getting beaten by a girl."

Needless to say, these guys don't stick around Averlast for long. They're seldom missed.

Personally, of my four losses in my official record, two were to women. Both I considered to be good friends at the time. One still is. The other... well, who knows? But that's a hornet's nest I'll stir some other time, when time has given me perspective on the circumstances that go far beyond the specific fact of her departure.

Before I close this out, no post on the women at Averlast would be complete without a shout-out to current Averlast and Feverlast Middleweight Champion karynn Windlow. Anybody who knows her outside of the ring knows that she's a fun, energetic, playful person and generally just great to have around. Her in-ring performance has earned her nicknames like "The Cheetah" and "Hyper K." The woman is fast. I like to spar her when I can (roughly once in a blue moon), because not only do I get the pleasure of her company, but I'm also pushing myself just to keep up with her. Not only is she fast, but also tenacious, and she will knock you silly if you let your mind wander.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least that the day she drops her Averlast belt is the day she's moved up to heavyweight. Then I might be facing off with her in the other corner for the real deal, so I'd better study up.

Actually, now that I think about it, Abbiee - a formidable fighter in her own right - started her heavyweight career last night by implying that she'd like to get me in the ring. Studying up might not be such a bad idea.

Um, karynn, will you be free anytime soon?

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