RingSide Report

World News, Social Issues, Politics, Entertainment and Sports

Why Stop Women?

By Ron Signore

We live in a very interesting time for so many reasons, but one particularly interesting component seems to be an ongoing battle to keep women as assets. Furthermore, assets in a past time in our history. In typical sociological fashion, we cannot even keep that simple. We complicate the already rough waters with variables like race and religion.

Politically, we continue to trend backwards, sadly in multiple arenas of human rights, but very particularly around women’s rights. Thanks to the conservative majority of the supreme court led by the 3 appointments from Cheeto Boy, the nation is battling a fundamental right to healthcare that we all thought was settled many years ago with Roe V Wade. The decision to be pro-life or pro-choice has been an ongoing ideological debate. One that really tests the boundaries of where life really begins. Is it murder to terminate a pregnancy because the developing fetus should be considered alive and have rights?

Continuing to try and determine when that point of life begins has branched out into other arguments that impact society a bit more because we have a political party who continues to try and intertwine religion and government together. The efforts from the right-wing Christian, or devout religious mentality personalities within governing bodies, are continuing to argue a duty to reproduce. From the religious perspective, it is “God’s will” for us to pro-create and populate the Earth. Somehow, that lovely principle itself has turned into the more monetarily based idea of how we need to populate the workforce.

There is an irony of these people who are preaching this typically show conflict by flying both a Thin Blue Line flag and a Don’t Tread on Me Flag. They want freedoms where the state doesn’t drive law and order in this instance, yet a typical philosophy of law and order being maintained is the desire of this particular group of people. Everything should be removed from government/state intervention, except specifically the medical right to terminate a pregnancy. I will not argue that there are not people who accidentally get pregnant and do not want the pregnancy, which I do feel is a matter of making a decision of what is best for the big picture and long-term life picture, that for sure should be a personal choice, whether I believe a woman should terminate or not.

However, we have gone down a far more cynical rabbit hole that just sickens me. We are now in debates over the use of IVF treatments, or terminating a pregnancy as a result of rape, incestual rape, and age. Republican and religious purists would have you believe a 13-year-old should carry a pregnancy to term, even if she was raped by a family member. We also have found continued cases of battling to terminate non-viable pregnancies. We are willing to allow for greater risk to all involved to defy a moral decision based on science, one that is not taken lightly, I can all but guarantee that. No one thinks about the lack of empathy one must have to knowingly put an expecting mother who learns she has a non-viable pregnancy through full term labor and delivery.

It is the Right’s nature to care more about something that hasn’t taken a breath of air than to care about what happens to that fetus once it takes in air. The lack of thinking in the short term is one thing, but they continue to fail on the long-term picture. They do not know the likelihood of how loving the parents will be, the opportunities a child will or will not have, and clearly, they do not think about education since our education system is one failed cluster. Plus, Agent Orange said one of his first cuts in White House would be to cut funding for the DoE, so it will only get worse. They want to cast blame of irresponsibility to a parent who terminates a pregnancy, yet they are irresponsible the day the first breath of air is taken.

It isn’t just the freedom of choice that women are battling. There continues to be a battle with notion of equality in the world. On average, women make less money in the same positions as men. Yet, while we are battling medical freedoms for women, we are continuing to see a surge in women’s sports. Popularity, determined by viewership, ticket, and merchandise sales, suggests a continued growth in women’s sports. The rise of the dominant United States Women’s National Soccer Team has continued to draw sellout crowds and have a hard time filling demand for jersey sales.

But it is like we have this battle in even this category of women’s sports. The fight on the surface is equality with men. However, the fight internally is driven by race and greed. Nothing shows more of a clear picture than the rise of Caitlyn Clark. The women’s basketball player out of the University of Iowa and now playing professionally for the Indiana Fever has sparked controversy whether she likes it or not. Clark is a phenomenal ball player. No matter what my evaluations by comparisons, she is great. That said, I consider her the WNBA’s version of Kobe Bryant. She may score a lot of points, but there is a strong correlation between her points and the number of shots she takes. She will throw the ball up without regard due to her accumulated arrogance in abilities to hit the three ball. Again, not a bad thing, I would just need to see more of a unified team play with those points in order to start aligning her with the Jordan comparisons.

However, I digress. While Clark does talk some trash on the court, she is going through an astounding amount of abuse physically that does indeed remind me of “The Jordan Rules” implemented by the Bad Boys of the late 80’s Detroit Pistons. Hard foul after hard foul, some on what can be considered non-basketball type plays. I took my family to the Fever vs. Sky game on Saturday for the much-anticipated professional matchup between Clark and Angel Reese, who really drew a great and exciting rivalry with the games between Iowa and LSU in the NCAA post season. There was a foul away from the ball, way away from the ball, where Sky forward Chennedy Carter plants Clark to the floor. It was cheap and ridiculous but drew some attention.

When the Jordan Rules were in play, the point was simple: stop Michael Jordan at all costs. My speculation goes a completely different way with this scenario of abuse on the young rookie. With Jordan, he has been in the league a few years and consistently found ways to beat teams. The Indiana Fever are….not good. Caitlyn Clark was the number one pick in the draft this year, so it is not like she has had a whole lot of time to adjust, develop, or even win many games. I cannot definitively suggest that this is a racially motivated agenda, though at times it appears to be reality that everyone is picking on the young white girl (weird thought, right?). Rather, I see this more as a greed and jealousy topic, which may also scream from a white privilege notion.

When Clark was drafted, season tickets sold out near immediately. Hype was huge. She was given the largest contract for a rookie in WNBA history, at $78,000 per year. I think the league minimum in the NBA is more than that. With her Fever salary, she has also comprised large endorsement deals, and had use of a chartered jet for transportation, which are things not many WNBA players have the luxury of having access to. Angel Reese herself claimed that WNBA viewership numbers were not just up because of Clark, but implying she was a reason for the increased popularity as well.

Then I sit back and I think of all the big names that went pro in basketball for the WNBA since it’s inception. You had greats like Rebecca Lobo, Cheryl Swoops, Lisa Leslie, Britney Griner, Diana Taurasi, and many more that haven’t made the impact on this league’s popularity, yet these players carried significant notoriety and resumes of winning compared to the rookie’s early part of her career. So, is the hard play a result of her not exactly paying her dues? I suppose it could just be the equivalent of the common understanding of that first hard hit in football to a rookie from a veteran with the mentality theme of “welcome to the big show.” What makes it worse is that it seems like she doesn’t even have the true support of her team to back her up when she gets battered.

Whatever it is, I would like to see more unfold to make a clearer determination from my speculation. There are a lot of concepts flying around in the sports talk world, and some of the talk has crossed into areas that I mention as possible reasons she is getting hammered. If it is anything other than just a hard welcoming to the pros, there needs to be a hard look at how to stop the pettiness and raise the bar of play so that the movement can continue to evolve. We know we live in a monetarily driven world. The reality is that in sports specifically, revenue is divided proportionally to the revenue each sport/division brings in. If viewership continues to grow, an interest in driving better talent and excitement will follow, and round and round it goes to where the intrigue and money close the gap to men’s professional sports.

No matter what, this is not an overnight battle. It has been going on for decades and will continue to climb slowly but surely. Whether it is the equality of respect, pay, or rights, we need to stop finding ways to go backwards and exponentially leap forward.

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