Sure, Rousey is the most popular MMA fighter in the world, a figure who transcends the world of MMA and is a part of the mainstream. And yeah, she kicks as, is an unstoppable champ, and an Olympian. But hey, some of her opinions make her out to be something less than the Messiah. What the hell, man?
Maybe the answer is MMA — a sport rife with misogyny and other twisted views — expects less than perfect behavior from its stars; supremacy inside the cage and sordidness outside of it are accepted.
And perhaps the mainstream media finds the narrative of an unstoppable, badass warrior woman (who happens to be conventionally attractive and white, because if she wasn’t, they’d probably be writing horrific, offensive articles about her) destroying everything in her path irresistible at a time when feminism is at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist.
There’s “problematic fave” and then there’s flat-out bad person. The Mary Sue’s Teresa Jusino nailed it when she wrote “Rousey is a hypocrite who flouts gender norms when it suits her, but throws women under the bus when it doesn’t.”
She’s also a transphobe, a body-shamer, and a Sandy Hook truther. A winning combination inside the Octagon, perhaps, but certainly not outside of it. Ronda Rousey isn’t a hero. Ronda Rousey isn’t a role model. Ronda Rousey beats people up in a cage. Let’s not pretend she does more than that.
For the record, I don’t agree with the Salon piece. Rousey is awesome, and she’s allowed to have opinions not everyone buys into. I honestly don’t care that she has opinions about Fallon Fox and Cris Cyborg and beat up a boyfriend that secretly took nude pics of her. Rousey is a human being who’s accomplished great things – THAT’S WHAT MAKES HER SPECIAL.