Linda McMahon’s Misogynistic History

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Most people only know Linda McMahon as the matriarch of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), the organization of which she is President and CEO of alongside her husband Vince.  But residents here in Connecticut, where I live, know her as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

In 2009, she also lost the same race against the former Attorney General of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal.

Through her career with the WWE (formerly the WWF) McMahon and her husband have made millions of dollars off exploiting violence as well as mainstream misogyny, which is one of the reasons I am extremely turned off at her political bid.

I must admit, I have never been a viewer of their wrestling programs. I was not raised on them, nor am I interested in violence for entertainment. Fake or not these images are not something I would choose to view, or allow my children to view.

A little over a week ago, a short ten minute film titled Only Entertainment? found its way into my personal Facebook feed, and I sat down to watch it.

I was completely appalled by the short documentary which focused around violence against women, and violence in general within the WWE. Women being beaten, forcefully violated in sexual manners, and degraded – all for “entertainment” purposes. I use the word entertainment loosely with this, as well, because I find nothing entertaining about it at all.

In fact, I find it offensive and detrimental to our children.

As a mother of two sons as well as a daughter, I can’t imagine why anyone would allow their children to watch these types of messages. Not just because of the sheer violent nature of it, but the way they openly treat the women on these shows. There is nothing acceptable about cheering on a man as he forces himself on a woman, whether he is Hulk Hogan or not. Sending the message that women deserve this kind of forced sexual behavior is nothing short (in my opinion) of promoting sexual assault as punishment.

In America, every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted. Over the course of one calendar year that rounds out to 207, 754. 44% of those victims are under the age of 18. Boys and girls being violated,while programming like this is allowed to air with only simple warnings.

What was really rich to all this was the newest Linda McMahon ad in which she calls herself a “proud pro-choice woman.” A woman who is not anti-women. A proud pro-choice woman who offered birth control and mammograms to employees of the WWE, yet an employer who allows some of the WWE’s biggest starts to be brutalized on air.

McMahon may be a woman and she might consider herself to be a pro-choice woman. But sitting back and raking in millions of dollars from the nationally televised brutalization of women doesn’t make you pro-woman or an idol for women. It makes you a bad role model for our young women. A CEO who sits back while this type of behavior is openly accepted in her organization and promoted for money is not someone we should be sending to the U.S. Senate.

Why not stop the messages that women deserve to be sexually assaulted or beaten? Hasn’t that line of outdated thinking caused enough harm to the females of the world already?

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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13 Responses to Linda McMahon’s Misogynistic History

  1. Dana October 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Danielle, I think what you fail to realize is that those woman wrestlers CHOSE to be there. Comparing this to an actual sexual assault is pretty pathetic, even for you. I seem to remember you posing for pictures while wearing brass knuckles and holding a gun while trying to look “thug”. Was that you being a misogynist towards yourself, or was that different? I have to question whether you understand what a misogynist is because you throw that word around quite often. You do seem to be jealous of any Republican woman who is intelligent and can speak her mind without copying two year old stories off of MSNBC. Maybe one day.

  2. Jenn October 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    You know, your constant need to throw around the word “sexually assaulted” is a slap in the face to women who have actually BEEN sexually assaulted or abused for that matter. These women on WWE do NOT go into this not knowing what it’s all about, so for you to compare a FAKE show for entertainment purposes to being sexually assaulted or abused is disgusting. Kinda like how you compared your first C-section to being raped when YOU gave consent, YOU signed your name on the dotted line no one else.
    If you’re going to try and jump on the political band wagon, please educate yourself before you post such blatent crap.
    Oh, and for someone who is so tired of these so called “mommy wars” you sure do spend a lot of time putting down other women for the choices they make in their lives. Especially successful, wealthy women at that. Jealous much?

  3. Monica October 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    This is borderline slander plain and simple. Sexual assault means the women DID NOT consent. So are you implying that these women who were hired for this job did not know nor want what they were getting into? How is it any different than any of the other trashy TV programs that are out there today? Including soap operas. They are all simply actors playing a part in a show. And as far as I know there have been no lawsuits against the McMahon’s which have included accusations of sexual assault.

    As far as what kind of parent would allow their child to watch this? That would be me. That’s right, my children watch wrestling with their father because he enjoys wrestling. Just like they watch baseball with me. It is a way for our children to be a part of our interests. They don’t watch it all the time. My husband will save a few matches here and there of their favorite wrestlers for them to watch, but it’s something they can do together and they enjoy. And we talk to our children during these programs to explain either how the game is played or that it’s not real and it’s just acting. And there is a disclaimer on every single program stating that these individuals are highly trained and not to do this at home.

    There are also women who are in power and degrade and abuse men in this program. Is that okay? Bottom line is this is all acting and all things these women consented to. Just as the men consented to.

    The fact that Linda McMahon used to work for the WWE (no longer does) does not mean she hates women or is making money off of the brutalization of women either. As a matter of fact she hasn’t been president and CEO of the WWE since she ran for election in 2009. She retired. So please get your facts straight before you go writing about this.

  4. Danielle Elwood
    Danielle Elwood October 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Monica, Dana, and Jenn of course I knew none of you would agree with anything I have to say. Which is fine for me. If you would like your children to watch that or learn how to treat women from the film, or video I linked. That is up to you as a parent. To me these images are unacceptable as a whole.

    Entertainment or not so many children believe wrestling programs are REALITY programs, not fictional. My first experience with wrestling type programs and the people who watch them was in middle school. There was a group of kids in our school who not only believed they were 100% real, they also thought they were wrestlers themselves. It happens. All the time.

    If you go back and watch the full video which I posted, which was what MADE me write the post. There are all kinds of young adults in the video talking about how the violence “isn’t a big deal” or how the women “deserved it”

    As a woman, a feminist, and a mother – profiting from these images is appalling to me. As simple as that.

    If you don’t agree, that is fine. There are many people who do agree with me.

    • Monica October 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Danielle,
      I watched the video and I have been watching wrestling since before you were even a thought in your parents mind. Yes, my parents watched wrestling when I was a child and I watched it then. I’ve watched it more in the past almost 15 years since I got together with my husband and it has come a long way since the 80′s when Hulk Hogan was a big deal. Most of that video was stuff from years ago. As with everything wrestling is a male dominated “profession” which over the past decade or so has grown into something which women have begun actually wrestling. Where it used to be they were simply eye candy there is now a women’s belt. Now while the women might be wearing skimpy outfits so are the men of course. How is it any different than you watching half of the programs you watch on television. Wrestling is on in the evening. My little ones are in bed by the time it comes on. When they do watch it it’s bits and pieces of prescreened matches by my husband.

      We are a society which is always looking for someone to blame for things. And you want to make Linda McMahon a scape goat, but the fact of the matter is if she didn’t have the title Republican after her name, then you would adore her because she has done a lot for women whether you want to believe she did or not. And remember Danielle, I’m in the great state of CT just like you so I’m very well aware of the campaigns which are occurring in this state and of what Linda McMahon has done. How can you slight her for pulling her family up by their boot straps from nothing and making a life for themselves even if the way she’s doing it is by entertaining with women in skimpy clothes? She made something of herself. She has been at the bottom and had to work her way up to the top. And she’s strong and successful and that seems to intimidate you. She believes in a lot of what you actually believe in, or say you believe in. She made it in a man’s world and she made it big and she helped other women become successful. That is not a misogynist. Maybe there needs to be a video of all of the women on the WWE/WWF who have slapped, kicked, punched, degraded, and humiliated the men in the wrestling industry. Because believe me Danielle, it’s there. And if you want to say the violence on there against the women is bad, then it needs to go the other way too. It is television. History is full of people who have stretched the limits. Lucile Ball is an icon of television and a strong female presence in TV history. It was her who did controversial things like have her own pregnancy on TV and moved to putting a husband and wives beds together in the bedroom on television. I know you’re life revolves around blaming other people for your short comings, but really as a society I think we need to move away from that and start being culpable for our own actions. TV made me do it, or wrestling made me do it is no excuse and Linda McMahon’s work in the WWE is not ongoing. She resigned because she felt she could do greater things for our state and the senate and the fact that you would slander her here truly speaks volumes about YOU.

  5. Allison October 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    I’m sorry, but the women above downplaying the misogyny and sexual explotation of women in the WWE blows my mind. Yes, they chose to take that job and chose to make that their career. How does that make them any better than Linda herself? It doesn’t. They are further perpetuating these stereotypes. They could choose to speak out and stop these storylines, just like they chose to take the job in the first place (most likely under pretenses of being a female wrestler, not under the pretenses of a storyline involving a male forcing themselves on them for a good ol’ “fake” laugh). She allowed her own daughter to take part in a storyline like that. What kind of mother does that? What kind of woman allows that? Not someone I want in any political position in Connecticut.

    As far as comparing it to sexual assault or rape, they are LEARNED behaviors and actions. The WWE is a perfect place to start that learning process. There is a reason that movies are rated R or higher, so that children aren’t seeing those types of actions. Yet, because it is “soft” in comparison to what you would see in R movies, parents think it’s okay for their children to watch. Rape, or the actions preceding what could be construed as a rape on the WWE programs are not okay, in any form, ever.

  6. Tracee Sioux October 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Geez ladies, are you mean girls following Danielle from blog to blog harassing her about personal details of her life? Not classy. And not surprising that you would support this type of candidate.

    As to the idea that you can expose yourself or children to this without it impacting their brain, sorry but it’s highly unlikely.

    Habits and preferences and sexual stimuli are developed from being exposed – and finding pleasure in – repeated images or behavior. Let’s take smoking as an example. You don’t light up one day and instantly become an addict. What you do is light up and maybe you feel cool. You like that, so you do it again. Then you start to get a light headed high and you like that so you do it again. Eventually you become addicted to smoking because you have worn a path in your brain that tells you “when I smoke I feel good.”

    Sexuality is the same way. When you see sexual material you like it, if that material is of women being “fake beaten” or “fake raped” you become stimulated by the idea of beating and rape. When you watch it again, you further increase the attachment of that stimulation. Watch it some more and it increases. Eventually it might become your preference. It might become your go-to for masterbation or for fantasy role play. Now your brain believes “when I see women being portrayed sexually violently it turns me on.” For some, not all, it might manifest in real life.

    The point is that it can be very damaging. Surely, there are healthier sexual images that you might prefer your children – or men in general for that matter – be indulging in. Surely, there are preferred ways to portray women for your, your husbands’, or your children’s entertainment.

    WWF is tasteless and crass entertainment by nature, true. But, the question posed is, do you want someone who is this tasteless serving in your politics and having power over rules and laws that will impact your life. I likely do not.

    • WD October 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      Tracee, this gets at the heart of it: “WWF is tasteless and crass entertainment by nature, true. But, the question posed is, do you want someone who is this tasteless serving in your politics and having power over rules and laws that will impact your life.”

      On point. I would not that person in charge. People raise character all the time in political races. WWE isn’t exactly character building stuff. Since it’s what she’s spent the bulk of her professional career doing, I wouldn’t support her. Not my values.

  7. Loni Huff October 11, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Thanks for covering this topic … I find it difficult to even watch the documentary. McMahon has no place influencing public policy. Even though I live in Texas, after reading this post, I made a donation to Chris Murphy’s campaign (http://www.chrismurphy.com).

    • Cheney October 18, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Loni, that’s awesome! Thank you for donating when you aren’t even in the state!

  8. Marti Teitelbaum October 12, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    The film was worse than I imagined. Some of the comments above say it’s okay because the women were paid to do it — it’s not sexual assault because they agreed to it. The issue, however, is not whether what happens on stage is sexual assault — the issue is the way that this “entertainment” makes sexual assault seem exciting and justified. McMahon, as one of the owners of this spectacle, is not qualified for any position representing people in our government.

  9. Cheney October 18, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Danielle, yes. I don’t really get why some of your commenters are being so harsh, but maybe that’s because I think I got your point. I live in CT as well, and what it comes down to is, regardless of the women who choose to participate in WWE (or watch it with their kids) Linda McMahon CAN’T represent CT!

    I don’t watch wrestling (though I did when I was a child, and thought it was real!) and wouldn’t let my daughter watch it either. I don’t think that’s quality viewing for children. But I really don’t think that this woman has the qualifications necessary to represent me based on her background.

    Anyway, VOTE CHRIS MURPHY!!

  10. Tina February 17, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    I live in Idaho and because this state is so freaking backwards, many of the people here are neanderthals actually enjoy watching that horrid WWE. I’m not. I hate the WWE and everything it represents. I find Linda and Vince McMahon to be offensive and just rude. The very thought of her representing any state in the Union just makes me want to vomit. I don’t know anything about this Chris Murphy, but if they’re running against that beast Linda McMahon then I’ll say good for them. I hope they kick some major a$$. Please keep LM out of politics.

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