Stratus: Warrior, Princess, Patronizing Phoney"
January 8, 2006 by Missy S. A.

It is the season of goodwill, family gatherings and eating too much. In all honesty this sums up my nights in front of the TV with family; eating, watching and arguing over RAW and Smackdown!.

For my family it is tradition that brings us together to point fingers at one another, to state the obvious about a little weight gain, or to discuss the latest failed relationships and one's inability to find a husband. Tradition is difficult to change so at times it's easiest to just go with the flow; to be what we're expected to be and to do what we're expected to do. In good-old family tradition my loving auntie and I recently engaged in a warm hearted conversation about my inappropriate, unfeminine fascination with wrestling. I have been offered support to overcome my unhealthy tolerance for violence and to avert my innocent eyes from women who enjoy taking their clothes off, the latter of which does actually disturb me.

Feminists have got a reputation for being arrogant, patronizing lesbians; therefore I exempt myself from this title. However the ongoing battle for equality and respect is one that I have no objections to and would march in the parade if one was organized close enough to my home. At this point I assume you would be wondering what relevance all this has to wrestling and I'd like to assure you that this has a purpose. A loyal fan of the WWE women's division, I found myself sat besides my auntie confused and unable to respond to her comments. Her comments echoed those of my mother who I would often respond to by praising the athleticism of the wrestlers and the courage and dedication of the Diva's; Trish Stratus in particular. It is Trish that I would like to concentrate on while resolving issues related to my perplexing interest in WWE which should provide opportunity for argument and pure hatred.

From the moment I noticed the punishment Trish Stratus took in the ring, to the impressive matrix re-enactment with Stephanie McMahon to the incredible matches with Victoria, I was hooked and mesmerized. I had gone from slating and criticizing the no-brain women of wrestling who sold their integrity and blatantly disrespected the sacrifices women have made over the years for equality; to cheering the queen Diva. I convinced myself that Trish Stratus was different, perhaps because she points out the fact that she is educated and uses words with more than three syllables. There is also the element of overcoming obstacles and challenging stereotypes, which I initially respected due to my own challenges in life which are forever growing.

Women worldwide have accomplished dreams which were once deemed impossible. Despite my auntie's opinions, Trish has accomplished a lot for women who dream of wrestling and participating in industries which were considered unfeminine. In my humble opinion, it was Miss Elizabeth who feminized the WWE and created a 'genre' for beautiful women; but I believe that Trish has made wrestling interesting and a sport where women can be taken seriously and be considered as wrestlers. My quarrel therefore, is not with her role within the WWE because her desire and dedication are as clear as her beauty but I have issues with her sometimes patronizing, hypocritical mantra.

Despite making a name based purely on physical appearance and participating in 'sexy' Diva photo shoots, why is it that Trish Stratus can still be condescending when it comes to appearing in 'Playboy'" Day after day, to the cheers of thousands and thousands of men, Trish Stratus takes on the persona of a sexy, feisty, warrior princess who kicks butt and does so looking fantastic, with every hair in its correct place. This is comparable to the days when women were simply objects to look at and judged and valued based purely on beauty. Although I was surprised and thrilled by Trish's decision to reject the offer to feature in 'Playboy', I do not consider that as a sacrifice or a testament of her being any different from other diva's. I find myself asking: where is the struggle and what qualifies this woman to be my hero and the champion of women"

During the WWE's visit to Afghanistan Trish Stratus had some interesting words which are worth reading and thinking about: "I was especially interested to hear about schools being built and the growth in the women's movement throughout this nation." Trish Stratus

Politics aside, is Trish Stratus really in a position to comment on women's movements" I know women of great strength who have fought for their freedom and dignity in countries where the freedom to say 'no' does not exist. Having the ability to pose sexy and to entertain men is an act of freedom but it does not take great courage and strength and does not epitomize the 'rights' that women worldwide crave and suffer for. Women express their freedom in different ways and do not deserve being patronized for cultural/religious differences.

My respect for the WWE superstars, despite criticism, is justified. My respect and admiration for Trish Stratus which, was verging on the obsessive side, has changed somewhat. I have decided that the reference to Trish as a hero and the champion of women was slightly melodramatic but in my defense I was totally overcome by emotion. I accept that Trish has worked hard to be in the position that she is in and has created a character for herself that overshadows all others, to the extent that we accept her greatness no questions asked. However, this predicament is perhaps at the expense of other WWE Diva's and the true personifications of womanhood. A WWE diva is what you see; no more, no less. It is clear that Trish Stratus has personality, charisma, great eyebrows and dedication which is what truly makes her different and difficult to ignore. She is considered the greatest women's champion because she has earned the title, but this whole notion is open to discussion. I conclude that my auntie as always is right and I intend to seek support to overcome my unhealthy fascination with the WWE; Trish Stratus in particular.

Many happy returns!

by Missy S. A.

Iman. A wrote:
Hello Missy! I just wanted to congratulate you on your fantastic article. I found it very interesting and enjoyable to read. I have great respect for Trish also because of what she has achieved but do feel like she has succeeded to some extent at the expence of other diva's like Victoria.

I'm 15 but my mum doesn't like me watching the WWE because of the 'nude' women more than anything else...oh and the violence too. I think Trish enjoys what she does, which is cool and the great thing is is that we can actually avoid seeing her as anything but a wrestling diva becasue she doesn't bring any nonsence to the ring - like Candice aand Torrie do - although to be fair i think that they are only interested in being beautiful and naked! I enjoyed your article - thank you,
I have to congratulate your article as well. All the other divas with the exception of Stacy Keibler, get kind of boring to look at, this coming from a 16 year old guy, that hides his obssesion for wrestling, because I'm supposed to like Football. Anyway, I do think that Trish has a right to all her feminist giberish because, she has a major in biology and kinesiology, even though she failed at attending Medical School.
Richard wrote:
You can't knock Trish for her partly in about building schools, liberating people's etc. That is the official line every wrestler must give when they go to either Afghanistan or Iraq. When Triple H, Vinny Mac, and I think Sean Michaels appeared on the Donny Deutcsh show on CNBC, they all said the same thing, the government party line. All is good in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are building schools like crazy, all women are free (even if the truth is actually different) and those two countries are in essence "paradise". So you can't knock her for that, that is what they MUST SAY.

As for Trish herself, Vinny Mac firing all the true Lady wrestlers will make Trish stand out. Trashing Gail Kim, Molly, Jazz, Nidia, making Lita look like a TV hooker, and relegating Victoria to hanging out with two Skanks like Candace Michelle and Torrie Wilson and that is why Trish Stratus looks so much more impressive. But compared to Victoria, Trish Stratus is yesterday's garbage.............

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