Welcome to Tuesday Night Fights, a weekly celebration and analysis of street-fight videos found on YouTube. Tonight's fisticuffs: "GIRL FIGHT IN MARISSA ILL." Tonight's commentator: Emma Carmichael, former Deadspinner, current managing editor of Gawker.
So I spent the weekend in Rhode Island, hanging out with my mom and grandmother. It was WILD. We drank a lot of Pinot Greej on ice. And my grandmother, who is 80-something, is a boss of a lady who raised five girls and wears more gold, both real and fake, than any other human I know. It has been said that she looks like a duchess. Whenever I see my grandmother, she always wants to talk about the F-word, feminism, but without actually using the word. Instead she'll tell me a story about her 20s that basically boils down to a reminder that I'm really lucky to have grown up 50 years after she did. (I am.)
The main dinnertime topic with my grandmother this past weekend was the "rumor" she'd heard that women were actually boxing in the Olympics this year. Her priest, this Irish guy, had told her all about Katie Taylor and how his entire family was bunkered down to watch her fights and how they'd never been more excited about anything before, and my grandmother just could not believe it. She kept kind of goading me into conversations about the female boxers and how dreadful she thought it all was. My grandmother believes very firmly that women should not be hurting other women, because women should be kind to one another, and hurting people is not very womanly, anyway. A very nice sentiment. All this is to say that when I watch these Illinois gals, I become the 80-year-old woman wearing a scarf and clutching a white wine who just cannot believe her eyes. Holy hell.
I'm not necessarily opposed to the very idea of this series, Hickey, because the internet is the internet and this will exist without a weekly feature, but I do have to ask you, and maybe we can discuss it in the comments: Is this fun? Am I supposed to enjoy the girls digging each other's eyeballs out and nearly stomping each other's fresh faces into cracked cement? Won't some former cheerleader, at some point, die from some driveway beat-down like this? Is this womanly? When did I become my grandmother?
I think it was around the nine-second mark, actually, when Orange Shirt's first attack backfires and sends her backdown on the gravel. I know this might be difficult for ponytail-free men to understand, but long hair provides a hell of a handle. Pink Shirt's grasp at the eight/nine-second mark is absolutely brutal; Orange almost actually goes limp at the first tug. And then it's all Pink Shirt from there. Homegirl knows no mercy, and she's actually reveling in it. "YOU CAN BEAT MY ASS, CAN'T YOU?" she hollers around :35, right after four solid blows to Orange's head gives her another advantage. And then there's more hair-pulling. A few seconds later she even manages a hair-pull-and-slap move, which is horrifying but which I'll have to remember next time I'm in a brutal back-alley death match with a girl I'm old enough to babysit.
Here's what I wonder, if we may get just a little theoretical here, and humor my grandmother's lingering questions: Who is this for? Boxing to me is and was defensible (ignoring brain damage etc. etc.) because it's competitive and requires a specialized skill. Hair-pulling is not a specialized skill. But what's worse is that there is no way in hell that either Pink or Orange are actually enjoying rolling around in the gravel together. You watch Claressa Shields win a gold medal and you know she is reveling in it. Boxing has that agreement. This is just lady-on-lady hate. Our hair follicles deserve more. Our jabs deserve more. Ladies, we deserve more. If you like this, then you should at least put it in a ring.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go watch my soaps.
And now, the rest of your Tuesday Night Fights:
• The 2012 Summer Olympics have ended, but qualifiers for the 2016 Games' demonstration "alley brawlin'" event have already commenced in nations across the world. Like this one, which involves headwear and lots of screeching. (Start of Violence, instantly)
• In the eternal struggle between flea-market vendor and customer, the former gains the upper hand with a textbook exhibition of defending one's land with violence, leaving the question-askin' for later. (SoV, 0:06)
• This guy will jump to the front of any fast-food line he wants. And if you question him, he will fucking drop you. (SoV, 0:35)
• We'll See Your Frying-Pan Whalloper And Raise You A Kicking Kid And Snarling Pit Bull Infomercial: