Forbes Published A Sexist Article About Women Crying In Wrestling

Let’s get the block quote out of the way so I can talk about this stupidity from Forbes:

Women crying and hugging after great matches has become an increasingly uncomfortable staple at NXT Takeover events.

The overwhelming emotion is understanding for such a milestone moment, of a women’s match main-eventing the equivalent of a pay-per-view, but unfortunately it’s becoming redundant if not demeaning.

The title of the article is “WWE’s Future Is Gender-Neutral And Filled With Tears” and the premise, according to the author’s own Twitter page, is, “The revolution won’t be here until women stop crying after big matches.” If you don’t feel like reading anything else I have to say about this, here’s the thesis: That’s a dumbass article.

I’m not sure what I should have expected, though. The author, Alfred Konuwa, has a byline that says, “I write about men in tights and the money they make for men in suits,” so we already have an issue of erasure as he doesn’t even consider the idea that women have been in tights making tons of money in wrestling. And that Stephanie McMahon and Linda McMahon have been two of the most powerful people in wrestling history. And Dixie Carter is also the head of a wrestling promotion of her own (though, to be fair, I’m not sure if anyone is making money for her). So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when Konuwa spent a thousand or so words talking about how women crying after pivotal NXT matches is somehow setting women’s wrestling back.

In case you didn’t notice, this article made me angry.

Sasha Banks and Bayley cried at the end of their two classic matches that happened over the last two months. Stephanie McMahon cried. Charlotte and Becky Lynch cried after the first match in Brooklyn. You know who else cried? The WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. William Regal’s face was soaked at the end of the sequel. Also, like, every guy on Twitter who watched the match.

Sasha and Bayley didn’t cry after their matches because they’re women. They cried because the matches were emotionally taxing roller coasters. I honestly can’t think of many more perfectly executed emotionally resonant feuds and payoffs as Bayley vs. Sasha. The feud played off years of backstory and characters we genuinely care about. Of course the finale is going to be emotional, regardless of it’s a man or woman watching. If you didn’t feel emotional toward the end of their matches, then I’m not quite sure if you have a working pulse.

The Forbes article is just a callous disregard of the complexity of women’s emotions. Instead of trying to figure out why the women are crying after matches, the author simply said “women, amiright” and went about his business. This is the same mentality that allows men to treat women like utter sh*t, then go, “Women are just emotional,” whenever they react to being treated terribly.

And the idea that women are crying after every big match is just ridiculous. Sasha and Bayley cried after their matches. Sasha and Charlotte cried after their final NXT match. And Becky cried after she lost to Sasha. That’s four matches out of the dozens of NXT matches we’ve seen this year. Before then, none of the women had cried in matches in a very long time. So saying that women keep crying after big matches is false and only brings the author’s own really horrible ideas of women into his perception of events.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that men have cried in plenty of big matches. WrestleMania XX ended with WWE’s two champions openly sobbing into each other’s arms. Miz walked to the ring holding back tears before his WrestleMania main-event. Edge cried before his first title defense in his hometown. Ric Flair (who has cried through most of his career) and Shawn Michaels cried for the last 10 minutes of their WrestleMania match. And, again, Seth Rollins cried watching two women wrestle.

Emotional moments are part of wrestling. They’re what makes the genre great. If you see women reacting to genuinely great, captivating events and think that they’re just “being women,” then maybe you’re the problem, not them.