by Sarah Deming
The first time I spoke to author Malissa Smith, proprietress of the indispensable blog girlboxing, we argued about skirts in the ring. This was right before the 2012 Olympic Trials, and I had called to get her take on the competitive field in Spokane.
The internets were buzzing over the proposal that women boxers make their Olympic debut in skirts, but I didn’t want to talk about that. I was sick of the media posing female fighters in evening gowns or talking about their history of sexual abuse. Couldn’t we just treat them as athletes?
“The skirt thing is a non-issue,” I said.
Malissa’s rage exploded from my cell phone. “It is not a non-issue! It’s a profound insult to the athleticism of the women entering this sport. It completely undermines them.”
“I’d fight naked if I could be in the Olympics,” I said.