Title

Foucault and the Glamazon: The Autonomy of Ronda Rousey

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the case of Ronda Rousey, a high profile female Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). We argue that Rousey represents a female athlete who can be considered a gender transgressor yet simultaneously a Glamazon. The case of Rousey will be applied to gender transgressor theories to demonstrate that Rousey counters traditional discourse which holds that exhibiting stereotypically masculine traits implies not being an authentic woman. Female fighters face criticisms for being "unfeminine" or "manly" because they participate in such an aggressive sport. Despite her gender divergent behaviour, as much as she transgresses, Rousey is also pinned by sporting and societal sexist culture that reinforces sex binaries and exposes pressures to adhere to hyperfemininity and heterosexual ideals. Finally, using the notions of self and power found in Michel Foucault's later work as a springboard, we examine whether Rousey's embrace of the Glamazon identity is an act of autonomy or evidence of false consciousness.

Department(s)

Philosophy

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/17511321.2017.1311368

Keywords

Ronda Rousey, Michel Foucault, autonomy, Glamazon

Publication Date

2017

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