With Ronda Rousey back in the spotlight, MMA fans might find some interesting results about a stand she is taking. Rousey has been using her fame to take a stand against alleged sexual harassment in some MMA gyms. Her stand against sexual harassment in these gyms started after she earned a spot on the American judo team that was heading to the 2008 Olympics. Our California readers might find the story interesting.
Rousey brought to light what she feels was an unfair practice by the USA’s Judo governing body. Complaints against an official had been lodged by several females who say they were molested while they were teens by the man. Her complaint was that the governing body essentially turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the complaints.
In that case, the official was allowed to keep his influential position at that time. Some of the victims of his abuse were forced to be in the same venue as him. When she made the Olympic team, Rousey felt that her status made her safe from reprimand.
One troubling issue with what happened is that Rousey didn’t speak up until she made the Olympic team because she feared being reprimanded. Speaking out against sexual harassment isn’t something that should make someone fearful of reprimand.
The second troubling issue is how the people in power handled the numerous complaints about the same person. Protecting the harasser isn’t ever acceptable. This does bring up the interesting point of gender bias in the MMA field. Mixed martial arts is a male-dominated industry. Females might feel uncomfortable lodging complaints about a man harassing her to another man. These females might have other options available to lodge complaints about sexual harassment in gyms.
Source: ESPN, “Do MMA Gyms Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?” Jake Rossen, Feb. 26, 2015