Posted in Blog, Lifestyle, Wrestling

It’s Time To Talk About EVE (Because Many People In The Wrestling Industry Won’t).

Everybody is talking about EVE lately. Absolutely everyone! That is… except for wrestling media, you know, the people who are literally employed to talk about wrestling. It’s undeniable that EVE have been opened to whole new audiences through literal months of mainstream exposure. Mainstream reporters can’t get enough of them (I don’t blame them), and it seems like every week, EVE is covered in a new article, or they’ve sold out another show (so much for “women don’t sell tickets”) or one of their talents has had huge success. Now, Buzzfeed, The BBC, and Kate Fucking Nash are talking about EVE, so why are they still treated like Billy Lenz from Black Christmas (unrelated but please watch this classic movie, amen), when they’re doing so well?

Let’s have a look at some possibilities…

  1. Could it be that EVE is a female centric promotion? 

Possibly. Acknowledging the success and mainstream attention that EVE have received over the last few months involves acknowledging that women are entirely responsible for this, and you’d have to be delusional to think that there aren’t still some in the wrestling media who have a problem with this.

In terms of content, EVE are undeniably a feminist group, and it could be argued that some in the wrestling media want a women’s revolution, but don’t want one that takes the narrative from men, and centres the revolution around women lifting themselves and others from the shadows, and taking opportunities, instead of a man being generous enough to give them that new platform. If you look at WWE’s alleged women’s revolution, for example, the majority of content produced has made sure to give special thanks to Triple H, as if he did something incredibly generous by allowing women more than two minutes per match on NXT. Not to be harsh, but men really shouldn’t be applauded for investing time and resources equally for their talents. Triple H didn’t do anything amazing, he just did what he, and others in his position, should have been doing for a long time.

EVE is very clear that their revolution, which happened several years ahead of many current attempts, is by women and for women, and it’s very easy to see why some of wrestling media could be intimidated by that fact.

2.  Is it because EVE is determined to make women feel welcome in wrestling? 

I don’t want to hear “not all men!” I know that it isn’t all men. I’m very aware. However, you would have to be either a liar or delusional to say that there isn’t a huge problem with the treatment of women, predominantly by men, in both the wrestling industry and the wrestling fandom.

Female talents are often harassed, some are even abused, and the same is true for female fans. Women in wrestling are often made to feel like they don’t belong, and that if they are allowed to belong, it’s only because “They’re not like the other girls. They’re one of the boys.” A woman, more often than not, can either belong, under certain conditions, or be isolated. EVE say “Fuck no” to that.

Not only do their shows give a platform for women across the wrestling industry to showcase their talent, but their shows give a safe space for women to enjoy wrestling. I know that people are sick of the phrase “safe space”, but honestly, I think we are sick of requiring safe spaces. I don’t think I’ve met a female wrestling fan, or female wrestler who doesn’t have at least one story of being verbally attacked, sexually harassed and even sexually assaulted at a wrestling event. It isn’t enough to say “We won’t put up with it”, when this happens. It is time to say actually show this, by kicking troublemakers out of shows, making sure fans and talent are heard when they have an issue, and generally, making your show a place where people feel safe, which is something EVE do, but many other promotions are failing at, when it really isn’t that hard.

EVE have been vocal in support for abuse survivors, and have made it clear that they will do all they can to make all of their fans and talent feel safe, and they don’t just tweet about it and then ignore their duties, they actually stick to it. Many promotions will talk a good game about making their shows safe, but will still book abusers, and will either ignore fan criticism, or get overly defensive about what is actually a fair point, EVE is not only not doing that, but they’re calling out places that do.

3. Is it because EVE are giving too many women ideas?

I know, this one sounds a bit out there, but hear me out. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a great desire, in the wrestling industry, and in many wrestling media outlets to roll with the idea that Triple H, Patron Saint Of Women’s Wrestling, and his wife Stephanie “Philanthropy is the future of marketing, it’s the way brands are going to win” McMahon blessed us with the women’s revolution, and basically invented women’s wrestling, and they absolutely did it because they love us, and not because they could clearly see they were losing money from women’s wrestling fans who were migrating to promotions that gave a shit about women. This is, of course, not true. Stephanie McMahon’s husband, as important to women’s wrestling as he may be marketed, did not in fact, invent or even popularise women’s wrestling. Women’s wrestling has always been there. This revisionist history is to remove the narrative of women doing great things, and to replace it with the narrative of men being nice enough to encourage women to do nice things, but only certain women.

EVE, at it’s core, removes the second narrative all together. It is literally women, saying to other women, “You got this. We got this.”

I remember, from my own misadventures in wrestling, meeting EVE’s poster lady, Rhia O’Reilly, and instantly feeling so welcomed and supported by her. She was somebody who constantly encouraged me, even when I must have been incredibly frustrating to work with, and she never gave up on me. Now, I may not have become the cool wrestler I dreamed of, but I became one hell of a manager, and I would throw a lot of credit for that to Rhia, and women like her, many of whom are a part of EVE, for seeing a girl who was clearly overwhelmed and intimidated, and giving her the confidence to go for it. Sometimes, all that is needed is the simple message of “You belong here too. Please stay.” to keep someone from turning away from something they love, and EVE have done this for countless women, both in the industry and the fandom.

Now, imagine if, with the encouragement of a loud and proud, feminist wrestling promotion, more women took this encouragement and applied it to other aspects of wrestling. Currently, many women don’t find success in wrestling outlets, such as magazines, youtube channels and podcasts, because of the abuse women in those positions face, but what if they had a promotion… like, a female promotion, that backed them 100%, offered encouragement and happily supported women across the wrestling media.

I mean, if I was a fragile misogynist, EVE would scare the shit out of me too.

Find out more about EVE by visiting their website.

Besos,

J x


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Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, politics, Writing

Women Who Work (Really Hard At Pretending To Be Allies)

She tapped on a screen,
as if it meant the same,
as standing with the brave,
and using her freedom,
to free them.

I am proud
I will say I am proud
to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans
of the LGBTQ Americans my Dad targets
who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.
so they can’t point out my cowardice,
in the face of their bravery.

I will say I am proud,
of the LBGTQ Americans my Dad targets,
so they can’t point out my cowardice,
in the face of their bravery.

She tapped on a screen,
and typed everything,
a publicist told her,
and it meant nothing.


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Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

OK

I tried to hate him, I tried harder than I’ve ever tried at anything to hate that man. As I lay alone with nothing but a bathrobe and a small blanket for comfort I tried again. I closed my eyes and visualised his soft, gentle hands on her body and bit my lip to stop myself from wailing in agony. It hurt to think about them together, not psychical pain but emotional. When I thought about them I just wanted to cry.

I’m sure she has some kind of disease, which explains why he did it. It was probably just out of pity, it might have been her last time. Again I’m making excuses for him and I know I shouldn’t. They aren’t even good excuses. They don’t even make sense. He wouldn’t make excuses for me if I had done that to him, I like to pretend he would but I know he wouldn’t.

I didn’t see them, I didn’t have to because he told me. He said he was awfully sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again so I just nodded and carried on preparing breakfast. It was her job to do breakfast, she’s the maid so should have been busy but I’d imagine she was upstairs in bed. Our bed. I heard them the night before as I came in from drinks with a friend and decided to sleep on the sofa downstairs. I didn’t want to walk in and see them because that would make it real so I stayed downstairs and pretended.

After breakfast I played outside with the children for a few minutes before leaving them with the nanny so she could take them to school while I went to work. “Are you okay Madam?” She asked after sending the children to go and get their coats. I nodded and she nodded back at me. “I’m sorry.” She said quietly, I smiled in thanks and walked towards the car with my handbag on my shoulder, wondering who else knew about my husband’s blatant indiscretions. Rachel, our nanny, was the closest thing I had to a friend, and I was certain she was only my friend because we paid her.

I kept it together for the entire day, I stayed quiet at the office and kept to myself as usual. David would have been pleased. For a man who socialised with any woman who took his fancy, he had a lot of ideas of who I should be talking to. Namely, nobody but those in our isolated existence. My work wasn’t even mine. I had always been aware that he had set up my job with a friend, and that I was constantly being watched. Sometimes, I wasn’t even sure what my workplace purpose was. He probably just wanted me out of the house, so he could have more time with whoever he liked this week.

We all ate together that night, David sat at one end of the table and I at the other, the children sat together on one side and Rachel sat on the other. Mary had dinner in her bedroom because she was ill. I spat in her soup.

It was when the children went to bed that things got worse, David went up to check on Mary and Rachel went to read the children a story. I just sat in the kitchen looking into space not knowing what to do with myself. It had occurred to me during my dull work day of doing nothing but staying out of my husband’s way that beyond staying out of my husband’s way, I didn’t actually do anything. I had no friends. I had no hobbies. I only played with the children to give David some space.

After a few minutes of soaking in existential despair, I walked, almost robotic to my bedroom, fully aware of my husband’s voice behind Mary’s door, but also fully aware that I’d be doing absolutely nothing about it.

David’s tie was lying on the foot of the bed, I pushed it to the floor and began removing my clothes. I stood in front of the mirror in nothing but my underwear and took a moment to evaluate myself. I was acceptable. I always had been. More than that, I was beautiful. In my pain, and his rejection, I was beautiful. I took a moment to fantasise about a future without David. Taking the children to school myself, getting to know the mother’s at the gate, getting to know myself, maybe finding someone new, or not, it didn’t matter, just as long as he wasn’t there.

I took my bathrobe from the top of the door and wrapped it around myself, squashing the flames of my rebellion. The bed, as treacherous as it had been for keeping secrets, welcomed me and I wrapped myself up in the duvet.

I heard footsteps approaching and closed my eyes, desperate to escape, or even to find the bravery to consider the idea. “Kate.” David called as he pushed open the door, I didn’t open my eyes and simply lay still, unable to face him. “Kate are you sleeping?” I stirred slightly but kept my eyes firmly shut, I couldn’t bare to look at him.

“No.” I felt the bed dip a little as he laid upon the bed next to me, his breath was warm against my skin and his hand crept up my leg and under my bathrobe. I didn’t push it away because it was all I wanted. I wanted him to hold me so desperately, despite my earlier desperation for anything but.

“I’ll always love you Kate.”

I opened my eyes and laid in silence for a few moments. “Ok.”

I suppose it hurt his feelings when I ignored him, I just couldn’t handle telling him I loved him back. I did and we both knew that but he didn’t deserve to hear it from my lips. I rolled over and fell asleep hoping I would wake up from the nightmare the next day and it would simply have been a dream.

I awoke the next day with his arms around me, Mary was gone and everything seemed back to normal. He had made his choice and I suppose his decision was final, for a whole day all I wanted was for Mary to be gone so I had David all to myself but now I wished she had kept him. I didn’t want to be trapped any longer. If it wasn’t her, it would be someone else, and I’d be sat in that God forsaken house, screaming at the walls and my own lack of a spine.

I sat up in bed and heard his voice, it was hushed but just about audible. “I love you Kate.”

“Ok.” I said quietly as I took a step off the bed towards my old life.


 

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Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Looking For Squirrels

I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling as the noise of the house began to simmer down. My mother was sleeping and my little brother at a friend’s for the night. There was only the light purr of the cat across the room and my father’s padding feet travelling up the stairs left to be heard. I closed my eyes and thought about what my day had been like, pretty normal with just a hint of excitement. My best friend Jamie and I had gone to the woods after school to look for squirrels. We gave up looking after about ten minutes as little children often did. At the age of seven you don’t have much patience, not even for something as wonderful as squirrels.

Jamie and I had been friends since first grade and told each other everything. Almost everything. We had sat deep in discussion for about half an hour about nothing of great importance, just the usual subjects. Music, television and how icky boys were. Secrets were shared on her part and I fed her lies to replace the secrets she hungered for.

I had a secret, but I knew she wouldn’t understand. She wouldn’t believe me. She’d think I was a slut. I thought I was a slut.

I thought about my wedding. I often did that when I should have been sleeping but couldn’t. I wanted a dress, like all the ones in the magazines. White and full of the promise of a future I’d never have to dream my way out of. It would be a chance to start again. Trade my name for something new, and be truly loved, just like in the movies.

I heard the door of my bedroom slowly creak open and was dragged from my dreaming. I tried to hold on by closing my eyes and running back to the church. I held my breath and hoped I would die. I felt his hand on the body he was too big for, and I knew the dream was dead.

I pulled the blankets up over my head as the lights flickered on. This couldn’t happen tonight. I had gone a whole day without thinking about it and felt nothing but air on my skin, and the innocent blades of grass. I curled my body up until I thought it would break, and I ran from the church, and the future I wanted, to the forest, for the squirrels I’d seek sanctuary with.

“Come on, wake up.” The forest began to burn around me, and I heard the desperate screams of the angry, attacked animals. Mine were silenced by a huge hand across my lips. We burned together, huddled in our helplessness and thrashing against the cruel, scorching flames. I closed my eyes, but was tortured by the bright, endless stream of light, determined to leak past my eyelids and blind me.

I prayed. I wept. I ran and I ran, until all I could do was grab the nearest object and swing. Swing for my life. The flames engulfed me, and the world was so still, in it’s destruction, as if every part of the cosmos had taken a half day to watch me finally defeated, but I was strong, for someone so small, and I was wide awake, fighting for my life. They’d have to understand. They’d have to believe me. They’d have to think I just did what anyone would do. I just did what anyone would do.

I opened my eyes, and my lamp had been broken, and the fire, finally put out, and put down, fell to the ground, leaving me free, in the forest, to search for squirrels, once more.


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Posted in Creative Writing, Writing

Neglected

“What have you gotten into this time?” He smirked at the voice as he opened his eyes and delicate fingers ran through his hair. “Or what have you gotten me into, princess.” He sank back into the pillows, thankful for the mercy of a comfortable bed, and noticed the restraints on his wrists. “You have been thorough, my love.” He whispered, trying to mask the pride and arousal in his voice as he looked up at his lover, a sweet smile spreading across her delicious, painted lips.

“I wanted to play.” Her sing song voice sent chills down his spine, and straight into his groin, as she fiddled with the bow that adorned the front of her dress. “You were being difficult.” He had been initially apprehensive of his girlfriend’s desire to take the lead in the bedroom, but he had to admit, he was enjoying what she had to offer so far. “But here you are.” Here he was, and he admired the effort she had gone to.

“My sweetheart always gets what she wants.” He muttered, aching for what lay under her clothes.

“You’ve been very bad.” She knelt on the bed beside him, her fingers still lost in his hair, pulling it slightly. “Bad, bad boy.” She released her grip on his hair and reached for the zip of his trousers, his whole body desperate for more.

“Anything you say.” He said, with the hint of a moan as she began sliding them down his legs, tortuously slowly.

“You promised me…” She whispered, playfully snaking a fingertip across the fabric of his underwear. He nodded, closing his eyes, with a smirk. She began rubbing his erection through his underwear, and he groaned in pleasure, wanting even more to touch her. “You said I could have whatever I want.” She said suddenly, removing her hand. He groaned in protest and opened his eyes.

“How am I meant to do that when I’m all tied up?” It seemed a reasonable question, but she pouted nonetheless, hitching up her dress to reveal what he desired most, covered in black lace. “Please, stop teasing me.” His voice was low and throaty, as his tongue ran over his bottom lip, and he pulled, in vain at his restraints.

“No.” She replied bluntly, removing the dress completely, to reveal even more lace covering even more things he desired. He groaned, fighting once more against the rope that bound his wrists, and crying out slightly as the ropes burned at his skin. “Bad boy.” She whispered, ripping open his shirt, with a surprising amount of ease. “You never get what you want.” She sunk down into his now naked chest, her soft hair tickling against his neck, as she ran her fingers up and down his erection. “Do you?” Her touching teases were driving him insane, but the intimacy of it all soothed him.

“Please?” She shook her head with a smile, releasing him suddenly and sauntering off the bed and out of the room. He sighed, watching her leave. “That girl of mine…”


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