Monday, October 27, 2014
As I was reading through Sammond's article, "Squaring the Family Circle: WWF Smackdown Assaults the Social Body," I was reminded of the uproar caused by Smackdown gracing the screens of prime-time television. People were disgusted by the idea that this show was promoting violence and rebellious behavior, negatively influencing the nation's youths. What struck me as interesting was the following: "The audience for Smackdown [fared] best with men aged eighteen to forty-nine, garnering an enthusiastic following on college campuses, and drawing significant numbers of women...If the show reaches far more than children, why are they its imagined audience?" And I've been trying to answer this question ever since. Why does the world seem to assume that wrestling's primary audience is children when, in reality, they're not? Yes, wrestling is violent. It's wrestling. And it's really no more violent than America's beloved football. Or hockey. Wrestling just also happens to include a soap-operatic story line. Critics are also more angered by the fact that wrestling stories blatantly portray sexism and racism instead of being angered by the fact that they are simply reflecting our own society back to us. In a previous reading of Foley is Good, Mick mentions that parents will get angry at the WWE for portraying such violence before they will actually take the time to sit with their kids and explain to them that wrestling is a theatrical performance and the stories they tell are exaggerated and fictional. The bad guys are misogynistic because they're bad guys and that's what bad guys do. You have to have an unlikable bad guy. I feel as if these tired out arguments could be remedied if people would just take the time to educate themselves and their children.