Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LuFisto Pens Heartbreaking Blog

LuFisto wrote a blog filled with regret, no doubt fueled by systemic misogyny in wrestling
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Via Wrestling Done Right

LuFisto took to the Internet to convey her thoughts about the Kimber Lee/Chris Dickinson flap yesterday, and the words took a tone of regret and sadness. She's taken a lot of abuse over the years, beginning her career toiling in the death match scene both here and in Japan. Price for the abuse she suffered was a minor stroke in 2010. In the blog she explains why she wrestled and the bitter regret she has for going to the extremes she went through. The most telling quote is located after the jump:

Today, at 35 years old, I gave everything I had to wrestling. I sacrificed health, relationships, family and so much more. I did everything I could to be seen as a credible fighter and I wouldn’t say no to ANY spot. I wanted to prove people wrong and that I too, could do it. I was sick and tired to hear my step-father telling me that wrestling was not for a little fat girl like me and that I wouldn’t do anything good in life. I wanted to prove those workers who, the day of my first match as I was getting ready to cross the curtain, spat on me saying I was a piece of shit and that I would quit within a year. I got injured but would still wrestle just so people would not call me a “pussy” and remind me that wrestling was not for women.

Well today, after 18 years of hard work, sweat, lots of blood and tears, where all this got me?

I couldn't imagine feeling that way about any passion or labor of love, and it just crushes me to read such words of defeat written by a wrestler of whom I think the world and then some. LuFisto is a pioneer, a showman, and as tough as they come, and yet I get the sinking suspicion that a lot of the disrespect she feels could stem from her gender and how women are perceived within the wrestling business.

She flat out says that women often do crazier stuff by exponential margins in order to gain the kinds of respect that male wrestlers get for being slightly above average. I've seen this opinion used as a concern-trolling sling against ideas of intergender wrestling, as if women aren't capable of doing grotesque things to each other with no influence of men. But I agree with LuFisto's underlying point here, that wrestling is dragged into murky waters by a systemic undercurrent of misogyny, Instead dissuading them to seize opportunities out of some imaginary boogeyman, the gross attitudes should probably be attacked head on so that women can have the exact same opportunities to succeed and fail, be excellent or slink into mediocrity, without any kind of asterisk affixed to their careers.

But outside of any activist point, my heart breaks for a performer, a wrestler who should have been famous the world over for what she put into wrestling but instead is filled with regret for her own career. Wrestling is not a meritocracy, no matter how much it probably should be in its idyllic state, but that doesn't mean the tales of sorrow and tragedy ring any less sternly. It plainly sucks that LuFisto has to feel this way about her career, but hopefully, people who follow in her footsteps don't need to feel as heavy-hearted as she does now if people fight to change attitudes in the wrestling industry, from dingy training seminars all the way up to the main event of WrestleMania.