In time for Labor Day, the very long-form version of my post on gender-based discrimination and its role in the legislative history of the women’s wrestling ban in New York.
The New York State Athletic Commission’s history of records management contains as many twists and turns as anything seen in a wrestling ring. Commission meeting minutes, from 1920 to 1977, went missing from the agency’s office in the late 1970s and eventually appeared in the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s collection about a decade later. Neither the Commission nor the State of New York knew about it until 1998.
If any one person in wrestling was a particular thorn in the side of the New York State Athletic Commission in the mid-20th century, it might be Pedro Martinez. Not only did he argue against the Commission regarding its policies towards professional wrestling, he also challenged them on the women’s wrestling ban and specifically called it a violation of civil rights.
This is part 2 of a multi-post essay on the legislative history of the ban on women’s wrestling in New York State. Part 1 may be read here. Part 3 will be published next week.
Sources not linked or mentioned in text are numbered and can be found at the bottom.
History has often overlooked the roles and experiences of women. More so in sports and especially in sports entertainment, aka professional wrestling. Women wrestlers have been viewed as afterthoughts, playthings, or bathroom breaks. This notion is changing — rapidly — but still pervades the minds of those in and around wrestling, as well as those outside that sphere. Vox Media recently published an article highlighting this Sunday’s WrestleMania, an annual … Continue reading On Wrestling Through the Overlooking Glass
On Friday, December 4, the Women Archivists Roundtable (WAR) hosted a live tweet to discuss family leave, surviving it, and returning from it. Mothers, non-mothers, and a smattering of fathers participated in a conversation that was a virtual version of a lunchtime stitch and bitch — a breast pump and post, if you will. WAR co-chair Leslie Van Veen McRoberts and steering committee member Helen Kim hosted the chat and … Continue reading On WAR Stories, or a Guide for Co-Workers
I learned a lot from watching wrestling when I was growing up: geography (Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; “Parts Unknown”), vocabulary (“donnybrook,” “humdinger,” “ballyhoo”), human physiology (especially the occipital protuberance) and cultural traditions (displays of respect in Japan; masks in Mexican history and culture). I’ve also learned from researching it as an adult. Going through the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive — which I consider … Continue reading On Emmeline Pankhurst’s Speech in New York, or a Militant Feminist at MSG