Cris Cyborg Santos is an incredible MMA fighter who replaced Gina Carano as the top woman in the cage in ’09. Now she will defend her title against the very skilled Marloes Coenen in a Strikeforce fight scheduled for January 30th. This fight is expected to once again catapult women’s fight sports — and MMA in particular — to the forefront of the nation’s attention.
And now Sherdog reports that Cyborg is considering posing for Playboy.
Ugh, I hate this.
Women’s fight sports have had an uphill battle on their hands to gain any kind of serious and official attention in the past 20 years. Women boxers have only had official sanction since the 90’s (and just this year gained admittance to the 2012 Olympics and celebrated the first woman ever inducted to the Boxing Hall of Fame), and female MMA fighters as well as boxers have struggled mightily against the sexist, misogynistic influence of fight sport leaders like Dana White.
While posing naked for Playboy will certainly bring media attention to women’s fight sports, it brings the wrong kind of attention.
We don’t need for the top women fighters in the world to be thought of primarily as objects of sexual fantasy; this makes it just that much easier to dismiss them as minor players — trivial creatures rather than real women who have spent years of hard work and discipline on their sport.
What would be better is more promoters ready to put women on their fight cards, more media outlets ready and willing to cover and broadcast women’s fights (thank you, Showtime), and more event hosts who enable fans to create and share their own media (I HATE the no photos, no video policies at so many fights).
Cyborg: For the sake of women fighters everywhere, please, please say “No” to Playboy. And keep kicking ass in the cage. You are an incredible fighter, and that’s how the world should know and remember you.