For years, women were denied the right to box in the Olympics on the grounds that pre-menstrual tension made us all ‘unstable’.
Now, the Olympic Committee has announced that women can compete in 2012 and have the same right as men to willingly open themselves up to brain injury, flat noses and black eyes: hooray for equality!
Personally, I’d have to be suffering from PMT 365 days of the year to even contemplate getting into a ring and punching the bejasus out of an opponent. And the opponent would have to be someone who I felt had wronged me: a snippy shop assistant, maybe, or someone who cut me up on a roundabout without raising a hand to say sorry.
I’d have thought that PMT would be an absolute bonus when you’re in a boxing ring, offering you the opportunity to channel all those ‘why is everyone getting at me? Why is life SO UNFAIR? Why is everything so totally and utterly SHIT?’ feelings into a series of mindlessly violent lobs and lunges.
In fact the only issues I can see being a problem are making sure your boxing matches are carefully timed to happen at the right moment during a 28-day window (my fights, bearing this in mind, would be on the first of every month. I could take down a rhino).
Only 40 years ago, women were banned from taking part in marathons because the powers-that-be thought their wombs would fall out (no, really) because “of constant jarring”.
When it was proven that wombs didn’t fall out – although I’m fairly sure that if I ran a marathon mine would, along with my liver, lungs, heart and toenails – women were given the green light to compete, although it took until 1984 until they could participate in the marathon at the Olympics.
In 1896, Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, described the concept of women participating in the games as: “impractical, uninteresting, ungainly and improper” (I wonder if he had access to a time machine and had watched me taking part in PE lessons at high school).
To this day, women are still barred from a whole range of Olympic sports – of seven track disciplines, women are only allowed to compete in three – so I suppose it’s a step forward that we’re now allowed to box. Even though boxing is really, really horrible and reminds me why I am a lover and not a fighter.
It’s because I’m a coward. And I paid good money for these teeth (please note, US readers – some Brits do have nice teeth. Sometimes they’re even our own).