Miesha Tate’s attack on GSP only hurts the cause of women’s MMA

Miesha Tate GSP

Is Miesha Tate completely out to lunch when she calls GSP an enemy of women’s MMA? COURTESY US PRESSWIRE

Former Strikeforce women’s champion Miesha Tate has unleashed a blistering attack on Georges St. Pierre over comments he made regarding women in MMA. There’s only one problem: Tate is completely full of it. FanSided’s Elton Hobson asks whether Tate’s straw man argument is helping or hurting the cause of women’s MMA.

It seems everybody is calling out Georges St. Pierre these days.

Fresh off his exciting title defense against Carlos Condit this past weekend, GSP’s name has been on everyone’s lips. Johny Hendricks is calling him out from behind the manliest beard in MMA. Anderson Silva is calling him out, while trying hard to avoid making eye contact with Jon Jones.

Now we can add Miesha Tate’s name to that list.

Tate, the former Strikeforce 135-pound women’s champion, took to her blog and her facebook page to bash the affable Canadian. In a rambling and at times vitriolic rant, Tate took St. Pierre to task for comments he made at the UFC 154 open workouts regarding women in MMA, which he claimed was not exactly his cup of tea.

So it turns out GSP is a woman-hating misogynist and if he had his way, there would be no women competing in MMA.

That’s the headline, anyways. Unfortunately, it’s complete bullocks. And in trying to get her name in a headline next to St. Pierre’s, Tate has constructed a ridiculous straw man argument and done the cause of women’s MMA a real disservice.

First, let’s take a look at Tate’s comments, which she posted on her blog:

“Being old fashioned is fine, but us “modern day” girls aren’t asking for your protection, we are asking for your acceptance and we are fighting for equality.

If everyone felt about MMA as GSP thinks he feels about WMMA, then he wouldn’t have a job.

I’m hoping George St. Pierre can open his mind a little bit and actually watch some women’s fights. We’re coming to the UFC for a reason and it would be nice to have one of my all-time favorite fighter’s full support.

It won’t take long for him to realize we aren’t these fragile little creatures when we enter the cage, we are warriors and every bit as deserving of respect as the men.”

Ouch. That’s some serious mud-slinging right there. Unfortunately for Tate, female fighters, and the intelligence of MMA fans everywhere, it had absolutely nothing to do with what St. Pierre actually said.

When this story is mentioned on other sports websites, they often only take one snippet of GSP’s overall comments on women’s MMA. And even that little tidbit is casual and non-committal in the extreme. But still, for the sake of journalistic integrity and fairness, here’s a more complete version of what GSP said when asked at the open workouts about women in MMA:

“It’s good for (women in MMA). I’m happy for the girls that fight, but me personally, I have a hard time watching the girls fight.

It’s the way I grew up, maybe the mentality is different. I’m old school. I have a hard time watching girls fighting, it’s hard for me. I never really watched a woman fight, but I know they are pretty good. I know Ronda Rousey is very good.

It’s hard to watch the girls fighting, even though it’s a form of contact sport. It’s good for the women and [so they can make] a career.”

Yeah, that definitely sounds like he doesn’t want women competing in MMA to me. Like that part where he says he’s happy for the girls that fight, where he compliments their skills repeatedly, and where he says he’s glad they can make a career in the sport.

What a misogynist.

This whole thing is silly and ridiculous in the extreme, and really sets back the cause of women in MMA which had, in the last few weeks, really been rolling along. Ronda Rousey is coming to the UFC – so, too, in Miesha Tate, for that matter, so clearly GSP’s personal preferences haven’t held her back too badly.

MMA is still, despite it’s incredible growth, fighting for legitimacy in some circles. Women’s MMA, doubly so. And with women set to make their UFC debut sometime in 2013, now more than ever we need serious, focused athletes and not hysterical mud-slinging.

There are far, far more deserving targets of Tate’s wrath that Georges St. Pierre, who tripped all over himself to clarify that he’s totally for women in MMA, it’s just not for him. By attacking him, Tate seriously damaged her credibility as a crusader for women’s MMA.

Topics: GSP, Miesha Tate, MMA, UFC

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682292373 Andrew Martin

    I don’t agree with you at all. The point of being mad at the guy is right there in your post. Yes, the media takes a snippet of what he said and GSP has been around long enough to know that they do that. It doesn’t matter what he said if the headline reads that GSP doesn’t like WMMA. He gave a backhanded congrats. And his comments were hypocritical which you also pointed out but failed to get. He goes around defending MMA and saying it’s a sport and not a brawl for money when people tell him, Dana, etc that they don’t like it because it’s nothing but mindless violence. Then turns around and says that he doesn’t watch WMMA because he doesn’t like to see women fight…like they are not athletes. He’s a hypocrite. And why give any ammo to sexists? He knows he’s one of the most famous MMA athletes and people listen to what he says. He blew his chance to be a good guy. Not cool.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.vtj Marcus Vinicius Januario

      Don’t you see Andrew? He meant he is all for it, for women practicing fighting and all but he doesn’t like to watch (it doesn’t ENTERTAIN him)… That’s all, he was as honest as one can be… Unfortunately on sports that rely on physical performance women tend to have somewhat of a lower performance, and since people like the hype of the most intense and powerful competition there is not a high demand on feminine fighting (remember, UFC it’s not a sport, it’s a show and it’s made to make money, only that). We all want to live doing what we love… But sometimes that’s just not how society works, not on show business at least.

  • flyingphonebooth

    I’m pretty sure staying silent when an admired public figure is sufficiently comfortable with his sexist attitudes he thinks it’s alright to share him with his fans would be the real thing to hurt women here. GSP did wrong. When people do wrong they need to be called on it, especially when they are admired. Miesha’s got guts.

    • nick

      He stated his opinion and there is no wrong in that.

      • flyingphonebooth

        Since when is it alright to say sexist or racist or homophobic or anything ignorant just because it’s ‘your opinion’? Everything hateful or hurtful is in some way people’s opinion. That doesn’t excuse it.

        • NT James

          Gsp merely said he wasn’t in to watching women fight…who cares…to each there own. He gracefully complimented a female fighter on her ability and stated his personal preference would be to not watch. Whats so hateful or sexist about that?

          People like you throw out bullshit comments like “racist, homophobic or sexist” when you don’t like something- rather than coming up with a coherent argument.

          • flyingphonebooth

            And your idea of a coherent rebuttal is ‘who cares’? I’m not saying he is the evilest dude to walk the Earth, I rather suspect he’s an ok person. I am saying this largely ok person has some archaic views on women, and he is a role model and a spokesperson for the sport of mma. Benevolent sexism hurts women too, and you’d hope a fellow fighter might have more sense than to perceive you as a gender first, a fighter second. And if this is any indicator, this ‘type of people’ you suspect I belong to based on my objection to what one fighter said are actually individuals with legitimate complaints that you don’t want to hear because they make you feel uncomfortable about your own world views.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dyson.lu Dyson Lu

    Wow. Are you guys self-righteous or hyper-sensitive or both? GSP simply stated his PERSONAL preference. Big freaking deal! He’s not making a statement about what’s right or wrong. That doesn’t make him more hypocritical than anybody who eats red meat but don’t like watching an animal being slaughtered, for example. What a load of fuss for nothing. The hypocritical is more likely the ones who say they like WMMA, that they like watching women beating each other up. Because let’s face it: deep down, you know it’s “ugly”, for lack of a better word, that women fight. Women are equal to men but they are NOT THE SAME. GSP’s comment was perfectly genuine. He’s fine with women in MMA but he doesn’t enjoy watching. So what? People go berserk because he doesn’t like watching? Idiots…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=820175704 Jay King

    I agree 100%. I can only assume Miesha’s blog entry was designed to garner attention, so we should probably just chalk it up to that. None the less, taken at face value it’s an over reaction at the very least. Georges did everything he could to present his feelings on the subject with delicacy yet he still got ripped for them.
    Besides, would people prefer that he lied about his personal preferences?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=820175704 Jay King

    I agree 100%. I can only assume Miesha’s blog entry was designed to garner attention, so we should probably just chalk it up to that. None the less, taken at face value it’s an over reaction at the very least. Georges did everything he could to present his feelings on the subject with delicacy yet he still got ripped for them.
    Besides, would people prefer that he lied about his personal preferences?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Smith/100002390186448 Ray Smith

    “Anderson Silva is calling out GSP while avoiding eye contact with Jon Jones.”

    What a croc of shit. Anderson would put Jones to sleep… & you know this, hater. You haters need to stop jumping the gun with this “Anderson is ducking Jon Jones” nonsense. Anderson has 2 fights left on his contract. He is focused on GSP right now – then after he clowns GSP, he’ll school Jon Jones for his last fight… guaranteed. Retarded article. Silva hating retard. Silva is the best & Jon Jones doesn’t want a piece. Anderson is more open about fighting Jones than vice versa. So really – Jones is avoiding eye contact with Silva. These are the facts, retard.

  • javimxcn

    NTJAMES I agree with your statement and understood your response. At no point did GSP condemn female MMA, instead he praised it and wished for it’s sucess. His preference, however is not to watch it. I understand cant force him to see what he does not want to. Female athletes are flourishing and that is wonderful. There are some sports i watch and some I dont. It is peolle who try to read to much in betwee (even when nothibg is implied) that really hurts women MMA cause. At no point was there any sexism or discrimination in GSP comments. Having said that, whether he wants to watch or not who cares….

  • http://www.facebook.com/MGBam Mariella Bambi Garcia Balandin

    ” I never really watched a woman fight, but I know they are pretty good.”
    He should at least watch it before deciding if he likes it or not. I mean, it could be a good idea to try something before having an opinion about it, no?

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