in which I talk about leonard nimoy and ronda rousey

1) Leonard Nimoy would have made a really good radio actor. I always think about that with screen actors, because I listen to so much audio drama and old-time radio. He had a great and very expressive voice. Which is a very important thing to have when you’re playing a character who isn’t supposed to have a wide range of facial expressions

2) There have been times when it’s been really clear that network television programming was being done by guys. In Star Trek, it was obvious that Kirk was supposed to be the sex symbol of the show, but every girl I knew who watched the show was hot for Spock. The same with The Man from UNCLE — the girls I knew were looking past Napoleon Solo and looking at Ilya Kuryakin instead. And the two characters, Ilya and Spock, had a lot of similarities, too. Smart, cerebral, cool and sometimes sardonic. And not hopping into bed with different girls every episode.

3) As a test, yesterday I went to the CNN web site and looked at the sports page. I scrolled all the way down the page and looked at every photo.

Every person, in every photo, was male.

People complain about gender imbalance in the arts, in business, and so on, and with good reason, but this was striking. One hundred percent.

Not that there aren’t successful women playing sports, and that was only one day, but still.

In that context, it was surprising (and very cool) to read this sentence in a New York Daily News story about the upcoming Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao boxing match in Vegas:

The pound-for-pound best fighter in the world might not be in the ring on May 2 in Las Vegas. She might be sitting ringside.

That’s talking about Ronda Rousey, the women’s bantamweight ultimate fighting champion, whose last two fights (both victories — she’s undefeated) have taken a total of 30 seconds.

The talk now is whether she should start fighting men in her weight class. I have no idea if she will or if she should, but it’s always interesting to see what happens when the very idea of women competing against men in sports is even suggested. There’s been some freaking out already.

During World War Two, so many baseball players were in military service that the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created. The league was very successful, and it continued for quite a few years after the men came back. Right before it was shut down, in 1954, articles had started to appear saying that the women should start playing at least a few games against the major league teams. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, here’s Ronda Rousey defeating Cat Zingano. In fourteen seconds. You can fast forward past the preliminaries, but you might end up going past the entire fight, too.

I used to work with a guy who thought that women shouldn’t compete in the Olympics, because it was not natural for women to be competitive. Men were competitive, in his view, and women were cooperative and nurturing.

I mentioned that to my mother, and she wanted me to ask him whether he’d actually ever met any women.

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3 Responses to in which I talk about leonard nimoy and ronda rousey

  1. SB Roberts says:

    I’ve never heard any of Nimoy’s radio work (besides a few of the songs he did, like “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”). My mom has always like Star Trek and my husband’s a huge trekkie, though, so I’m very familiar with his voice, and I could certainly see it.

  2. Kristan says:

    LOL at your mom’s response. It’s perfect.

    As I’m sure you know, A League of Their Own is a great movie about the female baseball leagues, and one of my very earliest favorite movies. I still remember going to see it in theaters with my parents. I don’t think they were purposely trying to foster a sense of equality/feminism in me, but… they did. 🙂

  3. Bryna: I have no idea if Nimoy did any radio work. I just meant that I’m often aware of voices when I watch movies because I listen to so much audio drama.

    Brian Buckley collected a bunch of great Nimoy links, by the way:

    Kristan: I once spent a day at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York, with two collaborators, doing research on the AAGPBL (that’s how research used to be done 🙂 ). We were preparing to do a project about the league.

    But then the movie came out and we shelved our project — it would have looked like we were trying to ride on their coat tails. Very good movie, though I thought the “sibling rivalry” story was overdone a bit — as if some studio executive thought the story wasn’t interesting enough as it was and needed some juicing up.

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