Back in 2015, UFC fighter and Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit model Ronda Rousey debuted her now famous “Do Nothing Bitch” speech. In a short video, Rousey addresses her fan base and defines a “do nothing bitch” or DNB. This video was originally a reaction to people critiquing Rousey’s physique as being masculine or manly, which inspired the fighter to defend her athletic build. “(A DNB) is the kind of chick that tries to be pretty and be taken care of by someone”, say Rousey, later going on to state that she trained her body for the arena as opposed to those who doll themselves up to “fuck millionaires”. After unveiling her unabashed opinions online, Rousey received a slew of mixed reviews, including the approval of Beyonce and internet comedian Nicole Arbor. Yet despite Rousey being undeniably badass both in and out of the ring, what are we as collegiate women to make of her DNB campaign?
Even though Rousey is #goals in more ways than one, what is to be said about her thoughts on do nothing bitches? Although it is important to acknowledge the discrimination that athletic women such as Rousey face, it is also crucial to acknowledge that Rousey is putting down the DNB to inflate her own ego. These days women of all sizes, whether they are plus sized, thin, or athletic, face criticism against the bodies that they have and that simply isn’t fair. Rousey is a former UFC champion yet for whatever reason people choose to pick apart her sculpted muscles and defined abs over social media instead. The pressure that society puts upon young girls to look and act a certain way is incredibly unfair and in many ways, Rousey sets an excellent example for young girls to succeed and look totally badass doing so. Yet being do nothing bitch as Rousey explains is more than just how a girl looks, its is a lifestyle that is centered around looking hot as the be all end all. It is undeniably inspiring that Ronda Rousey is telling women to get off their butts and make their own success, but it’s time to evaluate the issues that many have with her DNB and something that I like to call, contrasting theories of feminism.
Even though I agree with Rousey that women should aspire to more than just being hot, there is nothing wrong with women who choose to go down that road. The internet age and social media marketing have opened up countless new career options for young millenials, especially females, and there is nothing wrong with someone who decides that they want to do promotional modeling or become a beauty vlogger. Don’t get me wrong, making it on social media is pretty much one in a million, especially if you want to establish a sustainable career, however there is no harm in trying it out to see if it’s for you. Over the course of the last ten or fifteen years, feminism has evolved from narrow waves of feminism (for example first wave feminism which focused on voting rights, second wave which incorporated civil rights issues, and third wave which re-evaluated female sexuality) and many different schools of feminist thought have derived from the core principles of equality. In 2016, feminist issues vary from abortion rights, body image in the media, domestic violence and rape culture, equal pay, to less well-known theories such as eco-feminism and queer femme identities. Feminism have broadened from just serving white women to focusing on the issues of all genders, races, socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and sexualities. It is no longer just a movement for “militant man-haters” to identify with, and many influential public figures including politicians, entertainers, and academics have made women’s equality part of their platform. Public figures such as Malala Yousafzai and Kim Kardashian have both embraces ideals of feminism in one way or another, despite being vastly different women. Even though women like Malala and Kim K may politicize different issues to their fans, they are both role models to young women world wide whether feminists like it or not. Critics like Rousey may roll their eyes at a girl posting a selfie of herself on Instagram, but if it makes her feel better about herself, who is to judge her for the choices that she is making for her own life?
Even though it is important to teach young women to aspire to things other than being beautiful and finding a spouse, that doesn’t mean that it is appropriate for Rousey to shame fellow women for the choices that they are making. Feminism of the new millennium is all about thinking intersectionality, which means embracing diversity in all forms. Instead of pitting our differences against each other, we should be joining forces to bring universal equality and acceptance to our society. We as collegiate feminists should work to recognize the different layers of diversity within the feminist community and use these strengths to bring about positive change. We are not going to reach our goals of equality by dividing ourselves up, but we will if we use our differences as strength and learn to respect individuals for the unique choices that they make for themselves. To all women out there, whether they are forging a career for themselves like Rousey or trying to make it big on social media, be yourself and be kind to one another, even if you yourself wouldn’t post a sexual photograph on Instagram. There is enough hatred and discrimination out there, don’t contribute to it by putting another women down for the choices that she makes with her own life.