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Change Maker Essay

Morgan, Genevie & Mayra
10-20-15

Ronda Rousey might just be one of the most important people to change American society’s
traditional ideals about women in sports in the year 2015. She is a UFC champion that is changing
gender equality in sports as we know them.
Ronda Jean Rousey was born on February 1, 1987, in Riverside, California. She has a unique
past that has affected her life greatly. Ronda was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her
neck, she nearly died from a lack of oxygen and sustained slight brain damage which prevented her
ability to speak an intelligible word until she was 6 years old. A tragedy fell upon the family when
Ronda’s dad, Ron, broke his back while sledding with his daughters. A blood disorder prevented him
from healing properly, and after learning he would be a imobile in the few years he had left to live,
he committed suicide when Rousey was 8.
Rousey struggled in school and was homeschooled for parts of elementary and high school.
Fortunately, she found an outlet for her frustration when Rousey’s mother persuaded her to learn
judo.
At 16, she dropped out of highschool, left her family and moved to Boston to train to
compete in judo at the 2004 Olympics. She was thriving and unraveling, and began bingeing and
purging to make weight. Rousey worked very hard to make weight. The night before a weigh-in, she
wouldn’t even drink water. Day of, she wouldn’t shower — wet hair could tip her over. Hours before,
she’d wrap her body in plastic, layer on her workout gear, go running, weigh herself, and do it all
over again if she hadn’t shed enough.
Her mother refused to let her live at home without a job. So, at 18, she went to live with a
trainer who stole what little money she had. She found an older boyfriend who lived in his parents’
basement, cheated on her constantly, and told her that, physically, she was “about a six.”
Unsure of what career to follow after turning 18 she continued to pursue martial arts. Rousey
was the first woman to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world's largest mixed
martial arts league.
You should know who Ronda Rousey is and what she’s doing for gender equality. More
specifically, you need to know how she’s blazing a previously unchartered path down the middle of
American society’s traditional ideals about women in sports.
In November of 2012, Rousey became the first female fighter to sign with the UFC. Other
promotions, like Strikeforce, had put on fights between women before, but the UFC is the
Broadway of MMA.

Change Maker Essay
Morgan, Genevie & Mayra
10-20-15

Her fight against Cat Zingano on February 28, 2015, also ended swiftly, thanks to her
signature move, the armbar. Rousey tackles her opponent to the ground, traps the other woman's
arm between her legs and bends it back at the elbow. If her opponent doesn't tap out to signal
defeat, the move could snap the arm. Zingano tapped out in just 14 seconds, the fastest submission
in a UFC title fight, according to MMA Weekly.
On that day, Rousey, a female, was the main attraction in a sport predominantly attended
and viewed by men. Let’s be clear: men weren’t just gathered to watch the UFC on a night where
Rousey ​
happened​
to be fighting, men were gathered because they w
​anted ​
to watch Rousey fight.
Then, on July 15, 2015, Rousey became the first athlete not named Mayweather or
Pacquiao to win the ESPY for “Best Fighter” since the category was introduced in 2007. In fact, she
not only won the “Best Fighter” award at the ESPYs, but she also won “Best Female Athlete.” On
the stage, she thanked her family, coaches, teammates and the other nominees for “being the
change we want to see in the world.” But most of all, she wanted to thank her mother “who put up
with so much for me to get here.”
Rousey could easily become the most important person for gender equality in the year 2015.
She’s not just challenging social norms regarding women in sports, but she’s challenging social
norms regarding females in general. In a world where society’s traditional ideals have women being
beautiful, small, dainty, thin, and subordinate, Ronda Rousey stands beautiful, broad, strong,
talented, aggressive, and insubordinate.
Ronda has been boldly making the change in the way society sees women in sports. She’s
also not afraid to call out critics, and does not do anything to hide words describing her advantages
over opponents, in and out of th​
e ring. When she was asked w
​hether she would ever fight champion
boxer Floyd Mayweather​
, her response was "unless we ended up dating," an apparent reference to
domestic violence accusation against him. In July, when she took home the ​
Best Fighter ESPY
award​
over Mayweather and others, she remarked, "I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a
woman for once."
“My first injury ever was a broken toe, and my mother made me run laps around the mat for the
rest of the night. She said she wanted me to know that even if I was hurt, I was still fine.” - Ronda
Rousey

Change Maker Essay
Morgan, Genevie & Mayra
10-20-15

Ronda Rousey is a inspiration to women all over the word with her career and achievements. Even
though she has had an undefeated career and plans to keep it that way it doesn't mean she will
continue to fight all her life. Her plan is to fight up until her 30’s she quotes in many interviews. “I’m
not going to be doing this in my 30’s. I don’t want to be fighting in my 30’s. By 30’s, I mean like 31,
32. If you’re actually 30 years old that is 30, not 30’s. Once you add the one, that’s 30’s, plural I’m
28. I don’t know. I look at it exactly like like how we were talking about fighting, that’s how I do
everything else. I don’t look at these separate disjoined things. I’m not going to go in there and try
this things and try this thing and try this thing and try that thing and hope something works out.”
Based on Rondas retirement it is not only based on her age but also injuries she might get in the
next years she continues to fight. Over all her professional career she hasn’t gotten any major
injuries beside breaking her toes many times. It really shocked the doctor that she continued to fight
with the numbers of broken toes but Ronda says that “Pain is just information being delivered to my
brain and its suppose to be useful”.
Not only has she proved that she has a high tolerance for pain but proves her love for the sport. She
is clearly trying to do her best with the years she has left keeping her title and the name she has
created for herself as such a positive change to society and giving power to women all over. There is
not a clear say on what Ronda has planned after she retires maybe still have some connection to
MMA or continued to grow as an actor such as her role starring in Furious 7, but she has many
changes and will continue to do so with her work.

Change Maker Essay
Morgan, Genevie & Mayra
10-20-15

Works Cited

1. Callahan, Maureen. "From Broke and Homeless to Fierce MMA Champ: Rousey's Story."

NYPost​
. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
2. "Ronda Rousey Biography." ​
Bio.com​
. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
3. "Ronda Rousey Quotes." ​
BrainyQuote​
. Xplore, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
4. Trevor D. Osborn. "RONDA ROUSEY CHANGING SOCIETY’S TRADITIONAL
IDEALS ABOUT WOMEN IN SPORTS." ​
MMAWeekly​
. N.p., 2 Mar. 2015. Web.
5. "Why Ronda Rousey Is Such a Big Deal - CNN.com." ​
CNN​
. Cable News Network, n.d. Web.
23 Oct. 2015.
6. Jack O'Toole. "The Ronda Rousey Effect Has Transformed MMA." ​
The Roar​
. Roar, 31 May
2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.