Excerpt from “Wrestling with Masculinity” Message 6: Men are winners

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Below, some notes about gender in wrestling, from “Wrestling with Masculinity: Messages about Manhood in the WWE” by Danielle M. Soulliere

Message 6: Men are winners

Winning and achievement are part of being a man. This was very apparent even in the contrived world of professional wrestling. Male performers who held the championship title were described as “The Man,” which suggests that masculinity is synonymous with winning and achievement. For example, JR says of Chris

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Jericho on an episode of RAW (10-22-01): “Jericho is the man. Chris Jericho is the WCW champion.” Likewise, JR says of champion The Rock: “Man, what matchup, but The Rock is still the man.” (RAW 09-03-01) Clearly, winning and achievement are part of being a man. Holding a major championship title indicates proven masculinity. It is interesting that the same awe does not seem to be applied to female performers who win major championships. Female title holders are not described as “The Woman.” Winning and achievement, therefore, are constructed as masculine not feminine.

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