Cyborg vs. Coenen

This is a sort of update to my Aug. 16 entry about the fight between Cris Cyborg Santos and Gina Carano. I noted in that post that the camera work done on the fight was different than the camera work done when male fighters face off. But, it wasn’t different in the way one might expect. The cameras framed the women’s faces tightly, de-emphasizing their bodies. I wasn’t sure whether this was out of some sort of respect for the women, or if it was a heteronormative move aimed to shift the gaze away from female bodies that don’t adhere to the norm. I was leaning toward giving Strikeforce the benefit of the doubt. (For the record, it turns out that the Cyborg-Carano fight was the first time a major sponsor featured women fighters in a main event, which could also have contributed to the unusual filming.)

Last night, Cyborg defeated Dutch fighter Marloes Coenen at a Strikeforce event in Miami. And guess what? The camera work was different.

That is, it was different than last time. However, even when I was looking for it, I couldn’t see any differences in the way the Cyborg-Coenen fight was filmed and the ways the male-male fights of last night were filmed. The same sort of pre-fight footage was used. The same sort of zooms and focuses were in play. And the post-fight interview was similar to those involving male fighters.

All of which leads me to wonder: How is it that a sport that so many people consider “barbaric” is the one with the most advanced brand of feminism going on?

Interesting, no?


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