Rosamund Urwin, uninspiring churnalist plying her dubious trade at London’s neo-liberal rag-par-excellence The Evening Standard, has penned a vapid paean to the joys of boxing for women. Or rather, that’s what Urwin appears to do in her feature in Monday’s edition of Evgeny Lebedev’s freesheet.
Upon closer reading, Urwin’s screed is revealed as merely a puff piece for boxfit, the cardio-based non-contact version of boxing beloved of effete metropolitan yuppies. Could it be that Rosamund Urwin is a misogynist and a fake feminist who thinks women can only handle a watered down version of a violent masculine sport?
Urwin opens the piece (“Hit Like A Girl”) by telling us nonchalantly, in the charmless, “humblebragging” fashion beloved of insecure petit bourgeois intellectuals, that she “[has] been working out once a week with Steph Poulter of Euphoria Personal Training,” where she has been doing “squats, stretches and some weight exercises.”
Lacking an even more oblique way of telling us that she is “boxing,” Urwin claims “I mostly pretend to be Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams, the British Olympic female boxer.” She even, patronisingly adds that she now has her own gloves, wraps, and pads. Urwin, the empowered, ass kicking tank grrl feminist stops short of full contact, however, because she would rather forego “bleeding on the brain.”
The rest of the piece is so vapid it reads like a feature in a proletarian gossip rag. Rosamund is at pains to expound on every female celebrity imaginable that happens to have taken up boxing. The implication is that women are too stupid to take something up for themselves and must be encouraged by way of “monkey see, monkey do.”
She also shoe-horns barefaced plugs for all her mates’ gyms. This includes Steph Poulter, who we are imperiously informed provides services to such luminaries of the London liberal-progressive chatterati as Professor Brian Cox’s wife, feminist troll Caroline Criado Perez, and, er, some New Statesman editor nobody has ever heard of and her husband.
Another of Urwin’s recommendations terribly accessible classes (£15 a shot) at Miguel’s boxing gym in Brixton, an area where ethnic minorities have been driven out by rapacious developers funded by gentrifiers of Urwin’s social class. Urwin’s other retarded suggestions, in an article purportedly about boxing, include a Boxfit gym, body combat classes at Virgin Active, and the gimmicky classes at corporate London’s favourite McGym, Gymbox.
Conspicuously absent is any treatment of the possibility that Urwin’s female readers might want to try competitive boxing.
Rosamund Urwin is a cookie shaped by the same cutter as many of the typists clogging the offices of British and American media offices. Expensively educated, over 30 and childless, Urwin is paid to write pointless diatribes on the injustices inherent in having a cunt.
And while Rosamund Urwin, like Joy Lo Dico and others, is a past master at propagating grievance-laden column inches from nothing, the feminist circus also needs a steady stream of feel-good puff pieces to appeal to the Go Grrl contingent. By penning a brisk, supposedly empowering piece about boxing, Urwin is playing to exactly that gallery, the Loboutin-wearing middle-class cubicle drones who “don’t need no man.”
Urwin’s piece, however, ends up being an insult to both women and boxing. It is an insult to boxing because Urwin is part of the machinery that takes authentic institutions like martial arts or military training, and pervert them for commercial gain into fitness gimmicks like box-fit and Tough Mudder, mostly for the purpose of middle class status whoring.
Even more hypocritically, it is an insult to women. Urwin on the one hand promotes the empowerment narrative, but on the other confines women to Box-Fit. Complaining in another article about the “belittling of women by treating us like delicate birds with broken wings,” she now writes about the wonders of boxing but holds it as a given that women are too fragile to engage in contact sparring.
It is disingenuous and insulting to the reader, and exposes the ivory tower mentality of the middle class intellectual elite that dominate London’s media. It exposes Rosamund Urwin as a misogynist who holds the average woman in a pitifully low estimation.
And on an supplementary point, it might be argued that a graduate of no less illustrious institutions than Oxford University and the London School of Economics might have conducted some verification ahead of making a claim as illiterate as that contact sparring in a women’s boxing class would cause “bleeding on the brain.”