“Wrestling Ideology” absorbs the insight of recent scholarship in martial arts studies in order to analyze feminist performance art grounded in combat sports. Anchored by an analysis of Jennifer Locke's performance video Match, this essay explores how, where the “street fight” operates as the “real” for martial arts disciplines, sexual violence is positioned in martial arts discourse, and in sports more generally, as the “real” for which women athletes train. Nevertheless, physical competition between men and women is prohibited by nearly every sport. Locke's work manifests how the enforcement of that segregation lies at the heart of rape discourse.

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