The Importance of Female Wrestlers for a Growing Boy

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012; director: Brett Whitcomb)

The women of GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling will never forget the years from 1986 to 1990 when they grappled with each other every week on syndicated national television while dressed in skimpy showgirl outfits.

I understand completely.

I was a preteen when GLOW was on the air and I can’t forget it, either. Never in my life have I been as big a sports fan as when I sneaked peeks at all-girl wrestling on TV when I was 11 years old. It was a challenge. GLOW was not the kind of thing that you could watch with your family (or at least I couldn’t). No, a boy had to spend time with this alone. It was all girls in skintight costumes flinging each other across a wrestling ring and, for that, a young man needs some privacy in order to properly sort through his feelings. That’s just how this particular path works. In retrospect, I think I only got to watch GLOW twice back then, but both experiences made valuable contributions to my pubescent years. Especially when that blonde in the little denim shorts showed up.
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Overheating with Ed McBain’s COP HATER

Signet, 1973 reprint (original printing 1956)

The heat wave that takes over the city here is a primitive metaphor for the pressure that the 87th Precinct feels, from the press, from the public and from themselves, to crack the case of a shooter who’s popping off plainclothes police detectives brazenly in the streets. That’s okay, though. This is a primitive book and it doesn’t ask for you to think of it as anything but that. Its meat is the police procedural, an almost journalistic account of how fingerprints are read and how two strands of hair and a blood pattern on a sidewalk can reveal ten facts about an escaped perpetrator. Its characters, mere side items. Guys with guns and women with secrets. Caveman author Ed McBain beats us silly with his steamy atmosphere.

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