Girls Shouldn’t Behave Like That: Exploitation of Women’s Emotion in Professional Wrestling
Kise, Samantha Jayne
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WWE has always been known to have problematic representation for women. Recently, they have attempted to make a change. In 2016, WWE finally retired the outdated “Diva’s Division” and made strides toward a more woman-inclusive program – achieving some success with their “women’s (r)evolution.” Although they market themselves as an “inclusive” company, WWE fails to consider what their audience wants – more positive representation for women. Though their fanbase is constantly disappointed with WWE’s sexism, they still tune in. The major thing that keeps people watching is the bonding that comes from being disappointed and angered - and doing so together. I examine the evolution of WWE’s programming since April 2016 to demonstrate that the anger of their audience is purposely cultivated to maintain interest – a practice that is not acceptable given that the company is reinforcing problematic stereotypes about women with storylines that produce and involve anger.