New York women release anger — by Jell-O wrestling
NEW YORK (Reuters) – By day Sandra Martinez works at a New York law firm, but by night she throws off her conservative image and becomes “Sandra Claws” — an amateur female Jell-O wrestler.
At a grungy live music bar on New York’s Lower East Side, she joined 11 other women to do battle — several for the first time — in a blue, blow-up kiddie pool decorated with orange fish and filled with warm, clear clumps of an unflavored version of the gelatin dessert.
“It (lets us do) things we probably want to do to women sometimes that we dislike, but we have a forum where we can express it in a fun and safe way,” said Martinez, a 27-year-old business development specialist.
Her competitors, with day jobs including nanny and marketing manager, introduce each other by stage names — Tinsel the Bohemian Christmas Fairy, Parcel of Power, Chocolate Thunder and Backhand Betty.
“The show is done for the girls, put together by girls, as something that’s a fun, friendly competition,” said Dana Sterling, 31, who has organized the “Amateur Female Jello Wrestling” competition once a month for the last three years.
“It’s really hard to explain to my mother,” said Sterling, who by day works as a lighting designer. “It really is a sport, it’s a satire sport.”
Wearing a glittering gold swimsuit, black satin ruffle skirt and white curly wig, Herricane — who by day is 33-year-old marketing manager Mickie King — takes to the stage punching the air, shouting: “I’m ready, I have got wind, I’m ready.”
The crowd gathers around the pool, which sits on top of four old mattresses roped together. Jell-O flecks the audience as the fighters roll around, attempting to pin each other to the ground for three seconds.
Several competing women said the concept of female Jell-O wrestling conjured an image of sleazy men watching naked women roll around, but that Sterling’s event was far from that.
“We work hard to promote it as a feminist thing and the night is really like a community night in that it is really what the women make of it,” said Annie Rock, 26, one of the organizers.
“It’s definitely aggression release. It’s sexy as well, throwing women around in Jell-O,” King said.
To get male fans into what she called the “silly” mood of the evening, Sterling gets a few men up on stage for a hoola hoop competition. She also skews the door price so that women pay $3 entry, men accompanied by women pay $7 and men on their own pay $15.
All I need is a cool name, a suit, and some Jell-O!