Divas’ Revolution, Women’s Evolution, WWE’s Self-Congratulation

In August of 2016 the WWE released an episode of their short documentary series WWE 24 called “Women’s Evolution”. This episode celebrates the recent branding and language changes around women wrestlers, originally announced at WrestleMania 32 back in April of 2016. The changes included changing their language to call women “Superstars” like their male counterparts and referring to their division and championship as “Women’s” instead of “Diva’s”, as well as replacing the Diva’s pink butterfly Championship belt with one more similar to the men’s title belts. “Women’s Evolution” interviews various women wrestlers from the current and past rosters, including Stephanie McMahon, discussing how the WWE reached this moment and how women’s role within the company has changed over the last few decades. While the change indicates movement in a positive direction, “Women’s Evolution”  makes the mistake of celebrating too soon. The language change is an important step in humanizing women wrestlers, but WWE has done little since the announcement to back it up with real actions addressing the sexism in their portrayal of women.

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