Voices mingled as the crowd found their seats and the arena echoed with the cackles and squawks of geese at a tea party. Excitement bred with tension as last minute bets were placed, tweets were twitted, and statuses updated. A cacophony of heels clattered and scraped as ticket holders rushed back from concession stands with scones and iced lattes in hand. The chittering rose to crescendo – then descended to a hush.
The burly announcer strode to center ring. With cropped black hair, winged eyeliner that would skewer a wild boar, and shoulder padded tuxedo, she extended an arm as the microphone snaked its descent to her sweaty palm.
“Laaadies and Lapdogs! Welcome to the kickboxing match of the year! Brought to you by Arid’s new personal care product Winter’s Whisper. Don’t fight it with flowers, freshen with freedom. This night is sanctioned by the International Feminist Fight Foundation and will be scored on Twitter. This is a ‘no holds barred’ match so tighten your bra straps and prepare to see blood.
And now…Let’s get ready to grumbllllllllllllle!”
The spotlight swept to the side and all attention was riveted as black doors flew open to reveal Julia Gillard. With a royal blue head band and matching silk cape brandishing ALP stars she punched at the air before her with determination. There was a roar from the stands as she worked her way to the ring looking agile with the occasional wave to the crowd that turned into a mean mock uppercut. Ringside attendants stretched the ropes and Gillard paused, turning back to her fans to blow a two-handed kiss before ducking into the fight zone.
“In the big red corner, weighing in at a lean 160 pounds, you all know this feisty redhead. Recently ousted by her own party, she fought the patriarchy and made one of the best last ditch misogyny speeches ever heard in parliament. She attempted the impossible: to deploy accusations of sexism in defence of sexism. A woman who knows no bounds and isn’t ready to whimper softly into the night. Born in Wales and with the ass of one, it’s the Former Prime Minister of Australia, Juuuliaaa Gillaaard!”
The announcer’s voice trailed as Julia whipped her robe from her shoulders, twirled it over her head then tossed it to the ground before spitting on it. The crowd applauded. With her blue blazer and coordinated leggings, Gillard picked up the cape, cradled her ass with it and dramatically wiped her behind with aplomb. As the stands screamed support she nodded vigorously, held the cape high and stomped on it with her Gucci pumps.
“And in the other big red corner, her challenger!” the crowd ooohed, the spotlight swooped, and matching black doors burst open on the other side of the venue as if by mysterious force. Standing with head bent, Ranty Minx slowly raised evil eyes as music filled the stadium. In her bright white suit jacket of fame she stood, wispy flames of red hair flicked around black pencilled eyebrows while her plastic lips curled in a slow smug smile. Arms spread, she bounced her hips to the beat then placed a hand on her cinched waist and swaggered her way in a catwalk towards centre stage. “Patriarchy! Patriarchy!” rang through the ceiling as she pointed her red gloved hands accusingly at those within sight. When attendants rose to lift the ropes she shoved them aside and flung herself onto the mat, rolling to a crouch then springing up with both hands ready.
Thunder erupted from the stands.
“Weighing in at an impressive 185 pounds, she came out of nowhere: the fearless young feminist who, with no wasted years of internship, took Canada by surprise. Often found at rallies fighting religion and the patriarchy at street level. It’s the University of Toronto’s saint of ‘Shut The Fuck Up.’ The evangalizer of ‘I’m Reading Here.’ She’s the perfect fucking woman and she’s not done! Aaaanyway! I don’t know if you’re noticing a theme, It’s Raaantyyy Miiinx!!”
Ranty plunged both arms above her head with a snarl and pranced around the ring as her theme song faded out. Gillard waved a dismissive hand from her corner and the announcer took the spotlight once again.
“As you can see, gals, we’ve got to two Big Red corners and you know what that means?” She held a sweaty palm to her prominent ear as the crowd joined in the traditional reply:
“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!”
Kicking off their heels and straightening their blazers, the two women sized each other up, stalking in a casual concentric circle.
Ranty curled her upper lip. “I had a music demo on Youtube. I sing.”
Gillard laughed dismissively. “I knit my own boxing gloves.”
“You bitch!” Ranty tried a surprise left hook but Gillard deflected it with ease. The smile disappeared from Minx’s maw as she took three sharp jabs to the ribs before managing to block a fourth. She stumbled back then squared off in a wide stance.
“You print your speeches off the internet,” Gillard scoffed. “You’re an amateur!” She tried a front kick but Ranty was fast.
“Your speeches were written by staff. And some of them were men!” Gillard’s legs flew out from under her and she scrambled to the side as Ranty moved in. Gillard struggled to her feet fending of the blows as she regained her stance. There would be bruises. They both staggered in the direction of their corners and tried to regain their breath. With perspective, Ranty muttered “Germaine Greer was right, you do need a better tailor.”
Gillard levelled her shoulders. “At least my eyebrows are real hair!” Ranty missed a round kick to the head and Julia wasted no time closing in. She dove onto her prey with fingers clutching clumps of over-processed tresses and her knee firmly in Minx’s back. “Two radio jocks were punished for making inappropriate remarks to me!” She smashed Minx’s face into the canvas but Minx managed to flip Gillard from her back with the sheer power of her buttocks. Both women rolled over with a groan.
“I managed to elicit rape and death threats from just one public appearance!” Ranty wiped the blood from her nose and took the power position. “How many years did it take you to get attention, you hack?” Gillard stumbled to her feet but her gloves were unravelling. The crowd rose in expectation. The end was near. Ranty moved in for the kill.
Gillard lunged for a final swing, “I ousted a man as the head of my party!” Her fist met empty air.
Ranty ducked and came in under Gillard’s guard, landing a solid uppercut. “Look what it got you!” As Gillard listed back, Ranty stepped forward, sneering. “You were kicked to the curb! Your Party actually gave a shit about men and their opinions. Who does that? That’s right. You were bargaining with Patriarchy!” Ranty shoved Gillard back: “I,” jab to the nose, “am!” right hook, “A meme!” upper cut.
Gillard slumped to her knees on the ring floor. Ranty caught the back of Gillard’s head and slammed a knee into her jaw. Gillard slid into a heap at her feet. Ranty regarded her with disgust, “And memes live for fucking ever!”
Panting, Ranty turned to the crowd and raised her arms. A deafening roar filled the arena. Pumping fists of encouragement Ranty led the chant. “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!”
Gillard’s head raised from the mat and fell moments later in defeat, briefly wondering if she still had dental coverage.
It was over.
“Aaand there you have it!!” The announcer sprang back into the ring with flushed cheeks. She scooped her arms to the ground and lifted the rising cheers of the crowd as a puppeteer. Pandemonium erupted.
“And the winner by knockout! Raaaantyyyy Miiinx! The new champion Big Red title holder of the world!”
“Yeah! That’s right!!” Ranty fell to her knees and threw her hands wide. “Who won? I did!”
The announcer crouched at Ranty’s side. “Tell us, what are your plans now you’ve won the world title of Big Red?”
Ranty grinned. “First I’d like to send out a big Fuck You to all those misogynists who doubted me! And for my fans… when men are whining about their problems and losing their privilege I’ll be there to grab Patriarchy by the balls and give them a final twist! We all know men’s problems are a result of their own Patriarchy and all they need to do is shut the fuck up and listen!”
Fans clawed their way into the ring, swarming Ranty and pushing past the Announcer. They hoisted her up above their heads, screaming with joy.
The announcer struggled through the throng to get the microphone close enough to catch Ranty’s final words of victory. “Listen to what?”
Ranty’s smeared lips spread wide. “My… Feminism… Is fixing it!!”