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Female arm wrestling contest in Cambridge on Thursday

Posted by Andrew Tran  October 24, 2013 10:04 AM

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(Photos by Chris Sanchez)

Get ready to watch some wonder women whip out their biceps as the Boston Arm Wrestling Dames put on their 3rd female arm wrestling tournament this Thursday night.

The tournament, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Club Oberon in Cambridge, will feature eight female wrestlers vying for the championship. All proceeds from the evening’s grueling battles will go directly to Transition House, a nonprofit organization that provides support to victims of domestic violence.

Bawd2.jpgMaggie Moore, one of the event’s producers, said this is the biggest venue yet for the tournament. She said women arm wrestling has become more popular throughout BAWD’s establishment in 2011, and that people recognize the value in raising money for charity in a fun way.

“It’s unique, so people are attracted initially to that idea. It is also a really fun event. People get to come out and get to go to this club atmosphere, have a beer, or seltzer, and watch a theatrical presentation of a unique sporting event,” Moore said.

Moore said that while the actual arm wrestling is a huge part of the evening, the event is also very theatrical, humorous, and spontaneous. She feels that both the audience and the wrestlers benefit from the fact that no one ever really knows what’s going to happen. In the past, arm wrestling matches have also led to screaming, dancing, yodeling, and doing push-ups.

“It’s a great way to connect to the community and to support a community of people doing great work at Transition House,” Moore said. “Even if you don’t like arm wrestling, it’s going to be a lot of fun to just come and be in the venue, to be part of the energy, and to see the amazing women do what they do.”

Rachel Paiste, a wrestler who competed in a past tournament, said the uniqueness of the event really highlights how empowering women can make a difference. She said that she was originally attracted to the idea of arm wrestling because of the causes it supported, but that she has also come to appreciate how arm wrestling itself is an effective tool for challenging stereotypes.

“The idea of empowering these women [at Transition House] is important, and I like the idea that I can do that physically,” Paiste said. “It’s just a strange mix of art, strength, and theater. It’s something women should be proud of because it’s not in any traditional gender role, but just a really fun way to raise money.”

Paiste said that one of the most fun aspects of the evening is seeing the different wrestlers’ personas, as well as that of their entourages. She said that every individual who participates puts a lot of heart into their character, which makes for a rowdy, enjoyable, and unexpected night for the audience.

“Anything is possible. The characters can say anything, do anything, be anything,” Paiste said. She added that when she participated as a wrestler, her character literally buttered people up. “It’s a really fun environment in which people have these crazy characters. It really is an overall, theatrically-enjoyable performance.”

Sarah “Clara Bow-Flex,” a wrestler who will be participating in this year’s tournament, said she’s excited to see the audience’s response to the different characters. She said her character, based off of the 1920s silent film actress Clara Bow, is both a witty take on a name and also a way to show women’s contributions throughout the years.

“In [Clara Bow’s] time, women were able to have so much fun! But at the same time they weren’t getting any recognition for the awesome things they were doing. I was excited to pull from history and make a statement with that,” Sarah said. “Some of the other characters are more funny or witty, but they are still so strong.”

Sarah “Clara Bow-Flex” said that the tournament is a great excuse for people to get out, have some fun, and support an organization that is really making an impact in the community.

“You’re allergic to fun if you don’t want to come,” Sarah said. “It’s a great time and an amazing cause.”

The Boston Arm Wrestling Dames 3rd Wrasslin’ Championship Throw-down will take place at Club Oberon on Thursday October 24. Tickets are available for $10 online or at the door and include three “BAWD Bux” that enable participants to bet on and bribe in favor of their favorite wrestlers. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit Transition House. For more information or to learn more about the wrestlers, visit the event’s Facebook page.

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