BAWD ladies compete in an arm wrestling competition in 2012. Photo by Chris Sanchez.
In an effort to knock out domestic abuse, eight feisty women on Thursday night will flex their fierceness and go hand-to-manicured hand at the Boston Arm Wrestling Dames 3rd Wrasslin Championship Throw-down.
At 7 p.m., contestants at Club Oberon in Cambridge will duke it out with their deltoids to benefit Transition House, which for nearly 40 years has helped victims of abuse get back on their feet.
"This is a gathering of women for other women… and I think that that’s a beautiful thing," said Sarah, or as the Dames call her, Clara Bow-Flex. "Arm wrestling is not necessarily a woman's sport, but this shows the strength of women."
Thursday's event will be the Dame's first since spring 2012. The group was founded in 2011 as one of nearly two-dozen ladies' arm wrestling leagues across the country. Since then, the group has raised funds to support Boston-area charities, including the Elizabeth Stone House and Web of Benefit.
Organizers described the throw-down as anything but ordinary, offering spectators a colorful mix of art, theatre, magic, screaming, dancing, yodeling, and not surprisingly, pushups. The ladies are also complete with a wrestling persona, costume, bio, theme song, and "money-hungry entourage," according to organizers.
Wrestlers compete tournament-style, advancing to semi-finals before squaring off in a final round. Rules are determined and managed by the referees, and the winner receives a trophy created by the beneficiary. All proceeds benefit Transition House.
"I think this is similar to Roller Derby. There's a bit of pageantry associated with it, but it's still tough and competitive," said Dana Beguerie, who chose the stage name Macho Ma'am Brandy Savage for her BAWD arm wrestling debut.
"I'd been working out for a little while and throwing around this idea that I'm ladyjacked. So, this was the perfect opportunity to showcase that and it's always been a secret dream of mine to have my own entrance music," said Beguerie.
Fellow Dame Rachel Paiste, stage name Brawla Deen, also knocks down the notion that women can't arm wrestle.
"If my mom taught me anything, it's that women can do anything," said Paiste. "I think any situation in which women are highlighted, profiled, and embraced for doing something generally thought of as masculine is helping to break down stereotypes."
Tickets to tonight's event are $10.
BAWD competitor Chains and Cheerios. Photo by Chris Sanchez
A few of the Dames offered these tips on how to win an arm wrestling match:
"Try to put your opponent down as quickly as possible. If they're struggling, but giving it their all, try to hold them as long as you can so they think they have a chance and tire themselves out. And keep your buttcheeks on the seat. No one likes a cheater. " - Macho Ma'am Brandy Savage
"It's about endurance. It takes some mind power, not just strength" - Clara Bow-Flex.
"Have fun. Of course one armed push ups help... And a great costume helps." - Brawla Deen
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