Posted September 12, 2014 by Sydnie Jones in Editorials

Tamikka Brents Criticizes Fallon Fox for Exploiting Trans Status, Then Exploits Fox’s Trans Status

Fallon Fox choking Allanna Jones to victory with her knee.

Fallon Fox fights Saturday night at the Capital City Cage Wars in Springfield, Illinois. She’s fighting Tamikka Brents, who went on a doofy rant last year in a bid for publicity, apparently not realizing the flagrant hypocrisy in her words.

“I am tired of Fox getting all this publicity just for being a transgender fighter rather than having great skills. I think it’s unfair anyway but as long as the opponent knows and accepts the fight then go ahead… I mean Allana took her to the third and she’s not even a 145er; she’s a more of a 135er who can probably go even lower to 125 pounds. She’s using all that attention as a good publicity tactic – go ahead and ride that free publicity train as long as you can. I’ll gladly derail that shit quickly so the world can go back to giving the publicity and notice to the female fighters who earn it. It just pisses me off that Women’s MMA has fought to get away from being seen as a side show. She’s using that to further her career while setting Women’s MMA back in the process.”

Uh…Tamikka, you’re using that to further your career. Brents expressly appropriates the attention Fallon Fox’s trans status  garners to bring attention to herself and cast herself as the brave, heroic fighter on a selfless quest for justice. We’ve seen this before:

(Fox’s) presence ‘has been controversial and criticized,’ while her opponent is a ‘fearless warrior.’ Only someone with the heart of a true champion would dare step into the cage with Fallon Fox.

AJ McKenna, on her blog Wrestling Emily Dickinson, picks Brents’ statement apart so thoroughly and with such authority that you should read it all, but here are some especially pertinent parts.

I thought Fox was just trying to make her career in MMA like any other sportswoman. In fact, as I recall, she was forced to come out as trans only after a mud-grubbing journalist threatened to out her without her permission. But you go ahead and talk that trash, Tamikka, you pretend this is about Fallon seeking publicity instead of handling a setback which could have derailed her career with dignity and panache. Oh, and don’t think I don’t see those not-so-subtle digs you’re throwing in there: that little ‘sideshow’ remark, for one – because what belongs in a sideshow? Freaks, of course. Yeah. You stay classy there, Ms Brents.

And then there’s the not-so-subtle comparison of Fox to ‘the female fighters who earn it’. Not all that subtle but unusually so for a transphobe, that. Heck, I thought – why doesn’t she just accuse Fallon of not being a ‘real girl’, like they always do?

Turns out, Tamikka does have a reason to try not to sound too transphobic when she denounces Fox – a reason to speak in dog whistles and codes. Because, you see, this woman who compares trans people to sideshow freaks and accuses trans pioneers of being attention-seeking publicity-hounds (a classic tactic used to silence women both cis and trans, as I pointed out here – well, she wants to be an LGBT rights advocate. 

We’ll be rooting for Fallon Fox on Saturday, but we’re always rooting for Fallon Fox.

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Sydnie Jones