XIV

Worn under boxing gloves, hand wraps are used to protect the wrists and hands of the fighter during trainings and competitions of boxing and other combat sports. Every boxer has a different style for wrapping their hands but it always involves the wrist, the knuckles, the thumb, and between the fingers. They are made of elastic cotton. At one end of the band there is a thumb strap to provide a good fit to the hand, and at the other there is a Velcro closure to fasten the wrist. The handwraps on display are rolled, pink, and each of them is 2’’ x 180’’ size.

XIV

My Gendered Boxing Wraps

Contributed by Alejandra Benítez Silva, 2017

Keywords: Boxing wraps

“An old white man who is in the training suggests I get some hand wraps to avoid injuries. At the end of the session I buy them from the gym’s administrator, who gives me a pair of pink hand wraps. ‘Has he chosen this color because I look like a woman? Is it me stereotyping a color, or is it him stereotyping me? Is it both? Should I give them back? Objects are gendered and gender us,’ I reflect while receiving my new wraps.” (Field diary, first conditioning session, Ithaca Boxing Gym, 19 April 2017).

The ethnographic context of my research project was a boxing academy in Yorkshire, UK. In order to collect primary data and to grasp the gendered culture of the sport, I became a boxing apprentice. Between April 2017 and April 2018, I spent 150 hours in the gym. During this time, every situation or interaction was subject of gendered analysis which was reported in my field diary.