Jell-O Wrestling at Churchill's Pub: Anti-Feminist or Harmless Fun?

Categories: Culture

jello_wrestling_churchills.JPG
Jell-O wrestling conjures images of hardbodied coeds in little bikinis, engaged in a slippery-limbed struggle to pin their opponent and to prevent a boob-exposing wardrobe malfunction in a tub of Jell-O. Meanwhile, drunken men cheer them on, secretly hoping the girls will fail in the latter regard.

One would suspect males from Hialeah to Kendall flocked to Jell-O Wrestling Night at Churchill's Pub the first Wednesday of August with similar hopes in mind. Some preppy guys seemed out of place at the bar, home to punk-rock regulars who night after night fill the air of their "beloved shithole" with guitar riffs, drum rolls, and cigarette clouds. The event's poster might have lured the outsiders. It depicts a mound of red gelatin with a red-bikini-clad girl as the topping. Or maybe it was just the promise of killer live music and good cheap beer, which Churchill's Pub, known as the CBGB of the South, delivers.

The spectacle of women grappling in a tub of jelly returns to Churchill's tonight. If you're asking yourself, Jell-O wrestling? Really? In 2013?, we were right there with you. So we checked it out for ourselves.

jello_wrestling_flyer.jpeg
The flyer, designed by one of Churchill's female employees, advertises the event as a sexist flesh-fest. But like many advertisements that portray women as goods in our consumer-driven culture, it was slightly misleading. Instead of pin-up girls in skimpy bikinis, the pub's female bartenders, wearing sporty outfits, battled it out in the goop. The bar's "lovelies" -- Sonia, Rebecca and Elena -- among others, looked strong, wearing sports bras, gym shorts, and knee-high soccer socks to complement their toned physiques. Some girls engaged the theatrics of pro wrestling by sporting masks with white eagle wings around the eye holes.

A large inflatable pool filled with red Jell-O was placed in the pub's outdoor stage area, a dilapidated patio next to the shack that houses owner David Daniels' residence. Around the pool, folding chairs were filled to capacity, so many onlookers stood vulnerable to blobs of Jell-O, which splashed out of the pool. MC Nicky Bowe teased the crowd by calling out one of the wrestlers: "Sonia. Come out, Sonia. Where are you?"

jello_wrestling_sonia.jpg
Sonia Przulj
As the speakers blasted Kelis' song "Milkshake," Bowe introduced the wrestlers. The girls smiled and giggled as they wobbled into the pool, balancing themselves carefully like gelatinous acrobats. At the MC's direction, the contestants pushed and pinned each other in efforts to be named champion, a title bestowed by the audience's noise level.

The bartenders' close friends and pub regulars sat in the front rows, cheering them on with applause, whistles, and hoots of "yeah" and "hooray!" It seemed almost like a family event -- a very strange family event for a very strange family. Pub regular Beatriz Monteavaro, artist and drummer of experimental noise band Holly Hunt, attended the spectacle. Dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, with her dark, unkempt hair down, while smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer, she sat onstage. Asked what she thought about female Jell-O wrestling, she said with a kind yet serious stare: "I'm morally opposed to it. But I'm here to support my friends."

Female Jell-O wrestling and other events of a similar nature, such as mud-wrestling, are controversial. Critics consider them degrading, sexist, misogynistic, and inappropriate entertainment for 2013. Advocates counter that the contestants participate of their own free will and have a good time. Some have even called for men's Jell-O wrestling to take place too. In fact, at one point during Churchill's festivities, the MC prompted shirtless males to jump into the tank for all "the feminists in the audience." A muscular guy, with a ripped chest and six-pack abs, wearing tight black biker shorts jumped right in, much to the delight of the ladies present.

But is this tradition outdated and sexist?

Location Info

Venue

Map

Churchill's Pub

5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
upsidedownpenguin
upsidedownpenguin

We had a jello wrestling party for my 21st birthday and everyone got involved. Girls and guys. It was so much fun. It wasn't about objectifying women or perving it was about having crazy fun in a small swimming pool full of jello. If people want to wrestle in jello they should be allow to. And for those that are wondering, the jello that they use isn't real jello so it doesn't get eaten afterwards. We bought our jello from these guys - www.jellowrestlingsupply.com. 

nanana
nanana

YAY! glad to see an increase in feminist critiques on the new times. Ive always said Miami is a sexy but sexist place to live. rampant machismo mixed with all the expectations of vanity in this city are enough to make a self aware (feminist) woman rage forever.


Walmy MilTone
Walmy MilTone

UGH don't believe the hype! Been there and though it is fun to see (but only for a short while) DO NOT expect to see the next gorgeous Miami bikini model gettin all deliciously nasty in the vomitous jelly. Mostly beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder and sligtly liquored up sapphic field hockey players need apply here my friend. Get thee to a proper strip club and don't look back...

TK Small
TK Small

its both to some , but they do it by their own freewill.

Kristina Villaverde
Kristina Villaverde

Um hello no one is making women jello wrestle they sign up all on their own. Being able to make our own decisions no matter how they may be seen by others is feminism and not anti.

Jeremy Alvarez
Jeremy Alvarez

Maybe in response to this criticism and good nature in general, some of the proceeds should go to donations for a women's aid shelter or something of that nature.

a.jeremyscott
a.jeremyscott

Maybe in response to this criticism and good nature in general, some of the proceeds should go to donations for a women's aid shelter or something of that nature. 

Gil Lopez
Gil Lopez

anywhere else, likely harmless. at Churchill's Pub contenders should have mandatory penicillin shots afterwards.

Steve Cody
Steve Cody

Non-hygienic when you serve the gelatin afterwards. (However, you might draw a certain perv demographic.)

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

It's Churchills. You are going to see some weird, whimsical, odd, bizarre, frightening, feminist, misogynistic, drunken, disjointed, crazy stuff and that is just the parking lot before you even make it in the door. Churchills is a gem. It is really the last free bastion that brings very un-politically correct unbridled fun to Miami. Nobody is forcing anyone to participate or watch the wrestling, so I see no harm in it.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Clubs

Miami Event Tickets
Loading...