Becky Lynch is smashing gender boundaries in one of the most famously male-dominated fields: WWE wrestling.
“We don’t need to be relegated to a certain section just because we were born in a certain gender … I’m not going to accept that,” Lynch told Know Your Value on Saturday at the Global Citizen Festival, an annual event that raises money to fight extreme poverty. The evening attracted more than 60,000 visitors at New York City’s Central Park.
Lynch, who was born in Ireland, is the current WWE Raw Women’s Champion. It wasn’t an easy climb, however. She shared that she frequently faced gender discrimination at the beginning of her career.
“It’s been constant. I was the only girl in my wrestling school when we first started,” said Lynch, who was accompanied by fellow wrestler Seth Rollins. “Even when I first came to the company, I was told to move more like a girl ... It was always about ‘how can I progress and prove that women can have just as entertaining stories and matches as the guys?’”
Through the adversity, Lynch learned that practice makes perfect when it comes to confidence.
“You start speaking out a little bit and then you get a little bit more confident and say: ‘that wasn’t so scary, I could do that again,’” Lynch said. “This is what Global Citizen is about. You can take little steps and get a little closer. You get that confidence as you go.”
Rollins discussed how men can help women get a seat at the table.
“We have to take it upon ourselves to help bring down these barriers and these walls, and not be afraid,” said Rollins. “It’s been such a male-dominated business for so long it becomes easy to become entitled …There are women who are more capable than you sometimes, and you need to understand and be supportive and help them knock those doors down. Them getting better is only going to make us better. It’s not us vs. them.”
WrestleMania, the WWE’s annual flagship event, featured a women’s match as the main event this year.
“My dream is to main event Wrestlemania,” said Lynch. “I’m going to find a way this year.”