Sarasota Lady Arm Wrestlers Debut This Saturday



It’s Betty Friedan meets the WCW this Saturday night with the debut bout from the Sarasota Lady Arm Wrestlers (SLAW) and the Backyard Brawl: Battle for the Belt. A combined philanthropic and performance art event, one Sarasota backyard transforms into a ribald and risqué rumpus as four costumed contenders step up to the table and match muscles for arm-wrestling supremacy, all in the name of female empowerment and under the watchful eye of Celebrity Judge Barbara Zdravecky, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida CEO.

Part performance art, four local challengers stand poised to win over the crowd and take home the title. Battling in tournament fashion, the colorful roster includes the intimidating and “gloriously spray-tanned” Jersey She-Devil, the notorious Florida Woman of headline-infamy and Miss Andry, armed with a nutcracker and a bottle of male tears. The final brawler, Polly Dexter Rose, brings the sweetness with a massive sugar addiction and penchant for biting. “They’re ready to throw down and give it everything they’ve got,” says SLAW Mistress of Ceremonies Madame von Drumpfanator. But to win, they’ll need more than brawn.

Corruption is rampant—nay, encouraged—at any and all SLAW events and the biggest biceps don’t always win. Judges, referees and even wrestlers are open to bribery from the audience, but only in SLAW Bucks. The event costs $5 to enter, at which point one is given five SLAW Bucks. This currency can then be used to sway judges or buy off referees to support a particular wrestler. And more SLAW Bucks are available for purchase at any time, should a particular bout need a little extra push to go the right way. This is how SLAW events function not only as a raucous good time where women can be loud, in charge and generally free from societal expectations, but as fundraisers—regardless of who wins, 100% of the proceeds go to the charity or organization of the night. In the case of Saturday’s Brawl for the Belt, Planned Parenthood is the beneficiary, leading to Zdravecky’s appearance as the night’s celebrity judge.

“As CEO of an organization that has been delivering preventative health and educational services to women and their families in this country for over 100 years, I am grateful to the local CLAW group for bringing their message of empowering women and strengthening communities through theater, arm wrestling and philanthropy,” says Zdravecky. “The girl power movement is growing and Sarasota in particular is a great place to blend a unique sporting event with a theatrical twist. And since Planned Parenthood is the beneficiary of the fundraiser, count me in for the countdown.”

The Sarasota Lady Arm Wrestlers’ Backyard Brawl: Battle for the Belt kicks off 8pm this Saturday, March 4, at an undisclosed location. Space is limited and filling fast. Contact SLAW Mistress of Ceremonies Madame von Drumpfanator at to RSVP for one of the final seats and directions to the bout.

Pictured: Madame von Drumpfanator defuses a title belt tug-of-war. Photo courtesy of SLAW.

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