Google the term “women’s boxing gloves,” then click on the images tab. Your eyes will immediately be assaulted by Pepto-Bismol-colored gear so gender-stereotyped that you might actually need a swig of Pepto Bismol to stomach it. Most of the gloves, while listed in women’s sizes, are really just shrunken men’s versions that pay little-to-no attention to the shape, size, and protection requirements of female fighters’ hands. Portland's Society Nine aims to change that. 

Founded by local jiu jitsu and Krav Maga practitioner Lynn Le, Society Nine is currently raising money on Kickstarter to produce gloves and clothes specified to a woman’s unique needs in the fighting and fitness world. 

Glena Avila

Her first collection includes a series of women’s MMA and boxing gloves made of high-quality leather that have been designed to address the common problems female athletes face when buying gloves such as fit and structure. Dubbed “Bia” after the Greek goddess of force and strength, the gloves feature a modern, pink-free graphic inspired by shattering glass, which Le says represents the diversity and power of the female fighter. 

Her Kickstarter has a few days left and has only met $34,000 of her $50,000 goal. If fully funded, Le will begin producing this highly-anticipated line of gloves, and will unveil a wider Society Nine line at the 2015 UFC Fan Expo, reaching female fighters everywhere. 

“It’s so nice to have a brand that finally treats woman as the athletes we are,” said Portland’s MMA powerhouse, Glena “Heartless” Avila. “It’s long over due.”

For more information on Society Nine or to back the project, visit kickstarter.com.

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