OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

If anyone knows what it’s like to be attacked unmercifully by strangers, it’s Sarah Palin. The former Alaska Governor was given Trump treatment before Trump treatment was all the rage. Palin has been called the most disgusting, vile names possible. She’s been falsely accused of the craziest things imaginable. Her family, including her children, have been threatened and mocked. All because these people do not like her for whatever reason. Politics, looks, attitude, whatever the case may be, the over the top, hateful targeting has been nothing less than evil.

For some different reasons, and probably for some similar ones, there’s a premier athlete out there who has been getting trashed in a very Palinesque manner. Ronda Rousey has always been somewhat polarizing, but lately, things have taken a more drastic turn. Ever since the WWE star used the words “fake fights'” to describe pro wrestling and unapologetically declared she cares more about her family than she cares about the fans who do not like her, the Internet worms have come out of their holes.

Sure, she’s met backlash from some peers too. Nia Jax, Lana, and Alexa Bliss all had something to say recently about Rousey, but at least these women are wrestlers. It’s like Palin battling Lisa Murkowski or Hillary Clinton. It’s quite different when the shots are coming from Johnny (Hiding Behind The) Keyboard.

Twitter tough guys are calling Rousey disgusting names. They are mocking her and her family. They’re belittling her talent. They are twisting her words around. This is the old Palin attack.

So what is the common denominator here? Palin is undoubtedly feared and hammered for her politics. A mama grizzly conservative with a libertarian streak doesn’t sit well with some. She is a threat because she doesn’t back down from her principles. Therefore, the unsavory among us believe it’s justified to attempt to destroy her at any cost. Sick? Yes. But, real? Sadly.

Rousey is no hardcore conservative. In 2015, she endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Rousey and Palin are not exactly political allies. But, while the two may not vote the same, they carry themselves very much in the same manner. Neither takes any nonsense from anyone. Neither is afraid to speak her mind. Both love their family above any job or accolade. Both know when to go rogue or get rowdy.

So, since it isn’t politics at play here with Rousey, it must be that whole ‘woman we can’t control’ thing.

Like Palin, Rousey marches to her own drum. She lives on a farm. She raises goats. She lives a self-sustaining lifestyle. She likes to play video games. She makes the rules.

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Palin lives in Alaska. She’s a hunter. She has multiple dogs. She raps on TV. She absolutely makes the rules.

Good looking, powerful women who don’t back down from others and live how they want to live. Perhaps that’s the touchstone right there.

Sarah Palin took on the good old boys club in Alaska and shook things up. She courageously called out the crooked men who were running all things political in the state for decades. After countless men tried and failed, a mom took down Democrats and Republicans who weren’t working for the people. She went on to become the first Alaskan woman to serve as governor and the first Republican woman to ever be on a national ticket for the White House.

Rousey turned MMA into a legitimate sport for women. Another type of boys club suddenly had a girl as its biggest star. She did the same in wrestling. During her amazing run as WWE RAW women’s champion, Rousey was often the most popular wrestler in the world, man or woman. A step mom, and future mama grizzly if you take all her ‘impregnation vacation’ comments about her and husband Travis Browne seriously, who continues to shine no matter the obstacles she is faced with.

Some women are mean, no doubt. But if you look at the constant attacks on Palin and Rousey online, more often than not, the vitriol comes from men. Or at least males. Real men wouldn’t talk to women, or anyone for that matter, like they do to these two. After you read a gross tweet or online post about either woman, click on the guy’s picture to learn more. Virtually all the time, the perpetrator’s face fits his actions. These are usually weird, awkward, sociopathic fellows who are taking out their self-loathing on a talented woman. Other times, of course, they have no picture of themselves at all. The cowards hide behind some artwork or logo, as if the Internet anonymity wasn’t enough of a hiding place.

The point is this: If you don’t like Sarah Palin’s politics, fine. If you don’t like what she says, that’s your right, too. Not a fan of Ronda Rousey in the ring? Your choice. That whole ‘fake fighting’ and ‘ungrateful fans’ stuff rubbed you the wrong way? You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. So, don’t support Palin’s causes. Don’t vote for her or her candidates. Don’t root for Rousey. Don’t buy her merchandise. Heck, root for Becky Lynch if you want to. But seriously, can you men (and women) stop the personal, hateful, psychotic attacks? Just because you can’t be like, or be with women of this caliber, doesn’t mean you have to be a bottom feeder.

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They are not exactly the same. In some ways, they are very different. But, look out Internet bullies. The Rowdy One and the Rogue have a lot more in common than you may think. Both have overcome much bigger challenges than any of you pose. You are no match for either of them.


Follow Kevin Scholla on Twitter @kevinscholla