Friday, July 17, 2009

I <3 Roller Girls



It's no secret - I flippin' love roller girls. LOVE them. My secret desire is to be a roller girl someday - I say someday because I'd have to practice a ton, spend money on equipment and I'm more than a little broke right now, and I know that lots of the roller girls are in their mid-30's. It's not a sport that considers you ineligible to play once you're past your mid-20's. So I've got some time. In Minnesota, we've got two leagues - Minnesota Roller Girls and North Star Roller Girls. If you're in the area and love roller girls as much as I do, be sure to check out a match.

I think this quote from Minneapolis-based City Pages sums up why I love roller girls so much:
These women are hardcore, and not just because they beat each other up on roller skates. From their ramshackle beginning in 2005 to the professional athletes they are today, people have always found the Roller Girls appealing for the same reason: They make no apologies for being themselves.

"If you think about it, all women have a little Roller Girl in them, but oftentimes they aren't allowed to show it," says Kelley. "That's all this is. Roller derby isn't about ink or being tough or whatever, it's about being empowered. Just look at veterans. There are girls with dreads and tattoos, and then there are ones who are in makeup looking absolutely nine-to-five. It just reinforces that this is about you doing what you want to do and being the person you want to be."

2 comments:

Michael said...

Roller derby is a weird thing. On one hand, womens' athletics dont get enough attention, and it's great that roller derby is popular, and it really IS fun to watch. On the other hand, it often seems like another symptom of female athletes being treated as a novelty, just like with high school powderpuff football, or (to a far, far greater extent,) "Foxy Boxing."

And just miscellaneous ass-covering, I'm not trying to say that these athletic women are in any way less legitimate than male athletes are, but rather that they might be seen as such and perhaps marketed as such in a patriarchal society where athletics are still dominated by men.

Of course, I'm not too familiar with these particular leagues. My primary exposure to roller derby comes from late-night matches on ESPN2 and TNN (now known as Spike TV).

Jack said...

It's a very cool sport. For some extra inspiration, check out this short video -- ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/5312 -- about one young woman's "aha moment" when she discovered her passion in roller derby. I think you'll like it.

Thanks,
jack@ahamoment.com