I am so excited that men's roller derby leagues are becoming a conversation in the world of derby. The more people that play roller derby, the better. I truly believe in roller derby world domination, and that the benefits of playing the sport can positively influence all people.
Full disclosure, though: men's roller derby brings out the skeptical feminist in me. I am slightly wary of a potential take over. Roller derby was male-dominated at times during its long history, but the modern incarnation of it has been all about female empowerment. Roller derby is the one place in my life where I am not treated as a second class citizen because of my gender. Roller derby empowers my female force, has increased my sisterhood, and has freed me from the burden of self-body hatred.
|When roller derby began in the 20s, it was played by men. Female skaters were added to the sport later as a way to sell tickets. No one could have guessed then how roller derby would evolve into the feminist movement it is today.|
Modern roller derby is not just a sport, it is a feminist movement.
I need the men who are creating leagues for themselves to say that out loud. To believe it. Do they truly know the world they are entering? Are they entering it with the full knowledge of their male privilege? Do they know that to women who skate, this means a whole lot more than just hitting one another and wearing cute outfits?
Are these male leagues prepared to embrace and make room in the sport for male-to-female transgender skaters? Do they truly know what a sport created for, by, and with all women means to us? As women?
I say yes. But then again, I am a hopeful, trusting, heart on her sleeve feminist who truly wants a massive social change in terms of gender and sexuality equality. This is what I bleed for.
I am in full support of men's roller derby leagues, and look forward to witnessing my first male derby bout in the upcoming season. All I ask is for these leagues to mention the elephant in the room-the big, giant feminist elephant in the room that is just double checking your intentions.
Sorry guys, thousands of years of sexism and lack of equal treatment will do that to people.
Lookin' forward to seeing you on the flat track, gentlemen.