When people ask me why I love roller derby so much, I usually tell them something about how awesome the sport is. That answer is true, so very true, but I also love this sport with my full heart because to me roller derby is a revolution that set me free...
Every time a woman moves her body, some man somewhere thinks it is for him.
I am SICK OF IT.
I hang out with really beautiful women. Women who train hawks, ladies who get full scholarships to law school, and women who can wrangle four kids' schedules without breaking a sweat.
When I skate in a pack with my league mates, no matter what my day has been like, I feel safe. I am free. Not only am I flying on my eight wheels, but I am surrounded by people who know what it is like to run to your car from the grocery store. Who know what it is like to obsess in the mirror over every inch, every curve, every piece of skin. Who know what it is like to be treated like a child, to be paid less, to be told that your interests just are not as important as men's. My league mates know what it is like to have to defend themselves from someone who does not think “no” means stop, they know what it is like to have to work extra hard for less respect, they know what it is like to pick up a sports magazine and not see their half of the population represented. They know what it is like to be giddy about watching the Olympics, only to be crushed when the female athletes' hair and weight get more attention than their talent. My league mates know what it feels like to have your body picked apart by a society that does not represent you. My league mates know what it feels like to hear those awful words “you asked for it.” They know what it is like to flip through a magazine, one that is directed at them, and close it feeling like they will never live up to what is expected of them.
The shared experience of being a woman is not one that men can empathize with. You can not know what we feel or what we can handle because if we told you the WHOLE TRUTH you would think we were lying. Being a woman is really, really, really hard. (And it is also the best thing in the world.)
We are sick and tired of having to follow society's rules of how we should act and how we should look.
So instead, we strapped on some skates and we made our own rules and we started to fall in love with ourselves.
Roller derby brings women together by allowing us to reveal the most hidden version of ourselves. It lets you hit, scream, compete, and push yourself to be a mighty warrior. Strapping on skates is like releasing a volcano of awesome into your own world, and you get to do it alongside other women who “get it.”
Until a woman president.
Until rape does not exist.
Until female athletes are treated with respect.
Until our paychecks are equal.
Until our decisions about our bodies are our own.
Until we can all get married.
Until there is no “ideal” body.
WE WILL ROLL ON FOR US ALL.
The revolution is calling. You gonna answer?!
Love, Miller Lightnin'