One of the reasons I am interested in roller derby is that this is a sport by women, for women. Sure, there are men’s leagues (like the blogrolled Harm City Homicide), and sure, men watch, men can ref or volunteer in other ways, but this is really a chick thing. It is a way women can show that they are just as (if not more) tough, strong, and capable as men.
This is important to me because I feel very strongly about the fights for equality. LGBTQ rights are a big issue for me, and so are women’s rights. I try to educate myself about these and be active in the fight for equality, and derby is a way to do that, since many of the skaters feel the same (and DCRG’s own Lenore Gore, as mentioned in a previous post, is a Trans activist herself! Which reminds me, gotta update the blogroll!)
Outside of derby, I don’t put that away, but I have to say that it fits in my life differently. I share links on various social media platforms, and I read blogs and articles and try to educate myself, and engage in discussion of my favorite nerdy things from a feminist point of view. (If you are a Buffy fan and a feminist and aren’t reading gabrielleabelle‘s feminist filter posts, what the heck is wrong with you?!) So I am used to this coming up in contexts someone less interested in these issues wouldn’t expect. But I never gave a whole lot of thought to the covers of books I read. I mean, sure, they objectify the main female character, but I never realized how physically ridiculous some of that is.
Cue Jim C. Hines, author of several excellent series and feminist and advocate for rape victims, and his photoshoot trying to replicate female poses from book covers, and in response, genre book reviewer Anna doing her own photoshoot, comparing female and male poses. There are a LOT of other similar comparisons out there, too. (I love the one Jim links to at the end of his follow up post depicting male superheroes in the poses and outfits female superheroes (and villains!) are usually drawn in!)
As I commented on Anna’s post, when I look at some of the covers with men on them, I think “I want to read that, based on that cover.” When I look at the Mercy Thompson cover, which is from a series I absolutely adore, I think “I read these despite the cover.” The physicality of strong women doesn’t have to be rooted in tits and ass. We are just as capable of kicking ass as men are.
DCRG’s SpankErin shared Andrew Zimmerman’s tweet about Tragic City Roller Derby ” @andrewzimmern My roller derby debut as Iron Stomach. If only I could skate like a girl, cause I suck.” YES! Skating like a girl is a good thing! I skate like a girl because I AM a girl, and there is no shame in that. I run like a girl, I throw like a girl, I hit like a girl (and I hit hard!)
And since you sat through all that, here is a link to Andrew Zimmerman skating with the pack for the very first time, for charity.