Rollergirls

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roller derby logoI finally finished watching the season of "Rollergirls" last night. And I loved that show all the way through.

Parts of it were really stupid, and obviously dramatized to a point that docu-drama may have been a better genre for it than reality show. But be that as it may, it was fun to watch (and not just because it's set here!) and it made me feel good about womankind.

In the season finale, one of the skaters (Sister Mary Jane, for those playing along at home) says something about roller derby teaching her to love women again. And you could see that, and I think that's a big part of what got me about the show. The women who created and participate in Lonestar Rollergirls really seem to love each other. They fought a lot, all season, and there was way, way more catty bullshit than I wanted there to be, but at the end of the day, they created something together, fought for it, worked for it, and loved each other. And I don't see much of that, in my real life, in my online life, or even on TV. Groups of women creating things that matter and that last and that are fun and benefit them is something I'd really love to see more of, everywhere.

Maybe it's stupid to get that serious about something like roller derby, but I honestly don't think it is. We are trained to take men's organizations and interests, including and especially their sports, seriously, but not women's. And make no mistake, these women are athletes. I can't even fucking stand up on skates, and I know they're athletes. And general badasses, too. What the group of women involved in TXRD have done, in terms of business, in terms of athletics, and in terms of building a truly woman-run organization, impresses the hell out of me.

And it helps that some of the women featured on the show resonated with me so much. Some (Catalac...) didn't, but that was more a function of reality TV always needing a bad guy than anything else, I think. Others, like Punky Bruiser, Lux, and SMJ, I really wish I knew in real life.

Which is another thing I loved about the show. For the first time since I watched Angela Chase in MSCL in 10th grade, I finally saw some women on TV who reminded me of me and my friends. Only more than Angela, because these are real (or at least mostly real) women, not the figment of a TV writer's imagination. Helps too, I guess, that they are women in my town, women near my age, etc. But it's more than that. These are women who wear the same clothes in multiple episodes, have jobs they really don't like, settle for only barely suitable men, and often throw up their hands at the whole damn thing and just have another drink. Just like the ones I know.

So yeah. "Rollergirls" was good fun to watch, and it gave me a lot of food for thought about women's organizations and the bullshit that they face both from without and from within (I think I blogged about the "Clownsnack" episode a bit back--that was a really good example). I recommend it.

3 Comments

Hah! You're a total sports fan. Dork.

While I totally enjoyed Roller Girls, the outfits grated on my nerves. They played the overt sexuality card all the time. Sure it was tongue in cheek, but it draws n the male audience as much as if it were Girls Gone Wild. I wish they would take themselves a bit more seriously.

That was one thing that really interested me about the difference between the way the derby plays out here IRL and the show--the show is MUCH more sexualized. At the actual derby, the sexualization is only a part of it, and only something that some of them do. There are other participants that just don't play that part of the game, and it seems to be not only "allowed," but not a second thought given. Which is cool, I think. I mean, if the overt sexualization truly is optional, then it bothers me less, you know? It does, of course, say something about who they chose to show (or who chose to be filmed) on the show though, doesn't it?

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