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If you're going to write something, and some short-sighted editor puts you into a position of journalistic authority, you should know something about your subject, and apparently you don't. I will not reiterate what others in this forum have already eloquently stated; that yours is a childish knee-jerk reaction to limited exposure to the sport of Women's Flat Track Roller Derby. To compare what present Derby Girls (and calling them "whatever-they-want-to-be-called" shows the lack of respect you have for all women; just what do YOU want to be called? other than what the Girls are calling you right now) to the show-sport of the last century is missing the boat entirely. These women are not actors, they are not wrestlers, and they are not being paid. They are mothers, sisters, and working women with a passion for contact sport. They sacrifice valuable family and work time to participate, and it COSTS them money. They have the training that only their peers and experience can provide, and yes, they do hit each other and fall to the floor. Occasionally there are more serious injuries. I don't read anything from you about the viciousness of street hockey or soccer, but those sports are pretty much dominated by men. Is your argument due to misogynistic leanings? Do you think that women should be relagated to the kitchen, grocery store, or bedroom? It takes strong, determined, smart women to know how to persevere at this sport, and that type might not suit you. Get out from under your over-protective momma's apron and see the world. Learn to observe without prejudice, especially when it comes to women. I have been a male WFTDA referee for long enough to know that when the whistle blows, what happens on the track is all business, and there is very little animosity. Sure, grudges happen, and penalties occur. But any specific bout is officiated by a minimun of seven referees, and there are usually more. The Girls know that safety is paramount, and that penalties are a part of the game. Yes, so is intimidation; show me a sport where it isn't. And another experience that might help you adjust your limited scope; go to any afterparty following a bout. The girls get together to trade notes, compare bruises (oh my God, I hear you say. NOT BRUISES! HOW UNLADYLIKE!), and complement each other on track technique. Many girls from opposing teams are best friends off the track. Put them on opposing teams, and let the bout begin. They'll show you the true meaning of competition and collaboration. I wouldn't trade my experience with Derby Girls for anything. But then I appreciate the beauty of strong, determined, forthright women. Maybe someday you will too. Then again...
Brotha TroubleRefereeCentral Arkansas Roller DerbyAnd Proud Of It
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