October 21, 2009

Derby is NOT about sex!

I read this incredibly narrow minded article/forum post today about the movie Whip It that annoyed me for a couple of reasons.

I havent actually seen Whip It yet, but as one of the co founders of Newcastle Roller Derby League let me tell you that this supposed psychologist couldnt have gotten it MORE wrong. He theorises that 'this game is a metaphor for sex' and that the movie indulges in lesbian fantasy. According to brainiac over there, the movie whip it is about roller blading. WTF? He obviously knows NOTHING about derby. If he did, he would realise that inline skates are a no no for starters. His hypothesis and his language are both very anti-feminism. He claims to be a heterosexual male but lines from his post like; 'almost as "bad" as being a lesbian', are screaming homophobe to me. This my friends is a prime example of academic brilliance (and I use this term loosely because it should in no way, shape or form be applied to the 'academic in question) not necessarily being equated with intelligence.

For one thing, what is 'bad' about being a lesbian? Whats more, what is bad about being a lesbian who is involved in an all girl sport that is specifically directed at empowering and supporting women and designed to encourage acceptance and a sense of sisterhood that you just dont find in mainstream society (and don't even get me started on THAT one)? Ok, yes, there is a definite following of derby by members of the lesbian community. But I'm fairly certain it has less to do with sexual fantasy than it does with acceptance and empowerment and a love of the sport in its own right. Of all the homosexual women I have met through derby (and to be honest, there hasn't been that many, I've met more walking the streets of my neighbourhood), not one of them has seen the sport as an outlet for their sexual fantasies. They all seem to share the same view that it is just a nice change to be part of a sport and a community with other women who aren't judging or fearing them because of their sexuality. It would seem to me that not only is 'acceptance' the word of the day here but it is also a word that our friend the psychologist should perhaps learn to embrace.

Also, what about all those hetero women (who, by the way, are in the majority in derby) who are finding themselves as individuals and building life long friendships with like minded women through derby? All those mums and young girls in warm, functional, hetero relationships with men who dont feel threatened in the slightest by all those other women being athletes?

From reading between the lines of this so called Psychologist, it is clear to me that the concept of women banding together in an effort to become stronger, both physically and psychologically, is something that frightens him. God forbid that women should develop a sense of pride within themselves for becoming a tight knit community of athletes who just happen to enjoy having a good time as well. How dare they? They obviously should be back in the kitchen making sure they're popping out crotchfruit every other year and pandering to the delicate egos of men who clearly feel threatened by women with a sense of self.

I'd also like to know; how is the game of derby a metaphor for sex? He talks about weaving in and out of formation and some kind of 'cat and mouse' game as if derby is about playing tag. Derby is about playing tag as much as it is about doing your grocery shopping...which is to say; not at all. It annoys me that this man, who is apparently doing his doctorate, didnt have the intelligence to actually research the game he was tearing to pieces. If he had done so perhaps he wouldn't have so obviously jammed both of his feet in his mouth and embarrassed himself quite so completely.

Seriously, the suggestion that derby is about sex, is just laughable. Honestly, if that idiot ever bothered to actually go to a derby bout he'd realise that no derby girl is capable of even thinking about sex while on the track...hello???? For a start, you try skating around a track at top speed for a couple of hours and see if you have the energy for sex. Secondly all those sweaty knee pads and stinky quad skates and gigantic ass bruises? Oh hell yeh, that turns me on. Pfft.

The other reason this made me mad? I have friends who are psychologists. I studied psychology at Uni myself. And this guy, who clearly has a SERIOUS Freudian hang up, makes me ashamed to admit that I once wanted to become a psychologist. I will be the first to admit that I am in no way an academic, hell I dropped out of uni, but...even with his apology...Oh. My. God. What. A. Collosal. Fucktard.

For what its worth, Shakesville said it so much better than I did.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of Derby and attend VRDL games here in Melb. (Final on Sat, go Dead Ringer Rosies!) I kinda want to read this article so i can pass it on to all my friends and we can SHRED it, but it would also make me RAGE! Ugh. One of the things i love about derby is how many different type of people love it! The friends that got me into it are a really mixed group - straight, single, coupled, gay, trans... and we're all middle class, but it's out at Reservoir so there are all sorts of class ranges there!

    (also, see Whip It, it's awesome, except they do a whole bunch of illegal moves.)

    J (binkaboo from rav!)