Alright ladies. I want you to know that I mean all this with love. You are a wonderful group of human beings with a great capacity for love and kindness. You have amazing skills to share with the world, you’re funny, you’re truly beautiful people.
So why the hell do you insist on continuing the bitchy mean girl crap we all should have gotten over in high school?
Time and time again I’ve watched my own gender sabotage each other. Oh sure, there are excuses such as “it’s not personal, it’s business/derby” “I’m just giving constructive criticism” or my favourite “It’s what’s best for the group.” Lines spoken over and over again in defense of actions that aren’t defensible. Selfish, petty, manipulative decisions made not for the better good, but for the benefit of a few people at the top of the food chain. And then when those who are getting screwed stand up for what’s right, they get told that they’re wrong. The decision was best for everyone. And yet, they’re not willing to make any decisions that put them the “you got screwed” wagon. Funny how that happens isn’t it? I’ve been there. I’ve gotten screwed over by my own gender more times than I could ever count. And I’ve stood up and said no. And you know what? Most of the time, I got beat back down. But I’ve never regretted trying.
Unfortunately, these situations aren’t going away as we age. In a culture addicted to the Kardashians and Real Housewives, too many of us think we need constant drama to thrive. Sadly, it’s incredibly prevalent in women’s roller derby. As a former player who was part for more than one team, I’ve seen it t many times. Women who are supposed to be teammates- friends- throwing each other under the bus for the chance at glory, 2 minutes at a time. Claiming that it isn’t personal , that it wasn’t intentional. That those hurt need to suck it up and deal with life not being fair. They don’t want to hear dissent. Roller derby- the sport of women’s empowerment- being used and abused by its members for personal gain.
It’s sad really. I love the sport. There are many wonderful things and wonderful people. But too many times have I and other women been left out in the cold. Too many times has my own gender thrown me under the bus. Too many times have I seen it done to other women. Enough is enough ladies. Stop with the excuses. Stop with the justification. For once, have some empathy. Before you react, think of how that other person is going to feel. Think of how you’re going to handle it. Hurting people isn’t always avoidable in any group situation- but you are in control of how you react. And more often than not, your criticism isn’t constructive. It’s hard to admit when your decision may be for person gain rather than the good of the many, but success built on the pain of others isn’t really success at all.
I know there are going to be a lot of angry feelings because of what I’ve said. I am acutely aware of the fallout. But like I said, I’ve never regretted standing up for what is right. I love you all- I do. We might not always agree on everything, but lets agree that it’s time to stop the madness.