You guys, this flu going around is TERRIBLE. If you haven’t gotten it yet, I will totally not judge you for paper-masking it up 2003 SARS-scare style. I was in bed with it for five long days. The very slight silver lining to being home sick is that you get to catch up on your Hulu queue. Hulu queue is one of those accidently delicious euphonic phrases that might get you kissed if you say it to the right person, incidentally. Although probably not if you are cruddy with flu-sweat.
ANYWAY, before I go to my Hulu queue, I usually check out the featured episodes on the landing page just to make sure that I’m still really not interested in finally getting into American Dad, or Hart of Dixie, or whatever.
I did so during my unfortunate quarantine, and that’s when I noticed that both The Bachelor and Bunheads featured Roller Derby plot-lines in the same week. This was especially interesting to me because I recently retired after three seasons of skating with the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls, aka the BAD Girls, aka your friendly local flat-track women’s roller derby league. Like most people in our media obsessed culture, I feel all validated and stuff when things I know about are on TV! But also, like most people, I feel possessive and a little superior about the things I was into before they were cool.
Modern roller derby was born in Austin around the turn-of-the 21st century. Traditionally, derby was associated with a punk-rock ethos and seen as a club for women who were disenchanted with mainstream femininity. Over the last few years, derby’s indie-popularity has reached a rolling boil and begun to froth over into pop culture.
I love roller derby for lots of reasons, mostly feminist ones. Like the fact that roller derby celebrates all kinds of femininities! In derby, you can be a girly girl and it’s still ok -- expected even -- that you kick some ass. Or you can be totally not girly at all. You can be a total homo (like me) or really into your hetero hubby. I have seen so many women find power and confidence through this sport! Roller derby is totally epic. And I don’t mean that in a “This breakfast burrito is totally epic, man” kind of way. I mean that in a life-affirming journey over treacherous seas kind of way -- I’m talking denotatively EPIC.