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An open letter to Adrian Taylor, Roller Derby hater

6 Dec Image courtesy of WFTDA's tumblr page

NOTE: This post has nothing to do with cooking.  I apologize, but I have very few outlets for my frustrations regarding dumb people. I hope you all can forgive me for this one day.  -Denny

Hello Adrian,

I was recently referred to your article by a friend on Facebook. Gotta love social networks, eh?  (Note: I have linked to the actual article at the bottom of this post, if you decide he deserves a click)

It was quite the interesting read, to say the least. In case you forgot, I just wanted to remind you that you suggested that roller derby wasn’t really a sport. Quoted:

“As far as I can tell it involves a number of well-built young women in various stages of undress, roller skating with malicious intent. I have no doubt that there is an element of sweaty physicality involved and there might be some tactics employed. But, basically, it looks like an excuse for violence and brutality with a dubious element of perversion thrown in for salacious pleasure.”

I have to say that I completely disagree with your position, because I don’t really think you even had a position. I honestly can’t tell if your article was meant to be satiric, because the only argument you seemed to make against Roller Derby as a sport (written further down in the article) was its rampant use of fishnet stockings.

Man, this would totally be a sport if not for the tights with holes in them! Woo! I think I saw a nip slip!

…Really?

So just to clarify: your definition of a sport is one that only allows certain articles of…clothing?

While it is true that some women are undoubtedly ogled while playing derby, there are people ogled in every sport you listed in your article. Athletes are People love athletes for a reason: people love a perfect figure. I have seen plenty of magazine covers featuring a nearly naked David Beckham, a nearly naked Serena Williams, and a nearly naked Dennis Rodman (with wacky hair colors, to boot!). A two-second Google search even netted me a picture of four rugby players using rugby balls to cover their genitalia. I could send it to you if you like, or you can just do a Google image search for “good looking rugby players.”

Just make sure you’re boss isn’t around. Trust me on this one. I would link to it here, but I’m not interested in getting blocked by NetNanny for the foreseeable future.

In the interest of comparing apples to apples, Adrian, please do another search with the phrase “good looking roller derby players.” Let me know if you find anything as revealing in the latter as you do in the former, won’t you? Because I sure can’t.   Note: In the interest of full disclosure, SafeSearch was set to ‘Moderate’ in both instances.

You know what I do see in these pictures, though? I see women. I see strong women of all shapes and sizes coming together, skating and playing a sport together. They aren’t trying to fight over a man or over a nice pair of shoes, as Sex in the City wants us to believe that all women are hard-wired to do. They are simply playing a sport together, using their guts and their muscle and their brains to try to beat one another for an hour. Then they go have beers together and compare bruises.

I’ll try not to read between the lines too much and assume that a sport dominated by women scares you (then again, I guess I did assume that. Turns out we can all make sweeping generalizations, huh?). Continue reading

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