Roller Derby: The Patriarchy responds

Twisty Faster knows nothing about the roller derby. Perhaps if she could (for a moment) share the clear view of the world that is inherently afforded to card-carrying members of the Patriarchy--by virtue of our genitalia if not actual progeny--she might "get it," but clearly for reasons that are probably unrelated to her patriarchy-blaming, she does not.

Twisty is also suffering the disadvantage of having been exposed to truly second-rate derby: I humbly suggest that before writing another screed against this remarkable cultural phenomenon, our gentleman farmer should spend at least one evening watching a version that adheres more closely to the archetypical ideal of the sport, and right now the only example is Austin's other league, the Lonestar Rollergirls.

Let me break down why the Roller Derby is completely unsuited to the purposes of my beloved Patriarchy:

Roller Derby as Sport

The Patriarchy demands rules in our sporting events! How can one get excited about a three-point differential in the final minutes of a "bout" if a new interpretation of how a pillow fight affects the score can wipe out more than three points in ways that even leave the mustachioed announcers at a loss? For crying out loud.

To be fair to Twisty, the fine women of the Lonestar Rollergirls are attempting to make the rules more consistent, and more comprehensible to brains structured by the Y chromosome. Is this selling out to patriarchal forces? The Patriarchy would like to think so. But it is also possible that this is all an elaborate ruse to separate the Patriarchy from our Washingtons.

The Patriarchy demands statistics! For reasons directly relating to their lack of male presence in the sport, these rollergirls are unable to keep track of important facts such as the total number of penalties per game. One can allege anything about this team having better jammers, or that team having sucky blocking, but without hard numbers which can be wielded like rhetorical daggers while drinking beer and eating the flesh of the lesser beasts on the Lord's day, the Patriarchy finds any such claims unpersuasive.

On the other hand, let me just say that the athleticism of recent banked-track matches has reached levels that would impress any red-blooded male. The Patriarchy is pleased.

Roller Derby as Sexual Oppression of Women

This is where Roller Derby is truly and astoundingly failing the Patriarchy. As Twisty claims to be an advanced Patriarchy-blamer, surely she understands that sexual attraction is not useful to the Patriarchy in all it's myriad forms. For the nefarious purposes of the Patriarchy, sexual attraction--and the devices, symbols, and engines thereof--must be strictly controlled by the Patriarchy.

The patriarchy wants to tell you what is sexy. The patriarchy has a vested interest in making sure that everyone agrees that certain body types, certain hair styles, certain items of clothing are sexy and that all divergence from these types, styles, or items will render a woman repulsive.

The Roller Derby opposes the Patriarchy on this very point. These Roller Girls are not all (or even most) of the Kate Moss-esque body type that we in the Patriarchy have been so vigorously pimping. How dare they adorn their various body types with the schoolgirl fetish outfits that we have so assiduously promoted as sexy over the years? The Patriarchy is confused! How dare these women promote the idea that big, small, wide, thin, bruised or, unbemished, that all of that can be sexy? How dare they suggest that confidence, competence, and a positive attitude are alluring? This is a real danger to our Patriarchal hegemony. At the roller derby, I myself have seen some males succumb to these brutish persuasions.

Not to worry, not to worry. I'm sure Twisty will agree with this: The Patriarchy always wins, so eventually we'll be able to co-opt this dangerous aberrance, and replace these real women with something a bit more controllable: I'm thinking the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders on skates. Guys, is that doable?

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