Feminism on Wheels?

The first thing that probably pops up in your mind when you imagine women roller skating is a cliche 80’s movie montage. Yeah, I’m hearing the same Rick Astley song in the background. You’re probably picturing girls in colorful tube socks, skating in groups of two. Or maybe you’re thinking of girls in mini skirts, popping bubble gum in their mouth and sipping milkshakes.

Well, erase whatever image you currently have in your head and imagine women with tattoos. Women with fishnet tights and crazy hairstyles. Women with big hoop earrings and band tees.

This image you are now picturing are women who have found empowerment through skating, despite it being a male-dominated activity.

Skating is usually associated with men. You usually see men attempting crazy tricks at skate parks, and the stereotypical “skater guy” in tv shows and movies represented like that in society- as men. But, groups like The Moxie Girls and Chicks in Bowls are changing the script, and encouraging women to express themselves in a sport that was once considered a “guy thing”.

Women are roller skating in groups across the country, performing tricks at skate parks; essentially kicking ass and taking names as they go…

Now you may be wondering- what the heck does roller-skating have to do with feminism and what can it do for the feminist community?

Well, a lot actually.

For one,  it empowers women to participate in a male-dominated sport and also encourages women to be assertive and courageous. Women like the Moxie girls have mentioned that backlash they have experienced. In an interview with Refinery 29, One of the women mentioned the stares they got when they approached a skate park as a group.

“It was all men, all on skateboards, staring at us because we looked absolutely insane on their rollerskates”  (Refinery 29)

The biggest part of this movement that excites me is it’s inclusivity to all types of women. Instead of the cookie cutter 80’s image of a roller skater… I see plus-sized women, women and with colorful hair, doing these insane tricks. I love the little girls may see these women and grow up wanting to participate in more sports that originally were seen as “boys only”.

These women are breaking societal norms which will hopefully spark a change in how we view sports with “gendered” labels. This basically entails assigning a sport to a gender that is primarily associated with it. Skating is by no means the only sport that is affected by this. Sports like football are also scrutinized for not favoring participation by women.

I have high hopes for these badass women skaters, and I’m so excited to see how this movement grows in the next few years. Who knows, maybe we’ll start seeing a bigger percentage of female skaters in our community- ones who can do more than twirl in a circle to an 80’s song.

What do you think about these bad-ass female skaters? Comment down below!



Feature Image: Unsplash

9 thoughts on “Feminism on Wheels?

  1. Bad-ass female skaters is the new wave! & if I weren’t completely trash on my feet I would totally be out there too, at least attempting, but I’m here for representation of women in all environments!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed reading this article! It was nice to read your descriptions of appearance and then relate it to the empowerment of women! The societal norm of what is appropriate for men and women needs to change, and I think this article really summarizes how it is beginning to do so. Skating, as you stated, is seen as a boy activity and girls usually are not included in it. It is awesome that movies and individuals are now representing women performing acts that are ‘gendered labeled.’ Hopefully the more representation in society of women doing such things will create a movement and change these societal norms. Thank you for posting this, I am happy to see that a movement may spark some change in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this! I never really took into consideration that roller skating could engage with feminism. It is amazing that women are taking it upon themselves to push past the gender binary and play what has traditionally been a “male-dominated sport.” It is also amazing that the sport does not only cater to thin-bodied folks but folks from different sizes. I hope all sports can cater to multiple genders and not just be “male-dominated.” Moreover, I also believe that the wage disparity within sports needs to be obliterated.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This article is amazing, I’ve never thought about skating as a male-dominated sport so this was really eye-opening. I love the fact that more and more women are submerging themselves into the feminist world of roller skating. I also love that you brought up breaking gender norms, which needs to be addressed. I love your article!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this article! My first exposure to anything like this was when the women in Charlie’s Angels were in a roller derby as well as the movie Whip It with Ellen Paige. Thanks for writing about this and bringing up the issues we see today with gender labeled sports.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This article reminded me of roller derby, a sport for women that is brutal, violent, and so so so empowering. I wanted to do it when I was younger (until I found out just how hard it really is). The women who do roller derby are sometimes oversexualized by spectators. I think it is awesome that women get to act out in aggressive and violent ways in a way that is seen as semi-respectable by society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did some research into Roller Derby after writing this article and what I found was so interesting!! I agree that it’s a great way for women to express their emotions freely without being pegged as “overly emotionally” or “psycho”.


  7. I really enjoyed reading this post! I think the idea of male sports versus female sports is totally outdated! I think it is awesome how women are taking over this previously male dominated sport! I also like how this movement is inclusive to all types of women.


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