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.
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