Monday, 30 November 2009

Love Smack!

Valentine's Day looks like it's gonna be busy weekend in the UK Roller Derby Calendar!
First GRG and LRR announced Withering Hits (formally CasaBlockYa), and now Lincolnshire Bombers have announced a Valentine's bout against Middlesbrough Milk Rollers.

When? Saturday February 13th, 2pm - 5pm
Where? Newark Showground
Tickets - Will be available Early January

Middlesbrough Milk Rollers vs Sheffield Steel Roller Girls - Round Up

A round up of the recent closed bout between Middlesbrough Milk Rollers and Sheffield Steel Roller Girls.

At the Rainbow Centre in Middlesbrough on a Saturday afternoon the more sedate martial arts and children’s trampoline parties gave way to a fierce roller derby duel! 

After a nervous wait while the track was laid (in super quick time I might add!) the teams were given chance to warm themselves up. The Middlesbrough girls demonstrated the joy of plyometric stretches (and cod liver oil, these girls are brave!) whilst Sheffield opted for a more traditional skate-based warm up. Both sides were ready, and shouts of “MMR!” and “SSRG!” were heard as each team tried to psych out the other.

The game was close the whole way through, with no more than 30 points between each side. For the most part Sheffield led and they fought hard and fast to keep this distance from the Milk Rollers. 

Parma Violence became Sheffield’s first injury victim with a badly twisted knee, putting them one down against the local side. Strong jamming was the order of the day with Skate Crasher, Rio de Jam Hero and Mia Malice all scoring high for Sheffield and Toxic Pink Stuff, Lou Ella D’Kill, Rita Von Sleaze and Oompa-Thump-Ya fighting hard for Middlesbrough in return.

Sheffield came back strong from the half time break, putting on two or three really strong jams and establishing more of a lead. Middlesbrough in return worked harder to even the scores. Two further injuries in the second half (Rio De Jam Hero, SSRG twisting her ankle and an unknown MMR skater falling foul of a top down Jam Sandwich) didn’t keep either side down and both sides worked hard to keep themselves in the game. 

Final scores on the doors were 111 to Sheffield with a close 83 to Middlesbrough. An excellent game fought well on both sides. 

Special mentions of course to our lovely LRD guest skaters Nuclear Missile and X Con Vick who joined Sheffield, and Toxic Pink Stuff and Chernobelle skating for Middlesbrough, good job ladies!

Magic 8-Brawl #7

Dolly Rockit Rollers Need a Home!!

Leicester's Dolly Rockit Rollers are in need of a space to train in.  If you know of a sports centre, hanger, or other place in the Leicester area where they'd be able to practice, please email The Round-Up Bout at and I'll pass on details to Slamabama and Nitro Noush

Jet Stepper

War of The Roses Round-Up

Saturday saw the first open bout to ever take place in Manchester -
Rainy City Rollergirls versus Leeds Rotten Rollers, in the War of The Roses, and Jessica Mooney was there to watch it go down!

I was very excited about this bout. I knew was going to be good because I knew it would be close. I'd seen RCRG play at Roll Britannia and I was really impressed by their skill despite being less than a year old at the time. LRD have been bouting for a while but have really come into their own in the last few months as shown in their Northern EXPosure win in September.

The bout started with Bruise Em' Banshee (LRD) and Missy Rascal (RCRG) lined up on the jam line. It went off with a bang as Missy gained lead jammer and Banshee was sent off on her initial pass for cutting track. Rainy City showed their prowess in the pack and sent Missy round to gain the first points of the game. The next Jam was Feral Fairy and X Con Vick. It was nice to see Vick as a jammer and although she skated well, Feral gained lead, picked up some points and called the jam quickly. Two jams in and the score was 14-0 to RCRG.

Leeds sent in Gorgon Roller to jam and Dee-Mise went in for Rainy . Dee-Mise got sent to the box and Gorgon picked up the Rotten Rollers first points. She called it off and let Banshee go in for a Power Jam. Banshee gained two scoring passes for Leeds and then called it as Dee-Mise made her way back onto the track. Leeds were back in the game and both teams became aware that they were in for a fight.  The power went back and forth for the first half with someone sent to the penalty box in nearly every jam. Rushin' Doll had a great jam and got a good few points for Leeds with two scoring passes. Then Missy stepped up to the line against Doll-ce Vita. Doll-ce was sent off on her initial pass but then was sent off again almost as soon as she stepped on the track. Missy gained lead and whizzed through the pack with what seemed like ease. Rainy City's pack did a great job of slowing right down and displayed excellent teamwork that allowed Missy to gain four Grand Slams. It was a very impressive 20 point jam!

It all got very exciting. Rainy were in the lead but each team was adjusting and the crowd could really feel that this bout was just getting started. Iceberg set off to jam with Gorgon in the box but was sent off for an illegal procedure when a ref spotted that she hadn't got a star on her helmet cover because it was in-side-out. Easy mistake to make but it cost her one minute in the box. Although Gorgon was a lone jammer Rainy held her back well and used some great waterfalling techniques to keep her from breaking the pack .

It was 2 on 2 on the track. Rushin' and Vick versus Rogue Doll and Feral Fairy. Missy and Banshee were up against each other jamming but Missy took lead. At this point in the game X Con Vick went down while checking, and she went down hard. She was very calm about the whole thing and seemed to politely motion that she was injured and couldn't get up. It was all very civilized and she seemed not to be in too much pain. Turns out she'd fractured her leg in two places! She is definitely tough so I've no doubt she'll be back skating soon.
The Jam started over with Chernobelle replacing Vick and Missy gained lead jammer again. She scored some precious points and called it quickly. At one point Rushin' jammed against Feral  (I did really enjoy when these two jammed against each other) and although Feral gained lead, Rushin' stayed behind her and as they were making their scoring pass Rushin' downed Feral and raced through the pack forcing Feral to call the Jam and scoring Leeds a few much needed points.
At half time the score was RCRG 78- LRD 57

Both teams sent out their big guns for the first Jam of the second half. Two strong packs and two strong jammers. LRD showed they weren't out of the game yet. Rushin' blazed through the pack ahead of Missy and raced around for three scoring passes. Then Toxic came out with Feral on the jam line. Feral was sent to the box on her initial pass and Toxic gained some LRD pointage. Banshee had a clear run jamming, as Feral was in the box. Rainy City were doing well but leeds had clearly regrouped and were sending out more effective line-ups . Leeds were also gaining confidence and seemed more like their playful selfs as Rigor Morris danced at pyscho Delia at the pivot line. Pyscho wasn't intimidated but the crowd was entertained and it was good to see the ladies having a good time on the track. Banshee racked up more points and the
Rotten Rollers took lead 100-83.

Gorgon lined up to jam but after an official time out Banshee had to put her jammer cover back on and head to the box. Apparently a penalty needed to be served, so Missy jammed unopposed and gained two scoring passes. She called it as Banshee re-entered the track. Rushin' and Feral jammed with Feral gaining lead but calling it as she entered her first scoring pass. She gained a point but called it as both teams were trying to keep the point margin in their favour, as they were all to aware that that clock was counting down rapidly.

17 minutes to go and RCRG were in the lead again with 112-107. Both teams started to play very defensively with Leeds making good walls at the front and Rainy giving some very big hits to jammers. Banshee and Missy lined up again and Missy flew through the pack. She looked as if she was about to get lead but as she dashed past the last line of defense she slowed down. She knew what was coming and as she looked at the ref he confirmed, she had cut the track, and she was off to the box. Banshee jammed unopposed and the Rotten Rollers were back in the lead 132- 126

Leeds really needed to keep that lead. Gorgon had her strongest Jam of the game against Missy and Rushin' scored one point against, a hot on her tails, Mookchop . As Toxic lined up for the last Jam against Missy I was on the edge of my seat. Rainy City were behind but Missy had been jamming amazingly throughout and if anyone could pull it off it would be her. No sooner had the whistle blown though and Missy was in the box! RCRG played defensively and were determined Toxic would put no more points on the board. Dee-Mise keep her back for an impressively long time and when she did get by Sinthia Pain and Belle-Istic were their to knock her back again. Toxic finally broke through the pack with 2 seconds to spare. She called it off and Leeds leapt out onto the track to celebrate.

Rainy City Rollergirls  127- LRD Rotten Rollers 138 

Bruise em' Banshee (LRD)
Belle-Istic (RCRG)

Notable blockers were Demi lition and Rigor Morris for LRD and Toxic (and I always though she was only a jammer!) was very impressive in the pack. LRD had good team work and to be honest it difficult to pick out the *star* players in such a great team. They are all exceptionally strong skaters and they have a huge pool of talent as illustrated by the fact that lots of amazing LRD ladies weren't even playing! I believe it was Devil Rae's first bout and she did great. Jerry Attric and Rosewhip were the Rotten Roller bench managers and they were as calm and organized as always.

On Rainy City's side Sui-Cider and Correctional Felicity were bench managing. In the pack Rogue Doll, Belle-Istic and Dee-Mise really showed their skills. Rainy City had a lot of confidence and were very tactical in their game play. They adapted well to different situations and really worked to control the pack. They have a really strong team of big hitters and it really felt like they trusted each other on the track. They started and ended the game as an strong force and it was fun to watch them splat the Jammers. When Rainy City hit, they hit hard.

Rainy City hosted a fierce bout and I will definitely be in line for the re-match!

Jessica Mooney

Withering Hits!

When? Saturday February 13th 2010, 1pm - 4 pm
Where? The Arc Sports Centre, Glasgow

Glasgow Roller Girls  presents a Valentine's weekend themed Roller Derby bout against London Rockin' Rollers

GRG and LRR have met a couple of times before and GRG have come out on top both times, but LRR have been training hard and are fresh out of a well deserved win against Birmingham Blitz Dames (BBD), so this promises to be a good fight!

Come along and see the action - there'll also be the usual merch, raffles, food and fun to keep even those with the shortest attention span entertained!

Friday, 27 November 2009

CCR's Slay Belles vs MMR

When? Sunday December 13th
Where? Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre, Kings Heath, Birmingham
How much? £5
How do I get a ticket? ASK A FRIENDLY ROLLERGIRL (Closed Bout)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Rainy City Rollergirls on Manchester News's A-Z of Sport

Also check out the ACCOMPANYING ARTICLE in the paper, well done on the coverage girls!

M.U.R.D.A. - The First Public UK Men's Bout

Photo by Adam Rhodes Photography

I did everything by the seat of my pants, that’s why I got hurt so much” Evel Knievel

When MURDA got together at The Carnival of the Strange to compete in the first-ever men’s public bout in the UK, it was truly MURDER!!

Testosterone and adrenaline was surging from the start. BANG! Blocking straight off the line, skating fast and hard with an unforgiving attitude. These gents left all manners at the door (and maybe their rule books too!)

This was truly a marvel to behold, with hard hits, tactical plays and an immense amount of teamwork. There were some of the most insane take-outs ever seen, and Blockers punched holes for their Jammers with force, allowing the Jammers to hop through the pack at speed.

A misplaced block saw the White Jammer smash into the back of the pack at high speed, causing the entire pack to fall like pins at a bowling alley.
Allowing Deadly Nedly (Black Jammer) the opportunity for some show boating, leaping the flattened players and pick up the full compliment of points in one move.

Teams Black and White battled it out on the track and the scoreboard, with scores staying within 10 points of each other for the majority of the bout, with the final victory going to Team Black 163 to 144.

These boys showed that they are made of the right stuff and ‘Merby’ is going to be a big hit!
Special mentions go first to Deadly Nedly whose blatant disregard for the rules won him ‘Penalty King’, but whose agility and speed also saw him contribute tremendously to Team Black’s score,
and pick up Team Black’s MVP. 
And also to Team White’s MVP Barry Fight.
I don’t think I’ll be the only one queuing up for tickets for MURDA’s next bout.

May-Q Dizzy 

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

War of the Roses Reminder

THIS SATURDAY (28th November)
3pm to 5.30 pm

Armitage Sports Centre
Moseley Road
M14 6HE

A bout NOT to be missed. On their home turf the fearless Rainy City Rollergirls are going to take on Leeds Roller Dolls, Rotten Rollers!

Tickets are now on sale now at or by email
Adult £6, Concession £4 and under 5s free!!!

There will be an after party straight after the bout at The Gin Club in Fallowfield just a few mins walk from the Armitage Center at 310 Wilmslow Rd, Fallowfield, M14 6XQ

Fightmare Before Christmas Video

Check out this vid from LRR vs BBD's Fightmare Before Christmas, care of Daryl Seeley

Monday, 23 November 2009

Pics up from the Carnival of the Strange!

This pic by Juliet N Hyde

Not sure if it was ironic ... but Carnival of the Strange on Saturday was home to the UK's first open Men's Derby (or Merby) bout!
MURDA - the Men's UK Roller Derby Association - split into two teams, for an extremely close bout - final score
Team White 144 : Team Black 163

Well done boys, write-up to come ... but for now, check out the pics, care of Jason Ruffell.

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten the main event, with a heap of guest skaters from all across the country -
Children of the Damned  196 : Las Ninas Muertas 63

Pics from the girls' bout can be seen HERE also by Jason.

If you fancy doing a write-up of either bout, please contact Jet HERE, or on Facebook, or email

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Fightmare Before Christmas ....

Scores on the doors from yesterday's bout ....

Congrats LRR .... write-up to follow soon

Show some love for the Glasgow Roller Girls ....

We all saw earlier this month what the power of the Roller Derby community can do, with LRG's awesome win in the British Airways Great Britons competition ....

so let's use our community powers again! Glasgow Roller Girls have got a brand new fan page on Facebook, and have set themselves the challenge of reaching 666 Members by Xmas ....
here at The Round-Up Bout I reckon we can go even better than that.

To date there are 574 Fans ... let's see how quickly we can get them past 1000!

CLICK HERE to become a fan if you haven't already

Jet Stepper xx

The Round-Up Bout TWITTER!

Remember to sign up to the brand new Round-Up Bout TWITTER!  You'll be the first to know of all the latest gossip in the UK Roller Derby scene, and linking up will make sure Jet Stepper keeps up to date with all your derby news too!

Go to :

London Rollergirls join the WFTDA

This month London Rollergirls became the first ever league outside of North America to be accepted into the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.  
The girls have joined the WFTDA as Apprentice Program participants, and will be working within the organisation to achieve full membership in the coming months.

"WFTDA is delighted to begin collaborating with overseas leagues," says Juliana Gonzales, Executive Director for the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. "We have a lot to learn from each other, and we're excited to see the strength of the flat-track derby community expand its reach outside North America."
Formed in 2004, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association is comprised of 78 full members and 24 Apprentice Program participants.  The WFTDA anticipates an influx of overseas applicants in the coming months.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday CCR!!

Central City Rollergirls celebrated two highly successful years last night with a 
Birthday Bash in Birmingham 

Congratulations girls!! xxx

Carnival of the Strange Reminder ...

This Saturday -  21st November, the Lincolnshire Bombers will host the Carnival of the Strange!

Doors open at 1pm, @ Newark Show Ground with acts, performers, burlesque, bands, childrens areas, live Roller Derby Action! Plus UK's first public showing of Mens Roller Derby!

Only £7 each(under 10's free!) Tickets available via PAYPAL HERE.

Las Ninas Muertas vs Children of the Damned....
The two teams will be battling it out for the title of Queens of the Carnival! and features skaters from across the country - Lincolnshire Bombers, Auld Reekie Roller Girls, Central City Rollergirls, Glasgow Rollergirls, Leeds Roller Dolls, Middlesbrough Milk Rollers, Sheffield Steel Rollergirls, Rainy City Roller Girls, Rebellion Roller Girls and Windsor Roller Girls!

Make sure get a ticket as this is sure to be a hugely spectacular event.

Wanna be a Santa on Skates?

Anyone fancy dressing as Santa and skating around Liverpool City Centre?
Members of the Liverpool Birds and Rainy City Roller Girls are planning to take part in the Liverpool Santa Dash on skates, and are looking for people to join them!
If you're already fairly confident then sign up to skate, and if not but you want to be involved, then the girls are looking for volunteers to help them with any hills and obstacles along the way, as well as flyering and flag carrying.
For further info and an entry form CLICK HERE, and contact the Liverpool Birds here

Need a Roller Waitress?

The Middlesbrough Milk Rollers have come up with a novel idea to raise funds ...

They are offering their services as roller waitresses for birthday and Christmas parties, and corporate events.

The girls and boys are reliable, polite and very good at keeping drinks on trays whilst skating.
They will travel for work, offer reasonable rates of hire, and can dress to fit a theme, for example 70s.

To find out more, check out the FACEBOOK group or EMAIL HERE!

Rebellion Rollergirls get new site ....

Bedford's Rebellion Rollergirls have a brand new WEBSITE and are recruiting now!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Leicester Girls become the Dolly Rockit Rollers!

Introducing the Dolly Rockit Rollers! 
SlamAbama and Nitro Nush from Central City Rollergirls have just set up a brand new league in Leicester, so if you're in that neck of the woods and fancy getting your skates on check out their FACEBOOK GROUP and MySpace!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Steel Girls flatten Milk Rollers ....

..... in a photo!!

As for the Bout ... the final score from the Closed Bout was

Congratulations girls, from what I hear it was a really close and hard-fought bout .... proper round-up to come very soon, watch this space!

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Round-Up Bout Hits Twitter!!

Want to be the first to know all the news and gossip from the UK Roller Derby world?  It's even easier now to keep updated on brand new Round-Up Bout posts .... not only can you SUBSCRIBE .... see the right hand side of the page, just beneath the Blog Archive - but you can also now follow 

Liverpool Roller Birds take flight!

Anyone in the Liverpool area keen to get involved with the brand new league, Liverpool Roller Birds, get your skates on!

First practice will take place at Garston Urban Village Hall from 12pm - 2pm this Saturday afternoon.

Practice is FREE but there's a nominal fee to hire equipment.  If you need to hire equipment, please email the Birds beforehand so they can reserve some for you.

Skaters need to be 18 and over, and boys are more than welcome!

Good luck Birds!

Jet Stepper xxx

Winter Wonderslam!

When? December 5th 5pm - 8pm
Where? Tottenham Leisure Centre, 1 Philip Lane, Tottenham, London

London Rollergirls are back ....

With the first bout of their second league season. Last season the Steam Rollers and Ultraviolents ended up watching the Suffra Jets take the league championship - so this time they both have something to prove, and they have some new team members to help with the effort.

Who will start off with a bang and a win? Be there to see the hard-hitting roller derby action in person. Tickets will be for sale online soon

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

LRG win Great Britons Competition!!

Congratulations LRG!!! Kamikaze Kitten and the rest of the London Rollergirls were awarded free flights to US to help them train with New York's Gotham Girls.

Here's what the girls had to say about it ....
Millions and millions of thanks from all of us here at the LRG for voting for us in the Great Britons competition! We just got official word that we won the public vote, and we will get 14 free flights to New York next April! This is such a massive boost for us and takes a lot of the pressure off fundraising for the tour. We promise to bring back what we learn!!

Check out their victory HERE and cheers to all of you who voted!

Lesbian Fantasy and Roller Derby - The Backlash!!! Part Three

And finally .... here are my opinions on his article, and Roller Derby as a 'Lesbian Fantasy'

Firstly, I’m still not sure why Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page snogged in Marie Claire to promote the opening of Whip It!  Neither am I sure why their interview was filled with quite so much ‘mutual adoration’, however I don’t agree with Jeremy Clyman’s analysis of the film.

Having seen Whip It! while I was in the States a few weeks ago, I admit that a viewer could have thought in the first thirty minutes of the film that Bliss had a lesbian crush on the Derby Girls.  When she first sees the TXRD girls, it’s done in slow-motion with goofy music, and you don’t necessarily understand where her massive passion for the sport so quickly develops – her best friend is unaffected by the display bout they watch, and this bout isn’t particularly well filmed so an uninformed viewer might not understand the draw of the game.

Yet after the first thirty minutes, Bliss goes on to find herself a BOYfriend, and any potential gay undertone disappears.  All the skaters she is close to seemed to be straight – Drew Barrymore’s character is married, and her mentor Maggie Mayhem has a child from a previous heterosexual relationship.
Addressing two of Clyman's points specifically - I thought the coach, boyfriend and Bliss's father were all strong enough male characters, they just weren't body-building alpha-males!  And 'Jabba the Slut' is only shown once, so I don't know what version of the film he saw!

This obviously isn’t to say there aren’t lesbian rollergirls, it’s just to say that in my opinion the film had no undertone of homosexuality whatsoever, so I can’t understand why Jeremy Clyman drew so heavily on one in his article.  He claimed that the idea of playing a non-mainstream sport as rebellion was a parallel to coming out, but I really don’t get that assumption.

And as for lesbians in Roller Derby … of course there are lesbians in the game!  There are also lesbians who play every other women's sport I can think of!  In my personal experience, I’ve known a higher percentage of gay women in sports teams than in my life outside sport, but this can be attributed to a number of factors, including the fact that people bring often bring their friends into a sport, and my lesbian friends have a lot of lesbian friends … do the maths! 

Having said that, a key aesthetic of roller derby, as Wikipedia so neatly defines, is ‘punk third-wave feminism’ – ie the tattoos, fish-net, burlesque, sassy, rocker, take-no shit aspect of the game.  Whilst that is in no ways an exclusively lesbian theme, it is something that I would suggest probably attracts a lot of gay women … as well as straight girls with tattoos, and straight girls with a love for fish-nets, and straight girls who like the thought of standing up for themselves!!!

So maybe there are a disproportionate number of lesbians in the sport, but does that really matter?  It definitely doesn’t make it a lesbian sport, any more than it makes it a straight sport.  It’s A SPORT …. And one of the most inclusive I’ve ever come across!  The reason I started skating was because after one trial session I was taken aback by how welcoming and non-exclusive the girls were.  I love the fact that it’s a sport that accepts any girl – whether she’s gay, straight, fat, thin, tall, small, tattooed, pierced, or ‘untouched’.  So let’s not let uninformed critics like Jeremy Clyman cast the sport with a certain brush, and instead, let's work as a team to get an image of Roller Derby as one of the most inclusive and exciting new sports out to the masses. 

Hopefully then we'll be able to draw in huge crowds in like the ones in Whip It!

Jet Stepper xxx

Lesbian Fantasy and Roller Derby - The Backlash!!! Part Two

So, having read that lovely article .... and please check out his apology, I forgot to quote that ....

I, however, am truly confused by those roller-derby loving readers that felt attacked by my "lack of respect or knowledge" for roller derby (umm ... rollerblades???!!!!)

Anyway .... here's what you guys had to say about 'Lesbian Fantasy, Disguised'
  • Rollerblades?!   Hilarious. What a moron.
  • As a director, if Drew Barymore thinks she made a good film, she shouldn't feel the need to play lesbian make-out with Ellen Page to promote it.  That's like saying 'hey, you may not know what roller derby is about but look - hot girls kissing! and there's a movie! come and watch it!  If idiots like the psychology today writer get the wrong idea about roller derby, it's entirely her fault. Thanks Drew!
  • With the caveat that I am bisexual and thus my views may be slightly different to those who are not and that I don't tend to mince my words. The paragraph you picked out from the article, and the two following it, really get my knickers in a twist - it's an infuriatingly inaccurate portrayal of the sport we love, derogatory to lesbians and until I've seen the film itself I can't say for certain if Clyman is serious about the film itself's portrayal of derby. Please see annotated (and heavily sarcastic) version below:

A. "Whip It" is about roller blading (wrong!), which this movie defines as a group of half-drunk women (good luck skating well around a flat track while half drunk, unless you don't go out there to try and win some points), in tight athletic gear (well, why not? It is a sport.) and rollerblades (no!!) muscling each other for inside positioning, as a few key teammates weave in and out of the pack (I'll concede that, though possibly he has the wrong end of the stick). Those that have finesse are chased by those that have strength, somewhat akin to the cat and mouse pursuit of a top and bottom sexual power dynamic (I'd say he's a sub as opposed to a dom, wouldn't you?) (there's a reason the standard sexual position is missionary) (Yes, it's the best way to get the semen in to create babies). In short, this game is a metaphor for sex (if you're an uptight, lonely, single, American frat boy, maybe).
B. The protagonist, Bliss (Page), behaves in the way that a lesbian might behave before she knows she's a lesbian (which is how exactly???). We meet her just as she's playfully dying her hair blue (awesome, wish I could do that!) for a beauty pageant. Her inexplicable love for roller derby (it's really fun?) is incited by the image of three women pushing each other on rollerblades (SKATES, DAMMIT!!). She dumps her boyfriend with suspicious ease and celerity (he was obviously a complete mong, then). She's an adolescent who likes to be different (teenager, much?), is experimental and puts a boyfriend second to roller derby (i.e.: got her priorities right). Now, obviously none of these things makes her a suppressed lesbian (right, so why are you presenting this as an argument?), but as a lesbian in the audience you might be cued into the possibility of an alternative, unconscious sexual agenda (or you might just like watching cute girls in short skirts and stripey socks skate around in circles).
C. A character named "Jaba the Slut" is definitely a lesbian (and I'm Queen Elizabeth). She winks at girls and offers them drinks and come-on lines (wow, this guy really needs to get laid). This is never made explicit (so, again, why are you presenting this as an argument?), which signals to the audience that lesbianism is both present and not really present (WTF?!?!?!!!!).
  •   Yes. Clyman has clearly been studying Freud this week as well, with his analysis of Johnny Rocket's name making "it more than obvious that he represents a penis, an impotent one". Harsh, man. Harsh.
  •  Now, I concede that I need to actually see the film before any of his views can be properly analysed and digested, but most of what he's written is a load of poorly-researched bollocks. I find his apology post absolutely hilarious. "I, however, am truly confused by those roller-derby loving readers that felt attacked by my "lack of respect or knowledge" for roller derby." Well, y'know, maybe if you'd actually done some reading around the subject, you'd have known that they're not blades, they're quad skates.
  • Never mind lesbianism...I had no idea the film was about ROLLERBLADING.
  • This article says more about the writer's psychology than anything... maybe he has vagina envy :D
  • He was obviously dumped by a Derby Girl...
  • (About the apology) I am frustrated by the fact that he is still blinkered to roller derby as the main theme of the movie AND that he is basically acting defensively instead of admitting that he offended so many people in the initial article. It's like he is is saying "I'm sorry, BUT...."

Lesbian Fantasy and Roller Derby - The Backlash!!! Part One

Right so last month I drew your attention to a questionable article by Jeremy Clyman, on Psychology Today.  The blog was titled 'Lesbian Fantasy, Disguised', and discussed the film Whip It! as a film really about lesbians and the pressures of coming out in the Deep South, and in doing so, branded Roller Derby as little more than a euphemism for lesbian sex.
Whilst he later published an apology - Lesbian Fantasy, Reconsidered - he still failed to be missing the point!

I'm gonna do this in three parts .....

First of all, here's what he had to say

Let's back up before we get into conspiracy theories. "Whip It" is directed by a female (Barrymore), its protagonist is female (Page), and the story is about a girl who becomes a woman in a female dominated world. There isn't a serious male character to be seen. Oddly enough, the film is also about sports and the Deep South. I know what you're thinking. I, as a heterosexual man, am incapable of watching an exclusively female story without conflating its straightforward coming-of-age purpose with some sort of secret, subversive sexual agenda. Why can't I just appreciate this movie as the female version of adolescent identity growth and discovery? Why force meaning in-between the lines and covertly degrade this story as only interesting if satisfying some half-cocked interpretation?

So, where is lesbian fantasy to be found in this film? Let's back up even further for a minute. What is the primary function that films serve? Escape. Specifically, escape into a desirable fantasy world from an undesirable reality. Let's imagine for a moment that you are a closeted lesbian in a suppressively heterosexual environment like Bovine, Texas. You are not coming out. You would probably rather die then come out. Thus, you are walking around with unmet needs. You have a desire to be truly known, sexually gratified and socially accepted, but society relentlessly disappoints. There is a convincing pile of emerging research that examines the specifics of this kind of misery. It is real. It is profound. If you are a filmmaker then you have the opportunity to, at least temporarily, assuage this kind of misery. But you have to be careful. If you make the story about something that is almost as "bad" as being a lesbian, and you tell a tale of adversity overcome, of strength, growth and freedom then you can indulge this fantasy of lesbian actualization without activating the anxiety of reality, that is, the shame of feeling different and the fear of being different in a prejudice society.

(T)here needs to be a wink-and-nod to the lesbian-in-hiding audience that sexuality is the real issue. A couple points here:
A. "Whip It" is about roller blading, which this movie defines as a group of half-drunk women, in tight athletic gear and rollerblades muscling each other for inside positioning, as a few key teammates weave in and out of the pack. Those that have finesse are chased by those that have strength, somewhat akin to the cat and mouse pursuit of a top and bottom sexual power dynamic (there's a reason the standard sexual position is missionary). In short, this game is a metaphor for sex.
B. The protagonist, Bliss (Page), behaves in the way that a lesbian might behave before she knows she's a lesbian. We meet her just as she's playfully dying her hair blue for a 
beauty pageant. Her inexplicable love for roller derby is incited by the image of three women pushing each other on rollerblades. She dumps her boyfriend with suspicious ease and celerity. She's an adolescent who likes to be different, is experimental and puts a boyfriend second to roller derby. Now, obviously none of these things makes her a suppressed lesbian, but as a lesbian in the audience you might be cued into the possibility of an alternative,unconscious sexual agenda.
C. A character named "Jaba the Slut" is definitely a lesbian. She winks at girls and offers them drinks and come-on lines. This is never made explicit, which signals to the audience that lesbianism is both present and not really present

Even copying an pasting this I have to stop myself screaming out at the many blatant mistakes ... but just quickly, before I start on my real argument .... Jaba the Slut only appeared once in the version of the movie that I saw, and that was simply to tell someone her skater name, and there are a heap of strong male roles in the film ....

ok .... enough of this .... lets see what you guys thought ......

Jet xxx

Drew Barrymore to join Roller Derby - Ruff & Tumble?!

Here at the Round-Up Bout I've noticed a number of you are members of 'Ruff & Tumble' a special Facebook group to document your 'best' derby injuries!

I'm actually currently sporting a black eye and swollen cheek ... though nothing to do with derby I'm afraid!!! (Damn it ... there goes my anonymity! ;) )

Anyway, El Toupee just spotted this article about Drew Barrymore injuring herself during the filming of Whip It!  Wonder if she'll be joining the club?

And speaking of which .... how about we have a little competition on The Round-Up Bout???
Post a picture of your best/worst Roller Derby injury (Darmonatrix, the paper cut doesn't count ;) ) in the comments at the bottom of this blogpost (on Blogger, not on Facebook - you need to click through to the original link if you're reading this on Facebook).

Then here at The Round-Up Bout we'll decide whose is the most gory!!

Derby Love,
Jet Stepper xxx

Monday, 2 November 2009

CLOSED BOUT - Middlesbrough Milk Rollers vs Sheffield Steel

INVITE ONLY .... so get sucking up!!
When? Saturday November 7th, 3pm - 5pm
Where? Rainbow Leisure Centre, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough

The time has come for two of the North's leagues, from places built on steel, to come and knock each other on the track....behind closed doors.

Middlesbrough Milk Rollers are the North East's first league and have been rolling since 2007. With a couple bouts under their belts, they have guests from Leeds Roller Dolls and Rebellion Roller Girls making up the team.

Sheffield Steel made their debut against Leeds this summer , and have a couple of Leeds Dolls joining them to take on MMR. Sheffield are a bunch of gutsy girls who are as nasty on track as they are nice off it.

This is a one-off bout away from public view, so each member can invite people to cheer them on.

It should be a good game as both teams are similarly matched, as tenacious as each other and play to win! Grr!

War of the Roses

When? Saturday November 28th,  3pm - 5.30pm
Where?   Armitage Sports Centre, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6HE

Manchester’s Rainy City Roller Girls take on Leeds Roller Dolls in their first ever home bout!
The bout will take place just out side of Manchester City Centre in Fallowfield, and is one not to be missed!!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

'On a Roll with the Girls' - ARRG in the News

Auld Reekie hit the Scottish headlines today with a lengthy article in the Comment section of Scotland on Sunday.

To read the article, which contains quotes from Daisy Disease, Haberbashery, Armalite Angie, Skate Tastrophy, Ciderella, Juicy Lucy and Cherry Fury,  CLICK HERE!

Carrie on Skating!

This weekend Glasgow Roller 'Ghouls' hosted - a special Hallowe'en frenzy full of tricks and treats!
Here's what El Toupee had to say about the event ....

In their debut bout, Maiden Grrders took on the Romsey Town Rollerbillies in what I can only presume was an officially 'unofficial' bout - two twenty-minute periods instead of the usual thirty-minute halves. That confusion aside, it was possibly the most exciting bout I've seen yet. The Grrders and Rollerbillies fought tooth and nail to a time-limit draw. Big Cat Merv did a sterling job of play-by-play commentary  and the crowd, were simply loving it, and not shy to let it be known! Following a Zebra Huddle ("Erm, what do we do?!") the bout went to an Overtime Jam, with Romsey eeking out by 3 points!

Special congratulations to Darmonatrix (Rollerbillies), who bagged Best Blocker and Best Take Down awards.

Oh, and did I mention there was ref on in-lines skates? For Shame!

I then settled in for the first half of the main event: Glasgow Roller Girls’ Irn Bruisers vs. the Rainy City Rollergirls. The Bruisers ranked third at Roll Britannia, and so it quickly became apparent that Rainy City were in for a hard time. I'm not going to sell them short: they fought hard, and pulled off some pretty neat stuff on track, but even when the Bruisers down to two players on track they couldn't quite get their groove on.

There was a lot of penalty box action - GRG regularly seemed to be playing short on track. Everyone must have racked up more than their fair share of Minors, but there was nothing (that the Zebras saw, at least) that suggested anyone was taking unfair advantages.

Rainy City were in with a chance when the bout re-started, having chipped away at their opponent's score with a series of powerplays, but the Bruisers stepped it up a notch. Rainy City's Mookchops and Dee-Mise deserve special mention, as does Feral Fairy, for gutting it out against the Bruisers' defense and putting more points on the board, but when you're skating up to Evel Von Detta (who's skating backwards whilst smack-talking you) and you've got Dreaded Dragon simply gliding around the track like she's on rails, then maybe it's too steep a mountain to climb.

The Irn Bruisers won convincingly, but Rainy City definitely punched above their weight for the first half. I'm sure the Leeds Roller Dolls were paying attention too - LRD travel to RCRG on November 28th.