Your Voice.

Kelly B’s Story

During my first ever Roller Derby Bout, I was amused by several of the cute names that the derby girls use for themselves. I liked that they were positive, a play on words, and depicted women that were capable of anything. Then the opposing team was announced. I started to lose my smile a bit, as the names were getting more violent and some even very derogatory. When the referees were introduced, however, I had to ask the person sitting next to me what they said… I didn’t think I heard it correctly. Sure enough, reffing tonight’s bout was none other than “Egor Toboneyou” and “Buster Hymen”. I was sick to my stomach. How could such a pro-woman sport be so anti-human?

I demanded the change by [telling] everyone I met. I finally decided when we were asked to be the charity of the month at the next bout, to make my opinion public. I had the opportunity to speak with the team captain, who is a champion of women’s rights. She was indeed upset by these names as well, and has a number of things in place to ensure that those names were not made public again. First off, the announcer made a mistake. While the refs that I witnessed were not from around here, their names were left off of the program, and the announcer was not to read anything that was not “PG”, as our home team wants this to be a family event that supports women. Secondly, she is working like mad to train an all-female ref team here for our bouts. This will help keep ref “Buster” out of demand. The captain fully supported me challenging the visiting refs, but said I would not likely get the opportunity, as they would not be returning anytime soon.

I’m still not satisified with my experience. I am disheartened that in this day and age it would be allowed for such an offensive name to be used to represent women. I don’t know how to contact this ref, but was assured that he is a “nice guy” and has been told several times before that his name is offensive, but he thinks it’s funny, and therefore will not budge.

I saw the “change of heart” [w]hen talking to other parents, particularly men, and I explained what the names that were used were, the response I received was of support. No one laughed. No one thought I was making a “big deal out of nothing”, as I feared would be the response. Instead, what I heard was “thank you for telling me that” and “wow, I had no idea”. If we don’t speak up when we hear things we don’t like, it sends a message that we accept it. By speaking up, it gives other parents permission to have an opinion and speak out as well. We have to work together. I don’t think it was a total loss that I never got to meet the refs in question. If anything, they helped me find my voice and helped me redefine the line that is set before us every day. How much violence will we allow our children to witness?

~

~

Kelly’s Story

~

~

~

~

Kate’s Story

I saw a “change of heart” as an advocate when I was extremely disappointed in a response from law enforcement. I sent a letter to the Sheriff of that jurisdiction explaining the issues I had with the response, some suggestions of how to do it better, and offered any help possible to see that it did not happen again. The end result was bringing in a law enforcement and medical training with the help of the Sheriff and MNCASA.

~

~

~

Share your stories. Encourage others to send in their stories. If MNCASA chooses to post your story as an example, you have several options: posting your story anonymously, with your full name or initials, or you can request that MNCASA not post your story publicly. To share your story, please contact us at demandthechange@mncasa.org.


%d bloggers like this: