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Monday, June 27, 2005

Second Thoughts on Sorority

A couple of weeks ago, I said some things about the importance of having female friends. One thing I mentioned is that I felt like there were very few infrastructures for liberal, progressive, or alternative women to develop female friends. After all, if you're tattooed and agressive and suspicious of marriage you may not fit in real well at your local college sorority.

Well. I guess there are alternatives. And they come in an unexpected place: the rollar rink.

Today I went to get my hair cut at the very fabulous Big Hair Salon. The person who does my highlights (I know! When did I become a person who gets highlights? It's crazy!) is named Anna, and she is wonderful and serious Chicago and has tattooes of scissors all down her right arm. I am very enamored with her; I am always enamored with curvy punky girls who take no shit.

Anyway, today Anna said this sentence to me: "It's like being in a sorority--I love it!"*

Which I never expected to hear her say.

What was she talking about? A new group she participates in, the Windy City Rollers (and I strongly encourage you to check out the group photo at that link to ponder the ways it does and does not match a sorority group photo). Yes, it's Rollar Derby. They use phrases like "Derby Dolls." They also have "boot camp" several times a week, and lots of bruises, and a strong sense of sisterhood, I guess. Anna is super excited about it.

So, I mean, I am in general somewhat nervous about the fetishization of any kind of "girl on girl" action. But I am in favor of women making circles in which they can be both supportive and aggressive, cute and competetive. In some ways, I would rather have those things without the guise of fishnet antics. But hey--if I can have sorority at the same time as having zany fishnetted camp--maybe I should feel pretty pleased?

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*She did make sure to add, spinning her scissors over her tattooed knuckles, "well, it's not exactly like a sorority. I mean, we don't wear pearls."

1 Comments:

  • Whenever I was more loud than my mother thought I should be, which was (and is) often, she told me I was like a roller derby woman.

    Now I think I'll take it as a compliment...

    Although, I'd be the preppy one in the pearls.

    By Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom), at 11:40 AM  

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