This is the story of my encounter with 21st century warriors. They play a sport historically considered as feminist, roller-derby, are passionately engaged in women’s empowerment and, even more interestingly, are doing so in an inclusive way, making sure the sport welcomes everyone: no gender discriminating.
At the very first practice I attended, I was conquered. By the utter respect in this contact sport. The players wear the team jersey of course, but also go heavy on the make-up and pierced fishnet stockings, giving them and their sport a sexy punk-like image. They are athletes, but ladies above all.
What’s even more attractive and moving about these women is their commitment to their beliefs, which they defend fiercely both on and out of the roller-derby rink. To my understanding, these values are: the sport, the game, always being fairplay but also - and above all else - love, humor, solidarity, respect of others and of oneself.
Being part of one of these teams is being part of a family. The players are truly respectful of each other, as much as they are close. They really moved me with that sincere humane energy, humane interaction.
These tough ladies are of all sizes and looks. On the rink, they’re tearing down as many feminine diktats as they can, the ones somewhat forced on all of us by fashion magazines. They are proud. They are radiant. They are punks. On their helmets: stickers of all the associations they bring their support to, with real actions. These are the fighters.
TS, Paris 2019