Mar 09 2006

To Some Recent Registrants

Texas Rollergirls: Hustlers vs Hell Marys
This photo of last Sunday’s Texas Rollergirls season opener (the Hustlers vs. the Hell Marys) has nothing to do with today’s post

Naturally, reports of registration problems have been pouring in. Affected parties will be relieved to hear that I have recently, by shadowy means I cannot divulge, acquired powerful knowledge, and am now confident that I can fix the following issue:

If you registered, but never received your password, and it’s been over 24 hours, email me from the address you used when you signed up. I will send you a new password.

Some of you whose registrations have not gone smoothly seem to be taking the snafu as a personal rejection. You guys need to lighten up. I promise you, the thing is entirely automated. It isn’t judging you.

If yours is a different, more flummoxing issue, you are probably using IE, and all the shadowy knowledge in the world can’t help you.


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  1. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    Aww, you passed up such a good opportunity! I can see it now!

    “I am still pondering your registration. I’ll probably let you in eventually, but only if you promise to step things up a bit: Make your posts a little more cogent and a lot more more interesting. Thanks for understanding.”

  2. Excellent Band Name Alert:

    The Hell Marys

  3. Twisty

    You’d never guess the Hell Marys are the ones in the little plaid skirts and white undies.

  4. If Twisty were holding registrations for ransom until the person became a more interesting poster, my registration would still be held up. Probably forever!

  5. travellingpunk.blogspot.com

    Roller girls rock.

  6. grannyvibe.blogspot.com

    If you too would like to become a Hell Mary, contact “Buckshot Betsy” for information about auditioning. (I just bought the Hell Mary t-shirt and a couple of shot glasses, myself.)

  7. I support my sisters who work in the sex trade*, but I don’t support their continued abuse at the hands of the pimps who profit.

    So I won’t be buying any Hell Mary accessories.

    *this isn’t about women’s sports

  8. Twisty

    Actually, the Texas Rollergirls are a skater-owned and operated business. They give money to charity. They work in offices during the week.

  9. Great! I’m registered and in awe of the shadowy powers that be.

  10. Thanks for the fix, Twisty!!!

    Not to change the subject (but I will) has anyone else heard about the whiny-ass “men’s rights group” that filed a lawsuit they are calling the “Roe v. Wade of men’s rights”? I heard a clip on CNN while getting ready for work this morning.

    Apparently, they filed suit (I don’t know where, or case style) demanding that they be give the “right” to opt out of paying child support, since the woman makes the decision to terminate or carry to term the pregnancy. Note they only want to opt out of paying; they’re not asking for the right to raise the child if she doesn’t want it. Oh no, they just don’t want to have to pay for a child *they* don’t want.

    Fuckers. I’m just so angry I could spit flames. Wish I really could.

  11. They project a very pornographic image Twisty.

    I also note the audience. This is the kind of women’s sports which give women’s sports a bad name. Not that it’s the *only* but women have fought hard to be taken seriously in sports, and here’s a team (game) selling themselves as porn.

    I won’t back down on this one. From a family of professional male athletes, and women who would have been, could have been. If they only could have been taken seriously. Watching the women’s hockey at the Olympics was so stirring. I know hockey is colder, but they didn’t play pushing the hooker look.

  12. guerillawomentn.blogspot.com

    Kelley: You can find the story here (if I’ve done the link thing correctly):


  13. Registration gave me the choice of squishing my name or becoming Famous Soviet Athlet. Do you think this is part of the Grand Automated Plot?

  14. Twisty

    I’m not saying these girls aren’t wearing hot pants, but it’s not porn, it’s kitsch. They all seem to be having a great time, and nobody’s being exploited, so I don’t see the problem. Beyond, of course, the general problem of objectification every woman experiences whenever she leaves the house.

  15. faultline.org/place/toad

    Shot glasses! I’m there!
    Um, where again?

    I registered using IE and it went just fine, no problems. Nyah nyah nyah. Maybe I used up my season’s ration of computer juju, but that’s OK.

    Speaking as a veteran Catholic schoolgirl: I think I know a joke-about-image when I see one. Also I like the team name. I wouldn’t wear thet getup myself,* but those kids are Not The Enemy and they’re not responsible for the hobbling of Title IX.

    *reasons being equal parts of Had My Lifetime Dose Already and age-related gravityosis. Vibrating Liz might pull it off, buy I don’t like the way I’d look. I’ve pondered the question, and I think I’m allergic to plaid.

  16. Thanks, MsNicky! It makes me so mad I could spit. Or curse. Or both. Of course, my first urge is to put my fist in someone’s face, but that would risk my livelihood and freedom. Oh, wait. I live in the US. There is no freedom. Especially not for women.

    I blame the you-know-whom.

  17. They are furthering the pornographic image of women. They are using this image to sell tickets. I don’t care if it’s them, or the man who profits. Actually, it’s the man who profits, ultimately.

    The HMsare part of the rape/porn continuum. Look at the audience shot. Would any of them be there if the Hell Marys were wearing gym shorts and baggy t-shirts? They’ve come for the titillation not the sport.

    I really don’t see the line between women objectifying themselves and men doing it.

    If beauty pagents and Hooters restaurants are not ok, this is not ok. I don’t care whether its women or men making the profit. The HMs don’t need to project this image (see their webiste) or dress like this to be sportswomen. I bet this sport (?) would die an almost instant death if they dropped the porn image.

  18. ringmar.net/diane/index.html

    Great! Now I can lurk again assured of the hidden power of the blame button.

  19. To Pony re comment # 18:

    I agree with you entirely.

    For me it also goes to the larger issue of women who wish not to be seen as hookers being simply not *seen*.

    I am keenly aware of this as I walk down the street and have people constantly bumping into me. It’s as if they need to see the porn/hooker visual cues being carried on a human body in order to percieve it as a woman or girl. Then, since I also do not present a male body image / body language, I am not perceived at *all*.

    I think this is why women and girls want more and more to identify with the porn image. They simply want to be, and need to be, seen.


  20. Twisty

    I admire your purist spirit, Pony, and had I not observed this roller derby with my own eyes, I’d be right there with ya. In fact, before I arrived, I was all ready to blame the patriarchy for it. But the porn/titillation vibe that you describe and that I was expecting simply wasn’t there, at least not in greater quantities than it is in a general sense, all the time, everywhere. I had the impression that, whatever the boner levels of the audience–which included a gazillion women, and a bunch of kids, too—the skaters definitely don’t view themselves as fuckbots. Which is the message I heard louder and clearer than “Do me, baby.”

    The dreaded Male Gaze, I remind the general blamer, never shuts off, whether his object is in sweatpants or on skates.

    I also remind the general blamer that few serious athletes compete in baggy sweatpants.

  21. Ahhh. The purist putdown. Well since the HMs aren’t serious athletes (they make that clear) I don’t expect them to look like this, but even weekend warriors wear the appropriate gear.

    Oh wait. They are wearing the appropriate gear.

    A Woman Athlete: Something I’d want little girls to aspire to and little boys to have as image of woman:

  22. norbizness.com

    Good point. I can’t see any male fan of speedskating being titillated by a skin-tight latex uniform; I think they’re awed instead by the functionality in improving the short-lap time through aerodynamics.

  23. politblogo.typepad.com

    Well yeah but you have to admit that the uniform is actually somewhat androgynating, skin-tight though it may be. It screams “high-tech muscle comic book hero”, not sex.

  24. The gear is the same, male or female speedskater, unlike the male roller derby guys? Or are they going for the gonad factor too?

    This picture of LeMay Doane (now retired and a mother) is the one I found quickly, but if you saw jother photos of LeMay Doan you’d see she has massive thighs, Fucking Massive. Women have been heard to clear their throats, smile wanly and admire her skill, but add they don’t want all those muscles.

    Men have been overheard to say, about her general physique, “eeeeeuuuuuwww”

  25. “You’d never guess the Hell Marys are the ones in the little plaid skirts and white undies.”

    Hell Marys
    On yer skates
    Plaid be with you

  26. nothinbutknit.blogspot.com

    Twisty, I have to say that I am fascinated by your approbation of the Rollergirls. It’s occured to me in the past to ask for your thoughts on the issue of roller derby, but I’ve hesitated for fear of getting a dose of truth that would render me unable to watch Rollergirls, the reality show that lets me remember What Austin Really Looks Like.

    There are two roller derby leagues in Austin: Texas Rollergirls, pictured above, and Texas Roller Derby. Texas Rollergirls, at least in their merchandising and self presentation, seems to be less consciously sexualized. TXRD (subjects of Rollergirls), while also skater-owned and operated, on the other hand, is, I would argue, consciously cultivating the male gaze, as evidenced in part by the mudflap girls in their logo. Now, being the subjects of reality television no doubt ups the MG quotient considerably: although I watch for the aforementioned Austin scenery and also to watch a bunch of women kick ass, I know plenty of guys who watch it for the ass and the girlfights.

    Which raises the eternal question: is anything women do ever not co-opted? And isn’t an ironic self-objectfication objectification nonetheless?

  27. genderberg.com

    Not doubting the eye-Twistness on the gender of the audience she saw, but the audience in the photo above does look mighty dudely to my squinting eyes.

  28. Here’s my guess: I bet most of those Hell Marys weren’t actual Catholic school girls. I wore The Plaid for three years, with the hideous saddle oxfords. Make that three years and one week. I bailed one week into senior year because I couldn’t stand it any more.

    Anyway: tell a random straight guy you went to Catholic school and 99% of the time the response is a lascivious “ooh, do you still have the uniform?” Urgh. Bog, NO, I ditched that motherfucker asap. You will never, ever see me wearing black and white houndstooth or one of those pleated skirts in any pattern, never. Guys do love that shit.

    Roller Girls – well – I’m on the fence. They are having fun and making what little money there is to make, but also profiting by their appeal to the male gaze. They aren’t billing themselves as hardcore professional athletes, either. As Rizzo said: there are worse things you could do.

    registration went easy-peasy for me. no blaming necessary on that score.

  29. Here’s another pix of LeMay Doan.

    I am so proud of women who go the distance for this, in whatever sport. They’ve learned they’ve got to get massive to win and they put up with a lot of censure to do it. They do it without steroids too. I don’t have tv and so didn’t watch. But it’s all over the web and I follow it. Not because I’m interested in sports (kack) but because I’m interested in women athletes competing and winning (even if they ‘lose’) without compromise.

    Cindy Klassen

    LeMay Doane

  30. catharinechronicles.com

    Got mine. Was rather enjoying taking the snub personally. Actually, was using said snub as an opportunity to blame the patriarchy.

    Practice makes perfect.


  31. angryforareason.blogspot.com

    As someone who likes the bloodsport side of roller derby but bailed on it because of the stupid short skirts and the way the media latched onto the “sexiness” of it, I too am on the fence.

    It’s fucking fun, but I’d much rather be wearing shorts while doing it. Needless to say I don’t like unwanted sexual attention so I quit. Patriarchy sucks.

  32. Twisty

    Dag, yall are acting like I just gave the Hell Marys the Twisty RadFem Of The Year Award or something.

    I have this to say: there is not one crevice, one iota, one comfy little corner of human culture that has not been utterly infused with misogyny. Art, literature, film, politics, sports, this stupid blog—everything is soaking in patriarchy, all day, every day. I’m all for taking the hard line theoretically—I mean, there are times when I am perfectly comfortable arguing that the common good requires the elimination of the Y chromosome—but there is no way possible to eliminate patriarchy from your real live life. The fact is, we all owe our existence to somebody’s oppression. For instance, the last strawberry you ate was probably picked by an indentured slave.

    What’s this got to do with the roller derby? That chicks on skates may not be radical feminists, but as an egregious affront to my feminist sensibility they’re pretty much on a par with pointy shoes and tiny handbags, and score way below Olympic figure skaters, fashion magazines, TV, Ernest Hemingway, strip clubs, and slave-picked strawberries on the Blame-O-Meter.

  33. Well then, ok. Grudgingly. But only so long as we each get to pick our particular affront. And it can morph from day to day.

    Today, for me, it’s female gynecologists, who seem to have learned well how to fit in.

  34. pandagon.net

    For the love of all that’s holy, it’d be a hell of a lot more sexist to expect that female athletes cover up and hide their oh-so-female bodies lest they be viewed as sexy like they were male athletes or something.

    Any sport where the women brag about the number of teeth they have knocked out is hardly the fucking Playboy Mansion.

  35. pandagon.net

    That said, man, I wished I hadn’t lazed out and actually went. I’ll bet you had a blast. I love the roller derby.

  36. As a coworker of mine pointed out at lunch the other day, “Men [who compete in sports] don’t wear revealing outfits, but there is still sport.” What do we think attendance at these games would be like if the outfits were less, ahem, kitschy? While it is true that the male gaze cannot be turned off, and that mysogyny permeates all corners of our culture, isn’t a funny coincidence that skimpy, girl-power kitsch just happens to coincide with what men like women to wear? Their asses look really empowered to me, I’m telling you..

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