The nineteenth amendment of 1920 granted women the right to vote (US Const. 19th Amendment, 1920). English common law did not allow for married women to retain any property rights. A series of Married Women Property Acts passed in varying forms through every state in the union throughout the 1900’s (Congress). Rights had been granted but equality still not yet gained. In 1950 34 percent of women were in the workforce in 2000 that number has soared to sixty percent (Toosi). At any rate while our rights grew with equal force we were reminded to be a lady. The Burning River Roller Girls have opportunity to be my new heroes.

Corsetry was traded in for girdles which gave way to push up bras. Progress in the legal and working world could only do so much. At home and in personal relationships the roles of women have not changed much. We are to be career focused while baking Martha Stewart quality cupcakes caring for the children we oft leave to the care of others and be breathtakingly beautiful while doing so. We cannot serve in combat, if we’re ambitious at work we become the bitch, and kickboxing is only for the health club.

Roller derby girls give a one finger salute to the powers that be which work to suppress the authentic women in each of us. Throwing elbows, taking hits, losing teeth, and bruising the legs that carry progress further these women defy what a lady is. Always wanting to have gone before to a game now I must after my husband and I spent an evening with R.E. Lewis one of the impassioned followers of the sport. He had a website to show, a story to tell, and massive respect for who these women were on and off the roller derby floor.

Profit motive is absent as is concern with acknowledgment for the amount of work and time taken in putting together what has got to be the most unreserved wide angle view of the sport. Never heard of roller derby or the rules? Present. Player interviews and insights, pictures, and passion are everywhere. An hour later I know that I have got to go to derby, support it and most of all take my daughter.
Roller derby girls are the Rosie the Riveter for our generation.

Works Cited
Toosi, Mitra. “A Century of Change, the U.S. labor force 1950-2050.” May 2002. http://www.bls.gov. 20 September 2009 .


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