A man in a woman's world: male support networks in women's flat track roller derby

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Patrick Kegan Fleming (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Stephen Sills

Abstract: Is modern women’s roller derby a form of feminism, and what role do men play within it? I propose that women’s roller derby is born out of radical feminism, while male volunteers and supporters act as important nodes in broad support networks. In this article, I examine the history of male supporters of women’s movements as well as feminist perspectives of Title IX and women’s sport. I then contrast the findings with survey and interview data from a women’s roller derby league from the east coast. As roller derby’s revival exemplifies radical feminism as sport, survey respondent’s views on roller derby as a women’s movement correlated with their level of active involvement with the league. The interviewed athletes, volunteers, and fans, however, were primarily interested in roller derby as an athletic outlet and not as a form of feminist expression. Regardless of their view on derby as a women’s movement, the majority of respondents had positive reactions towards male involvement, and understood that they played important roles in creating the league’s formal and informal support networks. While roller derby allowed women’s gender maneuvering and the creation of alternative femininities, it also allowed for alternative masculinities, inviting the participation of men who are “not like the others.”

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Feminist, Male Feminist, Roller Derby, Women's Movement
Roller derby
Sports for women $x Social aspects
Feminism and sports
Male feminists

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