7 Reasons I Like "Rollergirls"

1) Punky Bruiser, 2) Miss Conduct, 3) Venis Envy, 4) Jailbait ...

Published January 12, 2006 1:37PM (EST)

Anyone else watching "Rollergirls"? It's a reality show on A&E about the thriving roller derby scene in Austin. I'm kind of into it, and not just because I play another gals-on-skates sport. Here's why:

1. It's nice to see women compete over something other than bachelors. (And yes, underneath its jock-burlesque trappings, roller derby -- while we won't see it in Turin -- actually is a sport.)

2. These girls are HOT. (Brandi Chastain's bra moment: how quaint it seems now!) But they're naturally, if punkily, so. And the camera doesn't leer.

3. I would totally hang out with these people. Unlike these people.

4. The show is not trying to prove anything About Women. It's not trying to say "See? When women play sports, it's really about friendship!" (One team is resolutely nonbonding.) Or "See? Women can be both tough and feminine!" Or "See? When you get women together, they fight!" It just shows these gals -- all different, none turned into a type -- doing their thing.

5. So two of them are on this radio show, and the bonehead host goes, "I bet if I kept talking to you I could convince you to make out with me." And Punky Bruiser goes, "I bet if you kept talking to me you could convince me to kick your ass."

6. There's no fake "girl power" grandstanding. But! One player says: "That is what roller derby gives you: the knowledge that you are in fact a superhero, and you don't have to wear a cape. But you do get to wear the tights."

7. I am now obsessed with trying to come up with my own roller derby name. (Great ones I've heard: Jackie O'Nasty, Tyranny Sue and, my personal favorite, Sheila Tack.)

If you've missed "Rollergirls" so far, it's on A&E just about every 10 minutes.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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