Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Is it about YOU?

I'm back to brooding today.

I remember when DIY derby was meant to be inclusive...every body type, every background, every woman was encouraged to join. The biggest bullshittery that went on a few years back was flat vs. banked track. Which I want to comment on in a different post. More on that later. Anyway, yeah...inclusive.

But now, it's getting more exclusive and dooshy. It starts with basic human nature stuff like cliques. Maybe it moves to how teams and practices are structured. Or it becomes difficult to even sign up as fresh meat for a league that may not be chock-full of skaters.

Maybe there's a power-hungry person or three who takes over a committee, or bullies others on how things should be done in their eyes within the league...whether it's their business to do so or not. These types probably haven't done a lot of team sports or team anything in their past with much success. Right now I'm seeing a lot of that type of crapaciousness up close and personal. If I wasn't subject to Code of Conduct violations, I'd be doing a lot of gut-punching on others this very moment.

I find it weird when teams and leagues get the doosh label when the majority of the individuals who make up that team or league can be perfectly nice. What is it about the group dynamic that takes a logically-thinking person and turn her into an asshole when she's with the dooshtastic team or league in question?

I'm also noticing a lot of petitions and groups on Facebook that cater to flat track only. Like the petition to get flat track derby on tv. Or the flat track derby announcers group. Gosh, jackholes, are you still insecure about fans liking banked track better than flat, or are you purposely ignorant that DIY banked track isn't all that you were told they were in the '70's? Get out of your box.

That means everybody. Get the fuck out of your box and really take a look around you at yourself, your team, and your league. Are the things you're doing by shutting others out really the path to grow this crazy hobby into a paying gig? There are standards for things, sure...like having whomever is running the league finances have some reasonable financial training, for example. Or the skaters on the travel team should actually be the best derby players.

On the other hand, if you shut out your skaters in your league from doing stuff, you're playing to your own ego and shortselling the future of your league.  You have to train the future leaders and skaters for your league if you expect it to last, and for them to remember you with fondness(if at all), instead of as That Cunt Who Needed To Get Her Head Out Of Her Ass And Thank Fucking Keerist She's Gone. 

As things are getting bigger, I don't know if it's getting better. Some of it is growing pains, sure. But some of it is preventable dooshiness. It's difficult to sometimes see when one is being selfish, but I'm finding that if others are as unhappy as you are, then something's going on, and it may not be good.

I'd like to see the fun put back in the dysfunctional of this adventure.


Killo said...

*sigh* My Hero ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this Tara! I couldn't agree more and I fell in love with derby because it was DIY!

Anonymous said...

This very topic has been on my mind a lot latey. I've noticed this clique behavior and am upset by the idea. Enough "dooshiness" occurs in everyday life...none of us need it in derby. I was drawn to this sport for the acceptance, support and "we are family" feel and find it become rather elitist. Which of course makes me very sad.

Bonnie D.Stroir said...

Man, I HATE DIY!!! I can't wait till I don't have to do so much myself to see things get done!

I do think it's easy for people to take a little bit of new-found confidence and run waaaaaay to far away from others with it...

But I don't think you have to be grassroots your whole life to be inclusive and humble.

I heard an actor quoted as saying "Getting rich only makes people more like they already are."

And I think becoming part of something that enriches your life so much could be called the same way.

Ramble ramble, love!


Pauly said...

Loved your blog. Miss you lady.

Anonymous said...

It is not just there. It is in other leagues, too. Almost exactly the way you described it.
Folks finally decide that they need to throw themselves into the travel team effort. And then do their best to mold it into their way.
Sorry girls, doesn't work that way.

Jackrabbit Slams said...

fuck. yes. fuck yes.

Anonymous said...

and there are some evil people that just wanna see you going down so they can feel better!
no derby love and no team spirit, just a gigantic ego and a poor soul!

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, if you shut out your skaters in your league from doing stuff, you're playing to your own ego and shortselling the future of your league."

Although I'm sure this is the case in some leagues, I see and hear many unfair misconceptions and accusations from those that don't feel included. It is VERY TYPICAL for a few to do the majority of the work in a volunteer organization. Skaters are not necessarily left out on purpose. Many times, someone is just trying to get things done. Should they be delegating? Of course they should, but those that aren't doing anything should also be willing to step up to the plate. Instead, they are usually the ones that sit back and criticize everything that goes on with the league. STFU or offer to help. And don't just say, "What can I do to help?" The few doing the majority of the work are so overwhelmed, they can't tell you at the moment what they need. If you see a task that needs to be taken care of, be specific: "I noticed that Skater X (who left the league last month) is still on the email list and her picture is still on the website. I'll be happy to keep the email list up to date and inform our webmaster when someone's picture needs to be removed" or "I can pick up the t-shirts from the screen printer when they are ready." If you think that those doing all the work are having fun, guess again. Walk in their shoes for one month. I guarantee you would see things differently.

DIY sucks! Leagues need to be run like a business, but it's not possible when Board of Directors or Owners have little or no business background. You can't expect a nurse, a physical therapist, a copywriter or a graphic artist to know how to handle "personnel" issues. I personally think DIY will continue to be the downfall of many leagues. I can think of several that would probably still be together if someone had known how to handle the issues that caused them to split.