Well, yesterday was fun.
Well, sort of.
Let me explain.
Yesterday, I posted what was supposed to be a humorous and informative piece about a derby injury. I knew it was a little provocative. I had kept it sitting in my drafts since March because I didn't want to offend my actual friends who regularly read my blog and who go out to lunch with me in real life. Sometimes they tell me I go a little too far in my descriptions of things like laser hair removal and derby or being accidentally braless in Vegas. Sigh. I am who I am.
In the end, I decided to post about the injury and take the jabs because in recent days a derby girl in my area had to seek medical treatment when her swelling became profuse and unbearable. It needed to be drained. :(
I thought that sharing my experience with this injury might help another derby girl. Especially a young one who didn't know how to treat her injury and might be too embarrassed to ask. And might be uninsured and not need to be saddled with an expensive medical bill. Ice is pretty cheap and could have prevented her need for a doctor.
I had no idea how upset this post would make some people in the derby community.
They were upset because of a word I have since removed from the post. I expected some backlash from non-derby people, but I did not expect it from inside the derby community. Who knew? Not me. That's for darn sure.
It's not the "c" word or the "eff" word that most of my non-derby friends know I dislike. It was the "r" word.
I spent much of yesterday responding to comments on Facebook and writing apologies to offended derby people all over the world for my use of the "r" word on my blog. I apologized between dishes and laundry. Between six trips to the high school for summer band camp sessions. Between sorting cans of PlayDoh to toss out the ones that had dried out and cooking dinner and changing the light bulb in the ancient LiteBrite. Between breaking up fights between Bonus and RNR. Between making guitar-shaped popsicles, dinosaur-shaped sandwiches, and chocolate milk. The guitar-shaped popsicles were pretty cool. :)
All that to say that I am a real life housewife who happens to play derby. And that's what I write about.
Here's the thing...
I didn't learn the term I used in a vacuum. And I didn't learn it in suburbia or even on the internet or through Urban Dictionary. I learned it in the derby community. And not solely in my league. Which is only three years old; we obviously learned the term from elsewhere in the derby world. I've heard it at training camps with world-class skaters. I've heard it at RollerCon for the past three years. I did not create the term; I did repeat it though.
So, if you want to take it out on me and up with me, fine. I put it out there. I wear big girl panties. I apologized and edited my content to reflect many of your wishes. I'll listen to anything you hurl at me. Warranted or not.
But if you want something different and better to be perpetuated by the greater derby community in the future, you need to take it up with the greater derby community. You need to make your voice louder in your own league and in your own social media circles because not everyone has time to prowl Facebook or my blog. Sending me a nasty message attacking my character isn't going to further your cause or stop people from using the language that bothers you. Starting a meaningful dialogue will, and it's the moments of meaningful dialogue that made me decide to revise my post and change my terminology.
BTW, I'm just small potatoes. On a REALLY, rilly, unusually good day where I tell a story about something like my preschooler pantsing me at the community pool I will have 200 readers. My voice is pretty small on the blogosphere. I'm just me. A housewife who plays derby. Who gets upset when she unintentionally upsets people.
I so appreciate the support of my league mates when the Facebook comments started to get a little heated. The fact that one of my league mates said "that anyone who knows Reckless knows what a good heart she has" actually made tears well up in my eyes. And the rest of you who backed me up in our private forum. Your loyalty made me smile. Smooches to all of you.
For the rest of you who showed support.... Thank you. You flooded my inbox with kind words. You got that the focus was supposed to be on helping someone who found themselves with the same injury I had NOT on what I called the injury. You laughed with me. And at me (which is more than fine). You liked my post. You passed it on to friends. Lots of friends. In fourteen countries. On tumblr and twitter. In your own league forums. Hugs all around.
Whichever opinion you formed yesterday, derby love to all of y'all.