Step One. Portray us as unbalanced psychos. We play roller derby? Obviously we are all murderers or degenerates, including the fact that we use drugs on a regular basis, hate authority figures (especially the police who are investigating the featured murder) or we are sexually deviant. When the detectives come in and start investigating, please make sure they find out that the victim, a derby girl, has had several sexual partners and is sexually promiscuous with anyone that she could meet in a bar. Oh, and also make anyone who is a coach a complete perv. Thanks!
Step Two: Make sure the world knows the derby girls hate men. Yes. We hate men. All men. We hate our husbands, sons, fathers, coaches, brothers and cousins. Men are the enemy. They're the reason we join derby in the first place, because men all want us to be weak, even the ones helping us meet our derby dreams. Derby is our revenge on men; and we do it to spit in their faces at every chance we get. On the Bones episode, the victim was finding random guys and taking them to have sex on her ex-husband's front lawn; clearly she was not pleased with him. This kind of hatred helps add to the storyline, especially if you have male officers investigating and interviewing the derby girls.
Also, please have one of your stronger female regular characters shame the derby girl into not hating all men. That would be great. Drive this point home by having the murderer be a female teammate; that shows how wrong we all are because automatically think that a man did it.
Step Three: Exaggerate the violence of the sport. Regular derby isn't exciting enough! Please make sure that there is a great deal of blood or crazy violence when you introduce your audience to the sport. The Bones episode described derby girls skating through blood; that's a good start, because clearly we all have no fear of bloodborne pathogens. Also in the Bones episode, one of the "skaters" was just wandering around while bleeding from a head wound. Fantastic! Disregard how the sport is actually played and show obvious fouls and make them seem like normal game play. Show derby players engaged in a fight, and then have them be carried off yelling at each other; the CSI Miami episode did this amazingly well. Also, please show derby girls not wearing correct protective gear, especially helmets or wrist guards. We all know that girls are supposed to be sexy, and wearing helmets definitely will mess up their hair; we can't have that.
Step Four: Only focus on banked track and the Derby Dolls. I love the Derby Dolls, but it seems like they are in every tv show, video or reference to roller derby in popular media. I know it's because they're close by, but wow. Clearly, all roller derby is played on a banked track; there is no other derby. THERE IS NO OTHER DERBY! Sorry WFTDA, MADE, USARS, you guys don't actually exist in TV land, or movie land, unless you're in a documentary. (In hindsight, maybe that's a good thing!)
|At least she has a mouth guard. Image found here|
Step Six: Have an inexperienced skater suddenly be drafted to be on a team. This is a common meme in derby fictional situations. Babe Ruthless learns to skate around her neighborhood, and suddenly becomes a jammer on a banked track team in Whip It. Makes sense; skating on a flat surface that isn't a track is the perfect way to train for a banked track. Anyone can roller skate, right? Any woman can handle derby, because all it is skating and being mad, right? There isn't actually any training or skill involved, right?
Step Seven: Use the wrong vocabulary for derby. We play games, so please have every character describe a game by using the wrong word "Match". On the Bones episode, one of the characters who was the "coach" or "owner" of the team used that word and it just drove home the fact that research was definitely not done to write the plot accurately. Two characters were describing what I think were supposed to be mohawk turns, and they called them "Fluffy turns." Maybe that's a local term, but I have never heard any of the trainers, coaches or general derby community use it, so well done!
There you go. Now we can all go out and write scripts for crime procedural shows involving derby. Why try and educate people that derby is a sport? It's better to keep it safely in the realm of jello-wrestling and donkey basketball; sexy, degenerate spectacle sells. Thank goodness my parents are watching this representation and judging my choice of sports by it. Thanks!