TAPinto checked out the world of Roller Derby. M.K. Killen did an exposé on Hellbilly Heartbreakers while TAPintoTravels was visiting the Akron Roller Derby team. Despite the cliché we found the women athletic, proud, and possibly, a little disturbed. With nicknames like “Bloody Professor” and “Nikola Wreck Ya”, they sound more like wrestlers in the WWE, than professional women of all ages.
“Modern roller derby is about women empowering other women,” said Becky Misenheimer, who skates for the Hellbilly Heartbreakers as “Bloody Professor."
Misenheimer, an associate professor at St. Bonaventure University, said that most people’s impression of roller derby is an outdated cliché of male-owned leagues used to exploit women.
Each team member was drawn to roller derby for a different reason, and each has their own story of personal growth.
“They say roller derby saves our souls and that’s true for a lot of us,” Nicole Gabler, who skates as “Nikola Wreck Ya,” said. “We’ve overcome addiction, self-abuse and depression—and some of us just think it’s a lot of fun!”
For past articles on roller derby, please see the following articles: