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The Female Significant in All-Women’s Amateur Roller Derby

I analyze women’s flat-track amateur roller derby by asking: how do derby skaters negotiate the requirements associated with emphasized femininity? By drawing on Hebdige’s (1979) analysis of punk, I develop the term female significant to argue that roller derby is an aggressive contact sport with a theatrical edge. It provides a rich, adventurous space to satirize athletic and feminine norms. Specifically, skaters’ sport participation is characterized by an interrogation of emphasized femininity without necessarily undermining the masculine/feminine gender binary.