GIRLS ONLY…


It is time for me to say what I think because it is about something which is really important to me and something which I have never understood and also which needs to change if we are ever going to be ‘equal’.

 

Girls Specific Skateboard nights…..
Right before you instantly start to hate me I have a really good reason for thinking that these are totally NOT the most positive thing.
I know there are a lot of good reasons for having them and it is amazing for girls to connect with each other and I’m definitely not against girls skating together at all. I just really feel like a lot of the reasons usually feel very counter productive to achieving equality for girls and something just doesn’t sit quite right with me when I hear the phrase ‘girls only’.
I agree with an environment where beginners will feel like they can learn without being mowed down by the latest skatepark hero but I don’t really see why it would be more scary to start skateboarding if you were a girl or if you were a boy?
I feel like a lot of the reasons why girls don’t want to attend mixed sessions are just total myths so I have mainly written this to dispel them and to make beginner girls feel like they are most likely more than welcome anytime ;).
Common Myths….
1.Boys/Men will not want you to be there and say you are rubbish if you are a beginner….NOT TRUE! Anyone who thinks this has clearly never met a skateboarder because almost all skateboarders are really nice and totally encouraging.
2.Boys who are learning to skate are any less intimidated than girls are.
If you are a beginner it is scary for everyone it isn’t because you are a girl .
3. I don’t know a woman alive who would say she is ‘intimidated’ by a man  so why should it be any different at the skatepark?  Let’s be serious and no offence to men but your average male skateboarder is about as intimidating as a pomeranian.  Don’t let them scare you!
I feel like little girls especially  are never going to feel like its okay to just turn up if they are constantly being told they are different and that they should attend a sex specific night.
So I am here to tell you, that you have nothing to fear 🙂 and to just get stuck right in take your space and go to the skatepark whenever you feel like it ;).
You may not agree with me and that is okay….so let’s spark up a conversation about this as I’d love to know if others feel the same or really just anything you think about it…..
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17 thoughts on “GIRLS ONLY…

  1. hey gal, well put!! I definitely agree with you in the sense that with extreme sports it should be about being “a skateboarder” instead of a “boy skateboarder” or a “girl skateboarder”. However, girls nights are a great way to introduce girls to sports which are commonly portrayed as sports that are more likely to be picked up by guys and ultimately higher in guy participation. I ran a girls only freestyle snowsports night at my local dome last year. The norm would be a handful of girls turning up to mixed freestyle sessions, sometimes even one or two…40 came out to join in the freestyle girl fun with some now coming down and joining in the normal, weekly sessions which is awesome to see. If girls only nights give the push start in confidence to get girls kicking it with the boys, it’s no bad thing. In an ideal world we wouldnt need them but the more girls that get hooked on the sport in these sessions and join the krew, the more they will start riding in mixed sessions which will become just that, more mixed! We can all enjoy the sport together.I ride with a girl skateboard krew and occasionally a couple of guys and mostly guys while freestyle skiing. I love them all equally and get different things from each of them. It’s about who you are not what you are. One love. Keep crushing it gal xoxo

  2. I do disagree for the following reasons.
    I’m a girl skater and I’ve had male skaters shout things like “suck my dick” or call us “bitches” for skating. I also have friends who have had similar experiences being told they’re not allowed to laugh because it’s annoying. Or had other disgusting sexual comments about their bums when doing rock & rolls etc.
    Just because you aren’t intimated by men I know alot of other girls are. When I started skating I didn’t even know any other girl skaters. I would get up at 7 am to try and skate when the park was empty and if there were a couple of guys I wouldn’t skate because I was too embarrassed.
    As girls are a minority pretty much wherever they skate they are always going to get stared at more which although it may be for good reasons of guys thinking “oh its so cool to see a girl skate” it can also be for bad reasons like looking down your top and just generally off putting.
    So I think girls nights are great as you get to meet other girl skaters, girls can give a different perspective on how they learn tricks as we have different shaped bodies, & you don’t feel awkward, embarrassed or perved on.

    1. I think we should not teach girls to be afraid we should teach boys to not be direspectful. I have never had this experience in skating so I am very sorry to hear that you have. My ideas are aimed at getting the younger generation to not feel like they should be intimidated. Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting x

      1. That’s true but even if girls aren’t afraid it still happens. And even if boys aren’t horrible, girls are still afraid. It’s more complex then wishing things were different. It’s not about segregation or blaming men but until there’s an equal number of girls to guys skating it’s how things will be. Minorities are always treated differently unfortunately

      2. Im a man skater and if I herd any abuse like that I pull them strate up on it. It simple we skate so we can express are self and probley do it for so menny reasons. But it come down to this we all in this rad thing to be away from the main stream to be with like mined pepole to push are self , to find are self and to hang with a bunch off odd balls that have fun, shread , skate trips, jokes, and making memory fore life. It me and them it a 1 love sport fore all . So if some twat jock skater kid giving you crap then shread more harder and know he prob want be doing it in 3 years time and you will. Im going on a skate trip with girl and guys to barca. We all divrent ages and skills levels, divrent back grounds but we all going because we love skating and what it can do fore us and it just going to be a rad time that we never fore get. So 1 love all and we all skaters so just get shreading.

  3. Skateboarding is skateboarding. Girl /guy .guy/girl everyone is welcome to express there self .It’s like when they have the over 30s night at my local park and as beeing of a certain age and not as fit and healthy (years of abuse )as once was I’m unable to keep up with the youger shredders .its nice to have the over 30s night .with parks haveing girls only sessions I think it’s a good idea for the new comers being female to attened and to get to no people so they feel more comfortable to come to mixed sessions .I don’t care what sex you are what I care about is how much beer you can drink and how high you can hippie jump .Skateboarding in my eyes is for everyone whose got a passion to have fun on planks with wheels.

  4. I feel terrible for the girls who are experiencing the negatives mentioned above, especially any abuse they have encountered. The only thing I can suggest to you is to change where you skate. Skateboarders (in general) are some of the nicest people out there and it sucks to think that some girls feel they aren’t welcome. Keep shralpin… F the haters. Come skate in Essex 🙂

  5. Well said Stef. I agree even though I sympathise with those that feel they need it. Hope they don’t do girls only exclusively that would be a shame.

  6. I am the mum of two small girl skaters, 8 and 10. They have both skated for about 2 years and willingly skate anywhere with anyone. They love meeting other girl skaters but from their first foray into skating they have had to get on with it. I took them to a concrete park when they were starting out. The youngest was 6 and wanted to do biggest ramp, I stood behind her saying ‘hmm I am not sure’ when an older boy skater interupted me and said if she thinks she can do it she probably can, let her do it. And that captures skating for me. The girls have had nothing but encouragement from other skaters boys and girls. They were intimidated initially with the environment more because they were embarrassed to fall and knew it hurt but not really intimidated because of the male contigent. They are way past that now and appreciate falling is just part of it. In fact whats more interesting than the girl/boy dimention to me is their pals at the skate park span many generations and some of their best chums are the older skaters who they skate with regularly. These guys are inspiring.

    So girls nights are great for meeting other girls and we have been lucky enough to meet some great girls who skate, but skating is all about the ecclectic mix and thats why we all love it.

  7. This is a great video. Watch it.
    Skateboarding is a male dominated culture, it would be nice if it wasn’t but it is. I don’t now a single female skater that hasn’t been made to feel uncomfortable by guys at some point (if not at every session) it’s cool to “bro down” or whatever but without female only spaces we’re just placed in a shadow and being evaluated through the lens of the patriarchy. I know so many girls that only started skating because they felt safe at girls night…. And now they shred. This post is misleading and not productive. I do not understand why you feel the need to “sound off” on this issue.

    1. I felt the need to put something because I personally don’t know anyone who has been made to feel uncomfortable by guys. The guys in the UK scene are absolutely lovely and supportive and I wanted to encourage girls not to be afraid to attend the skateparks here because I know they would be welcomed and supported. Everyone’s experiences are different but to say I shouldn’t voice my opinion is very odd. I am not against girls nights but I am against blacklisting all male skaters because of a few people’s stories.

      1. People that act rude to women *should* be called out. Also I really don’t think the men in a male dominated sport/culture/planet need protecting. The girls do! If you can’t take my personal narrative or the stories from the other commenters as truth look at any skate media interviewing girls. When thrasher interviewed Alysha Le and Lizzie Armanto for weekend buzz recently they spent a good amount of time talking about being a girl skater and dealing with creeps. Any interview I’ve read with a girl stops to talk about the struggles of male dominated spaces. EX. “What’s the creepiest thing I guy has said to you at the park?” “Is it harder to skate when you’re the only girl and everyone stares?” How often is a njyah Huston asked about the role his gender plays in his skating? Never…I guess except when he’s saying in interviews with thrasher that girls shouldn’t be skateboarding…. What I’m saying is your personal experience is In the grand minority and by saying you’ve “never met someone” who had an issue with being a girl youre ignoring and negating real girls experiences, which is not progressive, it’s harmful. Support women’s spaces and needs even if you don’t need them for yourself.

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