April 04, 2006

I'm an Auntie....Not!

2005 was a rough year for me, and I was glad to see it go. To completely shake loose the cobwebs from such a horrific year, I decided to learn something new: Skateboarding. It's fun, it's done outdoors, and it's a lot less risky than, say, being openly childfree in such a kid-crazy culture. After a series of lessons, my instructor suggested I meet up with her and a group of women at the local skate park for some skating and hanging out; she belonged to an organization for women who skateboarded...sounded like fun to me, so I loaded up by board, pads, and helment and headed to the local skatepark. Sure, the name "Mom" figured prominently in the title of the organization, but I didn't give it a second thought.

Silly me. While I met some really interesting, fun women who loved to skate, they spent a lot of time deciphering who was who. If you have kids, well, of course, you're ranked as a "Mom". If you don't have kids, you're an "Auntie" in the group parlance. Um, OK. I'm not even an Auntie away from the skatepark, so I was a little baffled as to why I was one at the skatepark. I don't know any of their kids, and based on the ages of the majority of them, I'll pass, thanks. The group's founder assures all website visitors that even though they may not be a mom, they're still welcome to join. Is she sure? The logo features a woman on skates pushing a stroller, and their annual skate jam/fundraiser is held on, yep, Mother's Day. The hidden message is although you may not have kids, you can still join us, but you'll be relegated to a lesser status via your title.

Don't get me wrong; each woman I met was gutsy, funny, athletic, and we hall had a great time. The organization itself serves a need for adult women who love the sport of skateboarding; it gives us a chance to meet up, socialize and skate. What I would love to see is a group where the participants aren't sorted and boxed according to their reproductive status.

Just like what I'd love to see in the culture at large.......


Boxing Tomboy said...

Wow, a skateboarding group for women! What a cool idea. I used to skateboard a lot during my early teens, but I have fallen way out of practice. Too bad that the group feels they must categorize the members that way, however. They run the risk of turning off a lot of potential members.

AlphaGirl said...

Thanks for the feedback! =)
I do have to give them credit for one thing: they are very supportive of and welcoming of newbies such as myself. They just need to chuck the mom/autie thing and be a more united group for women skaters, period. I definitely agree with you in saying they are probably turning off a lot of potential members,especially younger and teen women.