Purpose: To provide the league with an understanding about inclusivity and its application.
Responsibility for Upkeep: Secretary
Related OCRD Policies:
- Policy # – Social Contract
- Policy # – Resolution Process
POLICY: Oil City Roller Derby League values human diversity and is committed to the membership and participation of persons from all walks of life, identities, and lived experiences regardless of age, culture, abilities, bodies, ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, race, religion, and socioeconomic status. We believe that prejudice, oppression, and discrimination are detrimental to the growth of a rich and vibrant roller derby league and community.
Oil City Roller Derby has men’s, women’s, and mixed-gender teams. For participation on the men’s team, OCRD does not differentiate between those who identify with masculine, or with non-binary genders. Women’s teams are open to all women (trans, cis and intersex) and non-binary genders according to the individual’s most close identification. Mixed teams are open to any and all genders. Given the nature of the sport, there are some restrictions on participation based on age and ability for reasons of safety. However, outside of such restrictions, we will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or bullying targeted at any individual on the basis of the qualities named above, or for any other reason. We believe that supporting and celebrating diversity enhances the experiences of all members and, as such, we value inclusivity and the maintenance of a safer and accountable space for all.
Maintaining a safer and accountable environment means that we commit to treating each other with respect and care. It also means that it is a safe place to make mistakes, and that we gently hold each other and ourselves accountable as we learn and grow (in alignment with the league’s Social Contract). However, when mistakes or violations are made, OCRD prioritises the safety of those affected by oppressive language and behaviors over the learning of the person employing the language and/or behaviors. Violations of this policy will be managed through the league’s Resolution Policy.
By acknowledging and appreciating the diversity of voices and experiences within our community, we commit to ensuring that all are welcome in our league. As a small step toward accountability and appreciation, Oil City Roller Derby League acknowledges that we gather on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others. More specifically, OCRD understands that it meets on traditional Cree (Pappaschase) land (See Appendix C).
APPLICATION: Respect and Accountability
Differing opinions, beliefs and perspectives are crucial to a vibrant and collaborative community, however we ask that everyone remain mindful of, and take responsibility for, their own speech and behavior – in person, on social media, and in OCRD spaces. Oil City Roller Derby bring this policy to life by requiring all members to work towards consistently applying the following guidelines, which incorporate each element of the OCRD Social Contract:
(1) Be impeccable with your word
(2) Don’t take anything personally
(3) Don’t make assumptions
(4) Always do your best.
- Respect Everyone’s Self-identification: Terms we use to describe our experiences are always changing. Respect everyone’s right to define and communicate their own identity. Resist making assumptions about another’s identity, experiences, or pronouns (ie. Don’t make assumptions). Always use the names and pronouns acceptable to the individual you are addressing or referring to. By doing this you validating their humanity and treating them with dignity and respect. We are ALL learning. If you make a mistake with pronouns, do not take corrections personally; Accept corrections graciously, acknowledge the mistake, and correct it for next time(2). When in doubt ask for name & pronouns. See Appendix A & C
- Use Inclusive and Anti-oppressive Language: Especially when meeting new people, try using gender non-specific language: Partner; Significant other; skater; blocker; jammer, derby names, and/or gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they/them/their’ until we get to know the language they use. Try to avoid gendered language such as “ladies” or “guys” when referring to a group. Alternatives could be “skaters”, “folks”, “friends”, “blockers”, “lovely humans”, etc. Do not use language that could be harmful to someone based on difference in identity and lived experience. This includes speech that is racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, transphobic, or ableist. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love (ie. Be impeccable with your word). See Appendix B
- Educate Yourself: Take some time to learn new information, ask questions, and explore the amazing and complex identities that make up our league and this planet. It is important to recognize that we are each responsible for our own education and that marginalized folks should not be responsible to take on the emotional burden of educating others about their identities. When unsure of how to address someone or unfamiliar with a term they are using to describe their experience, ask respectful questions, but always allow people to disclose only whatever information they wish to share. Honour people’s privacy and remember that not everyone feels comfortable answering personal questions. Under all circumstances, always do your best (ie. Always do your best)). For resources to use as a starting point, see Appendix C
- Remember Intersectionality: Recognize that oppression exists in society based on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, body size, country of origin, religion and age. Support a safer community through acknowledging the intersections between different forms of oppression. Be mindful of difference in its many forms and understand that these shape our lived experience. We can respect one another’s identities and experiences by:
- Speaking from one’s own perspective and avoiding generalizations of other identities.
- Acknowledging one’s own privileged position(s), and remaining open to receiving feedback.
In addition to applying the guidelines to interactions in person, social media and OCRD spaces the OCRD Board will look for opportunities to:
- Update and refine processes and policies that may inadvertently violate this policy. Examples of this may include:
- Amending registration forms and any request for declaration of sex (Membership Crew)
- Integrate Inclusivity Policy into the Fundamentals Program (Membership Crew)
- Set expectations with all Trainers (within league and visiting) to use inclusive and anti-oppressive language (Athletics Crew).
- Create common and consistent inclusive language guide for use in all league communication materials (Communications Crew).
- Promote and expose non-OCRD members (ie. visiting teams, volunteers, officials, etc) to the policy and ensure appropriate expectations are set that maintain and promote an inclusive environment for all.
- Follow through to resolve and address violations of this policy.
Violations to this policy will be addressed through the OCRD Resolution Process (Policy # )
Appendix A: Self-Identification & Pronouns
|They laughed||I called them||Their eyes gleam||That is theirs||They like themself|
|He/Him/His||He laughed||I called him||His eyes gleam||That is his||He likes himself|
|She/Her/Hers||She laughed||I called her||Her eyes gleam||That is hers||She likes herself|
|Xe/Xem/Xyrs||Xe laughed||I called xem||Xyr eyes gleam||That is xyrs||Xe likes xyrself|
|Ze/Hir/Hirs||Ze laughed||I called hir||Hir eyes gleam||That is hirs||Ze likes hirself|
|Ve/Ver/Vis||Ve laughed||I called ver||Vis eyes gleam||That is vis||Ve likes verself|
Appendix B: Forms of Oppression
(Adapted from the Camp fYrefly 2017 training manual)
*Content warning: violent language
- Ableism – oppression and discrimination of people who have mental, physical or developmental disabilities. Seen often in ableist language such as “crazy,” “retarded,” “psycho,” “insane” as well as spaces that are physically inaccessible to people with disabilities. Includes the practice of not giving warning for content that could open up past trauma or emotional pain.
- Ace-aro erasure – The exclusion, erasure or denial of asexual and/or aromantic identities – examples include assumptions such as “everyone falls in love” or “everyone has sex at a certain time”.
- Ageism – discrimination or prejudice against an individual based on their age – whether for elderly people or youth, ignoring or not valuing opinions or ideas of people because of their age.
- Bi/pan-erasure – Exclusion, erasure or denial of bisexual/pansexual identities – examples include assumptions that people “must be gay or straight” based on the person they are dating, or can’t possibly be attracted to more than one gender. Assumptions that bi/pan identities are “just a phase.”
- Classism—discrimination or prejudice towards low-income individuals or people experiencing poverty. Includes assuming everyone must have a university degree, or a stable living situation and using language such as “sketchy,” “ghetto”, “rough” to describe low-income areas and words like “hobo” and “bum” to refer to people experiencing homelessness.
- Fatphobia and fat-shaming – discrimination and prejudice against people who are fat. Judging or making assumptions about fat bodies. Examples include statements like “all fat people are unhealthy,” “fat people are lazy” or stating that fat people should not be allowed to wear certain items of clothing.
- Homophobia, lesbophobia and biphobia – oppression and discrimination of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. Includes lack of representation of these identities, hate and violence as well as homophobic/biphobic language such as “fag,” “dyke” and “that’s so gay”.
- Misogyny and Sexism – hatred, discrimination and oppression of women and femininity. Examples include statements such as “all women lie,” and “you throw like a girl” or associating feminine things as negative. Also relates to not valuing traditionally “feminine” items or activities, such as wearing make-up or dresses and communicating about feelings as well as careers such as stay-at-home parenting, nursing, administrative work, teaching and social work.
- Racism – Oppression and discrimination of people of colour, prejudice against individuals of non-white races. A system that privileges white identities and perspectives. This includes racial slurs and racist language such as (“ghetto,” “Indian giver,” “gypped,” “peanut gallery”- a term used to refer to racially segregated seating in theatres). It also includes harmful assumptions about people of colour (all brown people have the same religion, all people of colour are exotic, people from Africa are ‘uncivilized’). Higher incarceration rates for people of colour, as well as rates of police brutality and murder for black people in North America are some examples of systemic racism.
- Religious Discrimination – Oppression and discrimination against someone because of the religion they practice, includes anti-Semitism (prejudice towards Jewish people) and Islamophobia (prejudice towards Muslim people). Examples of religious discrimination include the assumptions that Jewish people are greedy, all Muslims support terrorism, all Christians are bigots and the grouping of all Asian religions into one category.
- Slut-shaming – Negative assumptions and prejudice about people’s bodies, clothing and actions as related to sex and sexuality. An example would be the assumption that people have the right to know or care about the number of sexual partners a person has.
- Trans-misogyny – The oppression and discrimination of trans-feminine individuals. Examples of this include not allowing trans women into women’s spaces, calling a trans woman a “man in a dress,” assuming androgyny and non-binary identities are only for trans-masculine people.
- Transphobia –The oppression and discrimination of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. This includes language (“tranny,” “he-she,” “she-male”) and questions like “what were you born as,” or “what’s your real name?” This also includes systemic violence like forcing trans men into women’s prisons and vice versa, refusing trans women support at women’s shelters and legislation (North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act). Transphobia also includes the refusal to acknowledge and provide space for trans identities that exists outside of the gender binary; for example, forms having only two gender boxes, spaces only having male-female washrooms/changing spaces, and a refusal to use pronouns beyond “he” and “she.”
- Xenophobia –Oppression and discrimination against foreigners based on culture, language, or place of origin. This includes fear or contempt of immigrants, refugees, and temporary foreign workers. An example would be the assertion that all foreigners should speak English or the attitude that speaking with a non-canadian accent is less desirable or correct.
Appendix C: Educate Yourself -Resources
This is a starting point for members to explore some of the topics of inclusivity. In no way is it a complete or exhaustive list. We encourage members to undertake their own exploration of this topics.
Gender Policies in Roller Derby
Gender terminology and concepts
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report
Map of Canadian Treaties, Territories and Languages
Papaschase Band articles