“I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.” — Mary Wollstonecraft
There is only one Tyler Ferguson on this Earth — which either is or isn’t a boon for the planet.
Tyler (AKA The Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls‘ Kaka Caliente)
She is Bloomington’s own, though, and she graced the Boys of Soma with her presence this morning. She was wrapping her fluid-swollen right knee as the rest of us were ingesting our first doses of the precious eye-opening substance.
Tough Guy Mac asked her how she injured her knee. Those in the know are aware it could have happened during a roller derby match, a soccer game, from running or spinning or bicycling, or any of the countless physical activities she’s addicted to.
Tyler And Her Late, Lamented Wheels
Now, when you ask Tyler a question, you’re really asking for a lecture that includes a minimum of a half dozen tangents. It reminds me of the old line: ask her what time it is and she’ll tell you how a watch is made.
Anyway, she explicated a history of the hinge’s traumas and insults until finally, someone (oh, alright, me) suggested she may have kneed an unfortunate soul who’d tried to force his attentions on her and if you think her patella looks bad, you oughtta see various parts of his shattered body.
Which automatically reminded Tyler of a story. Aw, hell, lemme let her tell it:
“Oh my god! (many Tyler stories begin with oh my god!) I took a self-defense course, five years ago, I think.
“They taught us this move, it’s called the buck and roll. It’s for when some guy’s trying to molest you and he’s on top of you, y’know?
“You grab the guy by the lapels, pull him real close, raise your hips for leverage, okay? It’s a last resort type of thing.
“Then, you use your leverage and flip him. It’s very effective for a smaller person who has a larger person, y’know, like a rapist, on top of them.
“I couldn’t wait ’till I got home, I wanted to show Fergie (her husband). So I get home and I say, ‘Dave. Lemme show you this move I just learned. It’s great!’
“And he goes, ‘Uh uh. No way.’
“And I say, ‘Aw, c’mon! How can it hurt. Look, lay on top of me like you wanna rape me, okay? Don’t worry.’
“So he gets on top of me, I pull him by the lapels, buck my hips up into him, and give him the flip.
“Oh my god, this is true! He must have flown ten feet in the air. Honestly, he was airborne.
“He hit a dresser and he got this enormous bruise on his hip (here, she stands and shows us with her hands the extent of the bruise — it spanned from his waist to halfway down his thigh.) And then all the blood drained down to his foot and he couldn’t walk.
“Poor Punky! He wouldn’t let me touch him for, oh, I don’t know how long.”
To prove Tyler Ferguson isn’t the only one around here who can spin a yarn, her story reminds me of the time I did a big story for the Chicago Reader about the first women boxers in the nation to compete in the Golden Gloves tournament.
One of the boxers, a DePaul University senior named Tracy Desmond, had studied karate before taking up boxing. One night, late, she was walking home in her Little Italy neighborhood when a man who’d been following her yanked her into a gangway.
He picked the wrong chick to mess with. Tracy fought him off, generously bestowing a number of bruises upon his person, and dashed away, seeking refuge in a neighbor’s home.
Tracy Desmond Clocks A Golden Gloves Opponent
When I first heard Tracy’s story it immediately hit me: why don’t we teach young girls self-defense beginning in their earliest years in elementary school?
I don’t have kids (the world should thank me for that) but I can imagine the horror of learning my daughter had been injured or worse by one of the cousins of pan troglodytes who prowl the streets.
Teaching girls from the earliest age the effectiveness of popping a predator in his nose, throat, or junk seems to me the least we can do for them.
Or is it that we really want the females of our holy land to remain helpless?
Teach Your Daughters
IF YOU TELL IT, THEY WILL LISTEN
Laura Grover can hold her own with any raconteur. The boss of WFHB’s Bloomington Storytelling Project also showed up this morning at Soma. She’d scheduled a meeting with a person who wanted to record a story for the BSP‘s big February event — its 29 Stories in 29 Days storytelling drive.
“If you email us and make a pledge to tell your story any time this month at any location you want, we’ll record you and put your story on the air,” Grover explained. “The first 29 people to do it will get a free mug and an Acoustic Harvest CD. Everybody who participates will get a chance to win prizes from local businesses.”
Those who want to share their stories with the world (or at least Bloomington’s corner of it) can contract Laura Grover at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strong woman, strong music. Pound for pound, Patti Smith is tougher than any heavyweight boxer.