The rough-and-tumble female manager of the horse farm spoke to the group of riders on horseback. “If you haven’t ridden a horse before,” she told them, “It’s like sex. If you aren’t a little sore the day after, you weren’t doing it right.”
She was talking to a group of Girl Scouts who were on a horseback riding trip.
The Girl Scout troop decided next time they’d go to a different riding stable.
Supposedly her comment was fairly common among female riders. It’s barn talk. And women who’ve been riding horses have heard it before. But it’s inappropriate around 11 and 12-year-old girls. There has to be a higher standard for those who work with kids.
That’s my thought about Jimi Van Zante and his wife Heather Blair. They’re the founders of a roller-derby league for girls. Some people claim they are skinheads. She wears an “88” armband, a well-known Nazi symbol. He has a swastika tattoo.
Their roller-derby bylaws say they don’t discriminate against anyone. That should be a given for any group that deals with children. It also seems like there’s a core group of young girls that want to take part, and it seems to have been a positive experience for them. The Van Zandte’s say their own political views are separate from the roller derby league.
My oldest daughter is 11. I’m glad her girl scout troop will be horseback riding at a different stable. And if she was into roller derby, there’s no way I would let Mr. and Mrs. Van Zante be in a leadership position around her. My answer is ‘no’ to anyone I have suspicions about. I have a lot of suspicions here.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau