By Shaley Howard, PQ Monthly
Calling all Amazons, big biceps babes, grrls with guns and freakishly strong women! It’s time to flex what you’ve got at the Third Annual ‘Wrestling for Rock’–a women’s arm wrestling tournament that benefits the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls. Started by Caley Murray a few years ago after she participated in a women’s arm wrestling tournament put on by In Other Words, Murray had so much fun she decided to throw her own tournament and have the proceeds benefit the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, an organization close to her heart.
Located right here in Portland Ore., the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls is a nonprofit organization that builds girls’ self-esteem through music creation and performance. They provide workshops and technical training, create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourage social change and the development of life skills.
As a band coach and drum instructor for the organization, Murray knows firsthand the importance of supporting this organization.
Says Murray: “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls is very important to me because I know what it’s like to be excluded from participating in the music scene and treated like I’m stupid because of my gender. As a young queer kid, I didn’t have any role models that looked or acted like me in general, let alone any that played the drums or did any of the activities I was interested in. I know that it would’ve made a huge impact on me and my well-being as a teen if I could’ve gone to a camp like the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp For Girls. Creating a safe space where girls can be themselves and actually try new things without fear of judgment or feeling the need to be perfect is huge. We want people to know that we’ve been here helping girls since 2001. And this summer, the organization is helping to host the first ever Portland Queer Rock Camp in July for youth ages 12-23.”
The tournament has two weight classes: Xena (big, buff and badass) and Gabrielle (smaller/ish, buff but still badass). Tournament winners take home a giant, hand-made, steel unicorn trophy as well as some super-cool Rock ‘n’ Rock Camp swag. So far they haven’t put a cap on the amount of women who can compete and have averaged about 20-30 each year. Participants are also highly encouraged to have nicknames, personas and costumes!
Right now some of you might be thinking–whatever, this event is for beefcakes with biceps not me. Wrong! Even if you’re like me, as I’m unfortunately well aware that pretty much any of these beautiful burly babes could kick my ass in arm wrestling–there’s still so much fun to be had!
First and foremost–there’s the pure pleasure of watching all the buff hotties wrestle. Then there’s the fantastic DJ Sunshine playing epic battle tunes throughout the entire tournament. Plus I’ve heard there’s some serious kick-ass raffle prizes some of which include a signed Trail Blazer ball, four Portland Thorns tickets, an electric guitar, jewelry, a month pass to the Warrior Room, and gift certificates from local companies such as Por Que No, Toro Bravo, Back To Eden Bakery, Mississippi Pizza, Mississippi Studios, OMSI, Tasty n’ Sons and Sir Cupcake’s Queer Circus. And at the end of the tournament there will be a live show by your favorite queer Heart cover band, HeartOn!
The tournament is Thursday, March 19th at the Spare Room Restaurant and Lounge, located at 4830 NE 42nd Avenue. Doors at 6:30, tournament starts at 7:30, 21+, $5 gets you in the door + $5 more if you’d like to enter the tournament. All proceeds benefit Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls. If you’re interested in volunteering for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls there will be a sign-up list available at the arm wrestling event. They’re always looking for new volunteers and you don’t have to be a musician or a female.