League of Lady Wrestlers combatants Shreeeka and Garbageface take to the mat in the Island Rumble III on September 9th, 2016 in Toronto. (Heather Rappard/League of Lady Wrestlers)

After five years, Dawson City’s League of Lady Wrestlers to storm the ring one last time

‘It’s going to be a lot of emotion and a lot of energy. It’s a big work of beauty.’

Break out the whisky and set your tampon-guns to stun because the League of Lady Wrestlers is winding back to deliver its last-ever show in Dawson City August 5.

LOLW plans go out with a bang at their final throwdown, Thunderdome. The event will feature wrestlers from all three LOLW chapters — Dawson City, Victoria and Toronto — as well as guest wrestlers from the unaffiliated but similar sister syndicate, Fairbanks Ladies of Wrestling.

This serious rumble features more than a half-dozen bouts, with a host of old and new fighters, including three new wrestlers over the age of 60 for whom this will be the first show, said LOLW organizer and performer Yasmine Renaud.

Senior Sex Siren (Lulu Keating), one of the new kickass grand-dames of wrestling, saw the last LOLW event in Dawson featuring a bout by Anita Pad, who “was just a girl frustrated at how expensive tampons are,” said Renaud. Anita Pad featured sanitary pads, a bad attitude and a tampon gun, which shot tampons into the crowd. When Keating saw that, she just had to be part of the show, Renaud said.

“Our league has created a space where women — any woman — can come and create and feel powerful, be seen and be heard,” said Renaud.

“Lulu couldn’t believe it,” Renaud said. “When she was a girl she had to go to the pharmacy and wait for the male pharmacist to leave to ask the female clerk to get tampons for her. They came in an unmarked brown box.”

Renaud, who has had two previous characters, will be playing Fedora Todd in this event,

Todd is a “men’s rights activist” she said, although he “probably wouldn’t describe himself that way.” Renaud describes his as the caricature of online “trolls.”

“He’s a self-described ‘nice guy’… who takes his frustrations out on women online,” she said.

The most important aspect of the events — and one of the things Renaud said she will miss the most — is the audience.

“They show up in costume, they have characters…. It’s hard to keep them out of the ring sometimes,” she said. “They’re just so involved.”

“If you looks at the faces of audience members sometimes, they’re just losing their minds.”

Just like professional wrestling matches, LOLW is more performance art than actual combat. Fights are scripted and rehearsed, said Renaud, and each performer is responsible for their own character, dialogue and bout. It’s the best performance, in fact, that wins the overall competition, in place of a clear fight ‘winner,’ she said.

“We do get criticism about how we’re not ‘respecting’ wrestling,” she said. “But this isn’t about wrestling. (LOLW) could be about train conducting, it doesn’t matter, it’s just a vehicle we use.”

“Honestly, I don’t care what some men out there think about the event. It’s not for them.”

One interesting thing, Renaud notes, is that the LOLW doesn’t really have any “heroes.” When creating characters, most women in LOLW don’t want to be a hero, she said.

“We’re (as women) always told to be polite and kind and all the girls just want to be rude and crude and wild,” Renaud said.

“A lot of aspects of the patriarchy are based on gender roles. That’s what (LOLW) is all about — just taking up space and making noise.”

The league started in Dawson City in 2012, and soon expanded to Toronto and Victoria thanks to the naturally migratory behaviour of Yukoners. Now, five years later, it’s time to put the event to rest, Renaud said.

“We never intended it to be this big,” said Renaud.

Renaud said the event takes a huge amount of time and commitment both from members and the community. She and the other lady wrestlers are ready to move on to other “badass projects” including writing a “how-to” manual for other feminist groups looking to do this kind of event.

“I’m happy to see it end — I want to blow this thing up instead of seeing it fade out,” Renaud said. “But I’m going to miss it.”

“It’s bittersweet,” said Andrea Pelletier, who plays the long running-character Shreeeka. “There’s something nice about feeling like you’re ending on top, but at the same time it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to the community and Shreeeka herself.”

Pelletier said mixed feelings aside, this final event is going to be one of the best shows the LOLW has ever put on.

“We’re kind of storming the town with feminists. It’s awesome,” Pelletier said.

“This will be the biggest and best performance we’ve ever put on…. We’re going to leave it all out there in the ring…. It’s going to be an epic goodbye,” she said.

“It’s going to be a lot of emotion and a lot of energy. It’s a big work of beauty.”

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

Dawson CityfeminismWrestling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read