Shred the Patriarchy

Chantal Pinzi

The project Shred the Patriarchy focuses on the stories of some Moroccan women who practice skateboarding despite the challenging social and family repercussions that are forced to suffer for this choice not yet accepted within Moroccan society.

The international reputation of Morocco as a reformist and progressive country is still contradictory when it comes to women who continue to face significant obstacles. Their social, economic, and political participation, as well as in sports spheres are still minimized or denied.

Skateboarding is no exception. If you are a woman, you should not practice it. I found it crucial to discover the voices of those few women who decided to break the unsaid rules and shred around despite the judgments and punishments they receive because of their rebel spirits transforming skateboarding into a form of resistance to patriarchy. They can no longer accept being what society wants women to be: creatures of weakness.

I could document how the skate subculture can be a tool to promote empowerment and social inclusion, especially for girls who have so few opportunities to express themselves and communicate freely.

Many of these women were raised by conservative parents. The most important thing was to become a good Muslim, and the rest was not substantial. Their dreams and wills, particularly that of skating, have been oppressed by a system that fails to understand the benefits and the importance of those values as acceptance, empathy, and unity shared within the skate community.

In a skatepark, girls can safely play at the top of their lungs, and children of different backgrounds can play together by creating ties that transcend differences in color, religion, and social background. But the stereotypes that have made skateboarding a domain of gender require these women to make a radical choice between their traditions and the subculture forcing them to abandon the walls of their homes to live their life. The women I met and their stories are brave examples of how a simple object, a piece of wood with wheels, enables them to realize and confirm their identities by giving them the ability to stand up every time they fall in life just like they do when they fall off a skateboard.