Skip to main content

// Blogs // concordia's blog

concordia 02/03/2017 - 12:00PM

"Ovaries so big, we don’t need no fucking balls"

“Haters gonna hate, ovaries gonna ovulate,” says one of the original ‘Psycos’, in response to online trolls harassing the East LA’s radical feminist bike crew. 

But hate doesn’t faze the group too much: they have each other’s support.  After all, the badass feminist cycling brigade that unites Latina and women of colour from Los Angeles’s Eastside have found security and strength in their numbers.

This was the original idea behind Ovarian Psycos: a collective of women from the Los Angeles’ Eastside, “A refuge for the runaway, for the throwaway,” as said by the group’s founder, Xela de la X.  Ovarian Psycos creates a safe and empowering space for the Latina and women of colour members in a neighbourhood known for its large Hispanic demographic, as well as high rates of poverty and crime.

According to the 2016 Report on the Status of Women in Los Angeles County, commissioned by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women, women and girls of colour are much more likely to live in poverty. Indeed, the report found that in 2014, 26 per cent of Latina women and girls lived below the federal poverty line. Additionally, the 2014 U.S. Census American Community Survey found over one million Latinos were uninsured.

Violence against Latina women is also a huge problem in the United States, and more specifically in the L.A. County where 48 per cent of women and girls are Latina.  According to the National Latina Network, one in three Latina women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.  The same report found that 50 per cent of Latina women do not report cases of abuse.

Xela de la X, as well as other ‘Psycos’ featured in the new film that shares the same name as the group, speak up about this violence, financial struggles, and overall social injustice in the inspiring documentary. The intimate exploration of Xela’s upbringing offers audiences a powerful idea of what Ovarian Psycos could possibly mean to her, and to the women who have gone through similar hardships. For Xela, and many of the women, the group represents family, sisterhood, escape, and freedom.  

With stunning visuals and equally stellar editing, this powerful documentary directed and produced by Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-Lavalle poetically and intimately bring us head-first into the story of the feminist cycling group, and the lives of the inspiring women at the core of the brigade.

So how does Ovarian Psycos work? The group has its ‘core Psycos’, as well as a constant flow of new recruits. The membership sets different meeting times and locations for the different rides. On full moon nights, the group embarks on ‘Luna Rides’. The members meet at the chosen location, and they all take off-- cycling as a pack, singing and chanting through the streets. The women also organize a variety of support sessions, music events, and special collaborations.  

The shots of these resilient and fierce women cycling through streets at night conjured shivers down my spine. After hearing many of the women and girls’ stories, I could only try to imagine the kind of freedom the rides must bring, in a neighbourhood and in lives where freedom isn’t automatically guaranteed, and must often be fought for.

Ovarian Psycos (the film) presents a touching and intimate harmony of vulnerability and toughness - a poetic portrayal of the experiences that have shaped the incredible strength of these women.

Don't miss Cinema Politica Concordia's screening of the film on Monday, March 6th featuring Xela as our guest speaker! 

(Danielle Gasher)

 

Join us on Facebook