Thank you for sharing your sexism, Dustin! And it’s cute that you work in an alternate universe where the misogyny is figurative and not literal. Just. No. I’m too exhausted from explaining this all the time.
So like forever ago a certain hockey magazine was like “Write a thing for us!” And so I did that. I followed my deadlines and then the editor blew me off and was apparently too dim to work email attachments after I sent them numerous times. Anyway, read a thing I wrote months ago. Laugh at my jokes. Nurture my wounded heart over being turned down:
We knew it was coming. The super high potential for the lockout was looming on the horizon, like a some nasty group project. But the NHL is every mediocre college student who is strung out on lattes and hoping for the dramatic last ditch turn around. Most everyone slacked off, sending emails claiming to be productive and working. But really it came down to three people carrying it all and getting it done in the clutch. Somehow a season was salvaged with the academic silent prayer for strength, “C’s Get Degrees.” It’s enough to pass and cling on to financial aid but does anybody learn anything?
I never really had a plan for what I would do when it did come back, aside from crying and eating a lot of candy. I had enough free time that entailed pondering a lot of ambitious tasks that never came to fruition. So I was caught off guard when I was invited to build a fantasy team in my whole streak of doing nothing.
A merry band of dames asked if I would be interested in an all-harlot league and I agreed immediately. However, being single, I realized I was talking a risk without having a boyfriend to explain hockey to me. I had done a few in the past but usually sucked at drafting and gave up sometime around week two, as I do with most new things in my life. But no, this time I would succeed. I was going to better myself as a human being. I was fueled by the potent cocktail of delusion and ambition; similar to when I go into Ikea and think purchasing the entire Malm set will improve my existence on a cosmic level. The problem is those directions are vague and take a bottle of wine to make assembly easier.
The easiest part for me was suggesting the name for an all ladies league. In the event I collapsed like a dying star, I would at least have the legacy of naming the operation. I started the entry in the history books which would catalog my certain doom but that was still an advantage.
I consulted my comrades for drafting advice, the most common piece being “don’t pick Alex Ovechkin.” Obviously there are the usual suspects for top talent but after that I was a bit overwhelmed by just who to put on my team. For one, I wanted to approach the draft logically, rather than rescuing some kind of terrible player for sentimental reasons. I would not be swayed by neglected and cute hockey players whining from their little cages, begging me to take them home with Sarah McLaughlin playing softly in the background. For two, I was just eager to have reason to recharge my rage levels and engage in smack talk.
In sorting out what talent I should try to snag, I never anticipated the actual process of doing the live draft. The only thing I had to prepare me for this was the fact that I have watched an unhealthy amount of reality television. For me a marathon is nothing athletic, it’s just an hours long television binge. An endurance trial, if you will. My career of absorbing life lessons from junk television armed me with what I needed to survive an intense mental battle.
The biggest takeaway from competition programming is the mantra of “I’m not here to make friends.” The eleven women in the league have long made their favorite players known, but any sense of honor and integrity was abandoned the second drafting opened. Informal and implied ownership was quickly left behind as we all scurried to make the all important first pick.
In retrospect, it was for the best that none of us were drafting within the same room. The massive distance and time differences were a blessing. Our draft would have ended up something like The Hunger Games, rushing to get supplies before starting off on our murderfest in the forest. I screamed and howled when various players were grabbed before I had the chance. It was as if the cannons fired in the background announcing the passing of Crosby, Lundqvist and Jagr. I sat there crying out threats of ripping out spines and hanging viscera like garlands as I watched players I had in my docket get snatched away before I could claim them. Had I a bow and the talent of Katniss, I’d have been sniping my opponents if it meant getting to pick sooner.
The element of timed decision making was probably perfected from a young age and watching just about every episode of Supermarket Sweep ever. So many teams failed wasting time on loading a cart with wheels of cheese and gold hams. Or chasing down the bonus inflatable item and losing precious time having to do a cart swap. Forget the blockbusters, go for the old reliables. Tampons and aspirin are awesome cart-fillers.
Boisterous faux confidence in the face of disaster are what make a great competitor as well as their willingness to lie to the judges. If questioned by a pantheon of referees I will valiantly defend my choices and point out the weakness of my opponents. Throwing someone under the bus isn’t just another cliche; it’s a survival tactic. Deflection can have its’ uses and villains make for great television.
The only real shame is the kids I drafted probably don’t even know the stress of watching tweens trying to climb The Crag or assemble The Shrine of the Silver Monkey. Sure I bet a gold medal or Stanley Cup is nice. But there’s something to be said for dreaming of the glory of crushing opponents on Nickelodeon. I hope my fantasy team delivers something something to brag about.
Don Cherry is a relic. He is of a time when certain attitudes were common and promoted. But you know, for me that does not mean his comments last night declaring women do not belong in men’s locker rooms are to be excused. They aren’t. Ron MacLean’s face summed up so many reactions.
Don was concerned about nudity and players being uncouth. Well, as several sports writers clarified on twitter last night, both men and women, really there is not that many dicks visible and players are respectful to reporters. Some even noted that players are even more considerate toward the women present. Don, the women are there to do a job. And they had to fight like hell to get there and I don’t think the potential glimpse of a cock is an issue. They’re probably quite aware of what could happen.
Women who work at CBC were furious and disappointed by Don’s comments and offered an apology on twitter last night. They were really fantastic actually, it was great.
However, what boiled my blood were people telling me to ignore Don’s words. That’s the way he is, he’s old etc. That doesn’t really work for me. I’m a believer in having a sit down, come to Jesus meeting and telling someone if their words are a bit you know, fucked. But him making such a declaration on Hockey Night in Canada just promotes sexism and demeans women. I’m bound and determined to work for a hockey team. It has meant a lot of self-reflection, beating myself up and inner torment knowing that these are the walls and attitudes I will likely face. And not even in hockey; in many industries.
Even worse, was You Can Play writing off Don’s word because he’s supportive of gay hockey players. So that apparently makes him progressive and permits such sexism. I have my problems with YCP but I am trying to be patient. I know they are just a year old and they have so much potential. For me, it is a matter of seizing it. But to dismiss the words of women claiming we just want something to be mad about? That’s a fucking insult.
I just want things to be better. And man, if I had the means, I would be starting a fund to help women get a career in sports. I want there to be money and resources to get them through school. Because we are going to steal some jobs and we’re going to be awesome.
If you have a chance, you should take ten minutes and read a fantastic article on ESPNW about the woman who runs the show for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jennifer Bullano heads up the communications arm of the Pens organization and is fantastic at it. I really love what the team does for their fans and the access they allow. Most all of this is because of Jennifer.
There’s some bits from the players too and its clear they love the hell out of her and respect her position with the team.
Mostly, this article just meant the world to me. I’m battling through the last bits of school and it feels like the closer I get to the finish line the harder the slog is. I know I don’t write as regularly as I did on here, for zillions of reason. And it really hurts me; that gap. But so many of you readers have stuck it out with me and drop in on my twitter or tumblr and are true friends. That support has been incredible, knowing how some of you care what I do and will scream and kick and cheer for me to get shit done. And I want to keep going because you lovely people have been on my side. I’ve been on the quiet and deadly prowl for internships and some of you have been so amazing tossing me any lead or idea to help me out. You’ve coached me through cover letters and resumes and made sure I’m at my best.
Another reason I dropped off the grid for a bit was I had to sort myself out and figure things out in the grand picture. I look back on some things I’ve written and I cringe, but I won’t delete it. I’ve grown and it just marks in my history. And I think biding my time was to my advantage since a few years ago I was floating without a goal in mind but now it’s so crystal that is it freeing. I feel lighter now that I can see the places I fit and where I should be.
Even better, is knowing the role Jennifer has. I’m always on about equality not just in hockey but in the world beyond. For me, I’d like to start with hockey and see what I can do from there. Yep, I’m critical and abrasive but mostly I just want to better things. I want hockey to set the bar and be the most excellent thing ever because I love it so much.
It is fantastic knowing about Jennifer’s role and knowing there is room for more ladies.
Just remember; always be Beyonce.
To: Comcast Sportsnet Chicago
Re: Blackhawks/Canucks Intermission
During an intermission of Friday’s game, your program ran tweets from fans with their thoughts on the opposition. You also chose to publish a tweet from fan that referred to the Sedin twins as sisters. By airing this tweet your brand has promoted acceptance of sexism and further, homophobic attitudes. You have encouraged insulting athletes by equating their skill with women.
Frankly, this was just lazy on your part to find content to fill twenty minutes. Instead of providing commentary on the game, your broadcast opted to be cheap. Twitter is a fantastic platform for people to broadcast their thoughts but you really should not be encouraging such offensive conduct.
I would have hoped your organization was bright enough to be aware of what happened when Blue Shirts United decided to run an article which talked down to women and devalued their intellect. It immediately went over poorly. The article ended up being yanked and brushed aside as if it never happened. Blue Shirts has yet to apologize for publishing it which is even more hurtful.
The You Can Play Project has been really aggressively tackling this problem in sports culture. Did you know that Chicago Blackhawk Duncan Keith supports this initiative? Way to keep up with your own city’s team and what they do outside of their sport. I imagine the Blackhawks do not appreciate your network’s going in the opposite direction of their efforts to make hockey a more accepting and open sport for athletes of all varieties.
I ask you to please re-evaluate the tweets to air on your program. It is really not difficult to come up with standards as to what is an appropriate tweet to share. Here, I will help you with some guidelines:
If you answer yes to any of those criteria: don’t air it. It is a real simple process. This shows that as a company you feel a responsibility to promote messages that are in line with your values. Further, you are dedicated to being a progressive brand that is inclusive.
I really do not want the reply to the decision to run this tweet to be, “relax it’s just a joke.” I am entitled to be offended and disgusted that who I am is being used as a put down. So please learn from this, do better and set an example.
If you’d like to contact Comcast Sportnet Chicago you can do so here.
So I don’t even care how wrong Cosmo’s list of Hot Hockey Players 2013 is. I really don’t. First all of it’s from the publication that has a long history of bad sex advice that has ranged from wrapping a scrunchie around your dude’s discostick (something about blowjobs) to putting a bunch of fruit in or around your kit and caboodle (it will probably result in a yeast infection). Second of all, just shut up. Seriously.
It was quite hilarious today to see various men up in arms on the issue. I’m a bit confused as to why it is acceptable for a man to ogle and leer at female athletes. Actually, I’m not confused at all. I got the answer. You’re mad that ladies have it in them to flip the script and eye your favorites. This doesn’t make female fans dumber. Okay, it is bad public relations coming from Cosmo. But the male gaze is so damned dominant and when women get their time to give the once over; people lose their shit.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, but SEXY ONLY GOES SO FAR. A hockey game is a really long span of time to maybe glance your favorite eye candy and that’s not a good return on investment if that’s all you’re there for. I’m better off watching Crazy Stupid Love and skipping to the good Ryan Gosling parts. Or watching Drive and skipping to the good Ryan Gosling parts. Or watching Blue Valentine and skipping to the good Ryan Gosling parts.
Oh hockey, yeah. I mean, they don’t even have to be NAKED and I am positively thrilled and delighted. And during playoffs? I’m just overcome with the urge to rub my face on bearded cheeks. Or hope for stubble burn along my inner thighs.
I admire hockey players for their various body types because Sidney Crosby’s ass is just the most magnificent thing ever. But also for the skills and things they can do with their muscles.
Cosmo routinely drops the ball with address female satisfaction between the sheets. They dole out plenty of ways a woman can make oral sex better for a dude. But nothing about what the man can do in return. In the words of Ms Jackson: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?
Baby, I’m not gonna question what revs your engine. I’m just gonna tell you to floor it. You enjoy these dudes, whatever your type, and use them to your liking. And if you’re looking to make like Ginger and spice up your life. I recommend shopping Babeland.
I know the LACK of hockey has meant writers in a bind for what to post. But this is just not cool. I’m posting it below so you don’t have to go to the source and up their page hits.:
Dear, sweet, adorable men of the world… why is it that you can never just ask for directions?
No, really. Explain it to us, because there appears to be something wrong with your species that you can’t simply admit you’ve taken a wrong turn and that you need help. And darlings, this NHL lockout is one giant wrong turn leading to nothing more than a dead end street and an empty gas tank.
If you’d only listen to us – the women in your lives, the females sitting in the passenger seat rolling her eyes as you attempt yet another “shortcut” – we’d be back on the highway in no time.
Because that’s what we’re here for.
The problem with so many of you XY chromosome-bearing beings is that you have this need to be right…even when you’re so, so wrong. And then it’s up to us to come in and clean up whatever mess you’ve made. The lockout is no different; it has brought out the worst of the stereotypical male testosterone-laced uber-competitiveness, made worse by the intense glare of the media microscope. A giant pissing contest that can only be solved by people who have no interest in such a disgusting pursuit – namely us, the women.
So many of us have the ability to compromise without worrying about the stigma of backing down or wimping out or whatever overly masculine phrasing you want to associate with said compromise. We may hold grudges but rarely do they manifest themselves in the form of cutting off the nose to spite the face. We can help. Because what this lockout needs, what it’s severely lacking right now, is a woman’s touch.
This may come across as a bitter male-hating diatribe; it’s not meant as one. We love you menfolk and all your little quirks. But the longer this lockout goes on, the more bitter we become, and with only the men (and these men, specifically) running the show, there’s nowhere else for our vitriol to go. We want this to end, and it seems like the only way for that to happen is for someone new to step in and fix it… and if that someone happens to have breasts, so be it.
I just have no idea how this is supposed to work. It’s wrong on so many levels. My response to the post was:
Men and women are the same species. Wikipedia.
I’m a bit confused as to what is going on here. Other than jokes from an airport cocktail lounge circa 1994. I don’t understand how a lockout trickles down to misandry and boyfriend hating. The lockout is out of my control as a consumer and fan, which is the frustrating aspect. The solution isn’t in our hands. And by design, we don’t get to contribute. I mean, we complain about how long this has been dragging on for. But that’s what happens when you have a system in place with procedure. The American government is a prime example of bureaucracy, red tape and having checks in balance. In theory, it is supposed to provide the steps to come to an informed decision and not taking the hasty express lane. It sucks, truly but it’s why so many major business and corporations have this in place, so everyone has their say.
But that has NOTHING to do with some dude getting lost and not asking for directions. Everyone wants to get to the same place but its a matter of what route serves the best for who is driving. And if the dude is running out of gas in addition to getting lost; well he just sounds like a prize idiot and perhaps finding someone smarter is the best solution. Maybe next time just take the keys and drive. You are Beyonce; you are an independent woman and he is replaceable.
Further, the NHLPA does have women in the room working on negotiations. I asked one day on Twitter and three women answered immediately and told me that there are in fact women holding positions above secretarial and something like 40 percent of the staff are women.
The lockout has nothing to do with cocks present. It has to do with DOLLARS up for grabs and what is perceived as fair and ideal from whatever position. There’s a lot of people fighting for personal interests. Those need to be set aside and the priorities need to be re-evaluated. Solving this has nothing to do with presence or absence of nail polish, high heels and lipstick. Because WOMEN don’t even have the same ideas on how they would fix this and divide assets.
It’s a bit of a ridiculous statement to chuck all men trying to solving this in the dunderhead category and to paint women in this shining savior light because I am different and therefor the superior being who holds the solution to this all.
This counter opinion to the CBA stuff and decrying shouldn’t (and isn’t) even be rooted in misogyny or misandry. That’s just some overdramatic literary device and saying “to bake an apple pie, first you have to invent the universe!” Like if this lockout truly has someone hung up on the opposite sex and causes a brewing of loathing and hatred, holyshitballs that person needs to re-asses their life.
The author of the post later backtracked and told me to relax it was just a joke. See, this is a huge problem. Women are not entitled to be angry about anything. They are told to calm down, it’s just a joke, you’re taking it too personal etc. No, if we’re gonna get this egalitarian business women need to have their emotions respected as valid instead of laughed off. If that post was joke, it flopped harder than Christina’s Bionic.
Hi everyone. We’re getting down to the wire for submissions. I’d would love to have your submission. You could win a t-shirt! See details here!
This is hockey:
Hockey is a brown horse. You are wearing spandex.
It probably doesn’t suit you, and neither does that helmet. While we’re here, what’s up with those purple pants? Who let you leave the house looking like that?
But let’s move on. Your favorite sport is a large mammal that wants to devour your flesh. There are clearly more pressing things happening right now.
For some, horses are special growing up. The stereotypical gift of a pony for your birthday, or the mythical unicorn. Horse-like creatures can dominate a childhood if you’re not careful. They can also crap all over the place, eat your birthday cake and bite your supple flesh no matter how many sugar cubes you feed Mr. Ed.
There is a risk/reward equation involved here that’s too complicated for you to understand when you fall in love with the beauty and majesty of your hockey horse. No one tells you there are more popular forms of transportation than a white pony all your own. You don’t care for practicality, you’re a soft-headed kid with a developing brain that sees something and falls in love with it before you can understand what happened.
That’s why hockey is a horse that wants to kill you, or at the very least punish you for having questionable fashion sense. For many people, hockey becomes a part of them far too early to comprehend. It draws you close, seizes upon your base emotions and never lets go.
It doesn’t matter why. Maybe the breathtaking speed of the game captivated you when an uncle took you to your first live game. Your brothers played and you followed suit. It was cold as shit in your hometown and learning to skate was the only way to survive extended periods outdoors.
The reasons are irrelevant, but the feelings of attraction are ubiquitous. I know fans that fell in love when they were six and others that fell for hockey when they turned 36. Something happens in your brain with this sport you cannot explain. The sense of community, of intimacy, of hope and joy and all those base human emotions that cause poets to write and painters to paint; it all somehow manifests in physical form on a sheet of ice.
So there you are, arms outstretched to that horse you love so much. Here comes the pain. Your favorite team is not good and will never win anything. There will be embarrassing losses and your owner may go to prison. Fix your arena or we’re moving to Seattle. You’re going to get bit, and it will hurt. Pain is part of the game, something you don’t learn until it’s far too late.
Or, worse yet, your favorite sport decides the economics of it all are a bit fuzzy and shuts the whole show down for a bit. How does every seven years or so sound? Bad? Tough. Chomp chomp. You taste like chicken.
Horses are beautiful, majestic animals that have many uses to human beings. They also dropped so much manure on our city streets that people welcomed the choking air and sprawl that the age of automobiles brought society. In short: you take the good with the bad, and the good can be so, so good.
Really. Hockey is a wonderful and worthy endeavor. The juice, as they say in the talkies, is worth the squeeze. Just know that you’re going to bleed every now and again. It’s okay, you’ll fit right in around here.
The lockout, oh the lockout…
Its a curious media output with the lockout because the relative lack of news (besides the exodus of players to Europe). The NHL is referring to this little hiccup as a “work stoppage.” Oh. Okay then. Because of the lack of constructive things for news outlets to put out on the topic, they just decide to run really shitty “articles” that should be ignored.
I started today off in a hurricane of fury. It’s just the sort of thing where you know you just want to rip heads off. I was supremely pleased to have something to direct my anger at. But then my fury only intensified.
The Globe and Mail ran an “article” today titled Why Women Cannot Accept a Lockout. It was written by a woman. Sure, I will bite. I am a woman, so perhaps this contains some greater wisdom about the beauty of the sport and finesse of skills. Go ahead, take a few minutes to read it and then we’ll regroup.
Did you make it to the end? I had such a burst of anger I thought I was going to She-Hulk and start destroying a city until Thor stops me.
I get the idea of joking about the lockout to deal with it. Please believe I’m already tired of how “the Maple Leafs already have a perfect season!!!” jabs. I don’t understand how this ‘commentary’ is supposed to be of use. It only serves as a ploy of The Globe and Mail to yank in more clicks, which is what media outlets are reduced to. Gone are the day of quality. Now things depend on the ability to get enough attention you click a news link, even if you get one paragraph in and want to snap your laptop in two.
On a whole, the problem with this commentary is the inherit sexism. You aren’t being edgy or cool by putting down your own gender; you’re only reinforcing that these attitudes are okay to have and encourage misogyny. You cannot complain about how you are being treated when you are contributing to the negativity and co-signing on the assumptions.
Women, like you know, all of humanity, are fantastic and multi-faceted creatures. We exist beyond the domicile. In fact there is this super interesting thing called equality (or egalitarianism). I don’t know if they have that in Canada but I’m pretty sure it’s something a lot of the world strives for. But anyway, with this WEIRD thing called equality, I am not reduced to being confined to being a homemaker. Nor having my identity tied to flat jokes about shopping and catering to my husband.
Mrs Robertson, I mourn the loss of the hockey season because of what it gives back. I love hockey as a social gathering for me and my friends (of the male and female kinds). In a sense, I need it. Not because I have a male romantic entanglement who has the upper-hand in our relationship and his interests take precedence over mine. I need it because there is something wonderful to unplug from my own life and watch something thoroughly engaging. For the span of a game, I am not in a panic about finding a job when I graduate and re-paying student loans. My team holds my heart for sixty minutes of play. For lack of a better term, I get the warm fuzzies. Hockey makes me content.
For all fans this lack of a season is a disappointment for many reasons. It does not come down to men versus women and their inability to to have functional relationships. Why can’t we celebrate how the game is bringing people together? I may not do much in my life, but I will not stand for someone putting me down for being a woman and a hockey fan.
WIKIWAC: with Kid Kawartha! Want to contribute your own for a chance to win a t-shirt? Details here!
If you want to understand hockey, I have a simple (not exclusive) solution- park your ass in pretty much any community in Canada and just start conversations. You will, sooner or later, start learning things about hockey whether you like it or not. This is actually part of our Bill or Rights.
To prove my thesis, I’m going to choose the largest city near where I grew up in eastern Ontario- (or as we call it, Ontario’s armpit) Brockville and show you what I mean.
Brockville is a boring-ass town. Very, very white and very wealthy. Lot’s of old English money that retired there from Montreal and just sits there, counting itself. As you can see by the map I’ve included below, most map makers actually consider it a communist city. It’s also a sexist place, as it was originally named Elizabethtown after you-know-who, but then they renamed it after Sir Isaac Brock, a violent, red-faced English army guy whose claim to fame is the “Hero and Savior of Upper Canada” (I kid you not) for kicking the crap out of the Americans across the St. Lawrence River for years. Coincidentally, the same thing has been happening on ice rinks ever since.
Ok, enough of humiliating America and on to the real important thing- hockey. Do you know where not one, but two of the greatest goalie helmet painters in the world reside? That’s right, the town, I mean city of Brockville. Check it out-
Cool, eh? Masks for such famous guys as Cujo, Brodeur, Luongo, Hextall and Potvin and other, lesser “goalies” too- Lalime, Gigeure, Trevor Kidd and many others.
Second, one of the greatest defencemen of all time, ALL TIME I TELL YOU, not only played for the Brockville Braves Junior B team, but he actually owns the team and took them all the way to the final four for junior hockey in Canada, the Royal Bank Cup, in 2010. He’s amazing, and not just because I grew up playing soccer with him and watching him play hockey in my crappy little town or Cardinal, Ontario. He is now coaching a really shitty major junior team called the Kingston Frontenacs under the great Doug “Killer” Gilmour and biding his time until he gets the call to become the assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It will be glorious, I tell you. Some other guys named Wayne Simmonds, Paul Maclean and Larry Robinson (AKA the greatest moustache of all time) also played for the Braves and their racist, racist logo.
In fact, if you ever accidentally visit Brockville, you will find out their is literally nothing else to do from September until May except watch or play hockey, as the Brockville Tourism site indicates with 7 pages of choices-
Isn’t that awesome? I hear the boating in the St. Lawrence and the 1,000 Islands during the summer is pretty good, too, but you always have to careful of those Americans, still trying to get some revenge by throwing potato salad and boxes of doughnuts at your boat.
So, that’s your lesson for today- I challenge you to take out a map of Canada and try it for yourself. Put your finger down on any place (watch out you don’t put your finger on a beaver!!!) and then use the Internet to learn what it has to say about hockey, the greatest game of all.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little info session and look forward to seeing you visit sometime- ask for me when you cross the border.