Excuse me while I lose my freaking mind all over this blog post. This is a tl;dr if you’ve ever seen one, but please, stick with me.
Twitter comrade @rope_terson pointed me in the direction of the New York Rangers’ post today called “A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers.” Good god, do my followers know me well. Even though I am treated by some as though I’m a shrill, shrieking harpy having a heavy flow day whenever I choose to bring up sexism (because women can’t ever be right, we can only be crazy and marginalized), I’m not going to be shut up that easily.
It’s like the Rangers are deliberately trolling me (along with the legions of other female hockey fans.) The article has been taken down after a Twitter you-know-what-storm (which I missed because I was at work), but the entire text of the article as well as screen grabs are available for our dissecting pleasure. The screen grabs are all from Sarah Kwak, @SI_SarahKwak, a Sports Illustrated writer-reporter and OMGGIRL!!!!!SPARKLES**~~~*~*~*~*~* Thank you, Sarah, for not allowing the Rangers to sweep this under the rug.
I honestly don’t know if I can even attempt an eloquent response to this, ahem, “article.” I am furious as well as sick to my stomach that anyone would feel this article was necessary. I am disgusted that it was written by a woman. It hurts me that there are women out there who think this way, and I fear for the next generations if there are not enough visible women modeling strength and self-respect to drown out women who want to infantilize and sexualize themselves in order to please men. I will do my best to stay coherent, but there are just so many egregious issues with this article that I can’t promise a linear post. To read the text of the article, click on each image.
Gender-traitor “Mirna Mandil” doesn’t waste any time getting to the stereotypes. She cares so little about sports that she did not even know what sport was on when she was attending some sort of sausage fest recently. First of all, this is most likely a lie, used as a literary (ahem) mechanism to start the story. Second, thank you, Mirna, for still believing the “dumb girl” persona is cute and sexy. “OMG!!! Like, I didn’t even KNOW what sport was on! Because I am so dumb and cute!!!! Tee hee!!!!! I’m not a gross butch lezzer who actually like knows stuff about sports!!!! Being smart is so ugly!!!!”
But you guys, Ms. Mandil like totally has standards and stuff. She won’t fake liking football, because she might break a nail or something. It’s soooo tiring, and the men she likes really like hockey. She’s got to prioritize how to best get a giant generic-looking Tiffany child-soldier-funding diamond on her tacky little talon. She’ll save her energy for faking the important stuff, like tans, and liking hockey.
How do I even talk about the second to last paragraph? I weep for the world if anyone reading this cannot see the problems with it, but clearly if someone wrote it, others might actually think it’s totally fine. Not all women love shopping. I hate shopping. I would like a 70% off sale… on season tickets to the Bulldogs, Vikings, Twins or Wild. Not all women love hockey, and that’s ok. But women do not need the concept of a lockout and why its terminus is significant explained in a cutesy metaphor. If I could explain nuclear fission to my academically mediocre high school boyfriend without resorting to a puppet show, I think women can grasp the lockout.
Look, I don’t like getting interrupted during games. I have told people, very rudely, to shut up before. However, I am usually telling people to shut up because I am panicked and simply cannot carry on a conversation, not because they are trying to pull my attention away from the game during an exciting moment. However, when I am in non-panic mode, I can usually field a basic question about hockey without lashing out violently.
But we’re not talking about crazy people like me, just regular fans. The author here assumes women have the intellect of a toddler and will sit there and badger their male companions until they get an answer, no matter what the circumstances, and ruin everyone’s night by petulantly demanding attention. Look, Ms. Mandil, you are not Jane Goodall, this is not Gorillas in the Mist. Do you really think women are so stupid they need to be told how to speak to men during a sporting event? That women should not speak unless they have carefully weighed whether or not the men in their life are in a completely open and receptive mood? Do you really believe that men are so disrespectful to their sisters/girlfriends/wives/daughters/friends that they will not be forgiving if their sisters/girlfriends/wives/daughters/friends ask a hockey-related question at an unapproved-by-Mirna time? If so, you have larger issues than simply not understanding hockey, and you need to stand up for yourself, or find new friends/boyfriends/whatever.
Again, the author assumes women are so stupid we cannot learn something other than a last name… and women are so simple-minded we’ll pat ourselves on the back because we recognize the last names of two players. Everything else is OMG hard!!!! And thank goodness there isn’t any math involved, because we all spent our math classes in high school doing our makeup and writing Mrs. Leonardo di Caprio on our Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers! But oh noes! Why didn’t she explain how to choose which names to learn? What if we pick a player who gets injured or is traded? Then we’ll be so confused! How will we look like we know things about hockey and therefore more attractive to men if we never hear that familiar name? Plus like how does a girl play for the Rangers? Marian? I thought hockey was for men only!!!!!!!
What about a real suggestion? I’ll give one for ALL hockey neophytes (because there are many men who don’t know anything about hockey, too, contrary to the author’s rigid adherence to stereotypical gender roles): watch some games by yourself. It is not that hard to learn the basics; the Wild even have an instructional after their games which breaks down some facet of the game. Be confused by yourself for awhile until you’ve gotten the hang of it, and then when you watch with friends, you can ask for an explanation of anything that still isn’t clear. But make sure to genuflect first and beg their pardon for daring to speak.
See, that was helpful without being patronizing. But of course I’m operating from the premise women are not delicate little feebs who need a Disney princess to explain life to us.
Here’s where everyone tries to trap me. “But RWD, didn’t you write those All-Hottie Teams? Don’t you call Lundqvist ‘Sexqvist?’ Didn’t you ask Mike Eaves for a booty call?” Yes, I did all of those things. Because being feminist doesn’t mean being asexual. It doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to ever find a hockey player attractive. But many, many of my favorite players are uggos, it doesn’t actually matter what players look like. I have been watching hockey since I was born. I do not watch hockey for hot guys. I do not use “hot guys!!!!!112321” as a selling point for the game. It is not a reason to watch hockey, and it is insulting to women, to the players, and to the game of hockey to use that as a selling point. The author can’t even give a real hockey reason to like Lundqvist. He’s broken NHL records? That’s all you’ve got? Dr. Google could help you with that. But, we already learned, the author has to conserve all her energy for faking an affinity for hockey. There’s no energy left over for Wikipedia.
I don’t know what the first sentence even means. Since all Rangers fans are men (apparently), how can they be “expecting?” Can men get pregnant now? I am so confused. Congratulations! You are still a freaking moron when it comes to hockey!
I’m so pleased the author got permission from men to allow women to watch hockey. Guess what, Ms. Mandil? Hockey doesn’t belong to men. Angela Ruggiero would disagree with you. Jenny Potter would disagree with you. Hilary Knight would disagree with you. Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux would disagree with you, and also beat the living crap out of you blindfolded with both hands tied behind their backs.
And remember, ladies! It’s all about pleasing your man! Don’t ask him questions he won’t like! Ask him who his favorite player is… because yeah, that’s totally going to be a crowd-pleaser. But of course, then you can say “Mine too!!! OMG!!!!” and pray he doesn’t ask any follow-up questions.
I can’t deal with this anymore. I can’t spend any more time picking this travesty of an article apart. You better believe I would be storming the gates of the Xcel Energy Center with a pitchfork and flaming torch if anything of this nature ever ended up on the Wild’s website.
Let’s be real here. This woman did not write the post she should have for her target market. I shall re-write it for her.
The Girlie Girl’s Guide To Pretending To Like Hockey In Order To Get Men To Like Her (Because Nothing Is More Important In Life Than Pleasing A Man)!:
1. Buy pink/vajazzled hockey gear, specifically if it is extra tight/shows cleavage.
2. Drink whiskey, because it is so provocative and daring for a “girl” to drink whiskey. Call yourself a “whiskey girl.” It’s sooo titillating.
3. Go to games with your best gal pal and feel each other up on the Jumbotron! Note: both of you must have flat-ironed hair and an orange tan.
4. Make every hockey phrase you hear into a double entendre. “Ooooh, is that stick made of wood?” “I’d like you to check me from behind!” “I love icing… drizzled all over my body!” Etc. Subtlety optional.
5. Take sexy poses of yourself in hockey gear and post them to your Instagram. (NOTE: NO FATTIES!!! OH WAIT WHO ARE WE KIDDING LIKE A MAN WOULD EVER PAY ATTENTION TO A FATTY!!!!) Duckface is required.
6. Trap some guy into marriage and then pout and whine and stomp your little foot every time he wants to watch hockey and make him watch “The Bachelorette” or “American Idol” or other horrendous television shows. BECAUSE YOU DON’T REALLY LIKE HOCKEY, YOU JUST HAVE NO SELF-WORTH WITHOUT A MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aaaaaaaand I’m done.