The Sum of Small Fears
Sunday night I was watching the NHL All-Star Game, which is a somewhat surprising activity for me, because of all the All-Star Games across all the sports I watch, the only event I actually enjoy is MLB’s celebrity softball game.
A Sedin existed and a Gopher fan named Jerrid tweeted to me that he hates the “Sedin Sisters.” I responded as I always do, saying that I don’t like the Sedins but that’s no reason for sexist language. He told me it was a joke (thank you, I understand it is a joke, that is irrelevant) roped in his “buddy” Brad, saying it was a joke. Brad doubled down by tweeting a couple memes at me, which I have seen before because I use the internet but which he thought were novel and hilarious. He tweeted a Sedin sisters meme as well as a “Two Girls No Cup” meme, as if it would change my mind and I’d say “oh hahahah ur so funny omg girlz are icky d*kes who can’t play sports!”
I told him I got it, he hates women. He told me he doesn’t hate women because he has a wife and his daughter plays college hockey.
His daughter plays college hockey. If a man whose daughter plays hockey at a high level can display this level of misogyny (not to mention cognitive dissonance), there is literally no hope for humanity.
His daughter, Amber Schaack, is a junior top-six forward for Concordia. I doubt she worked her butt off through youth hockey, high school hockey, and college so that her father could use her gender as a pejorative toward male hockey players.
He told me his daughter thinks it’s funny. I didn’t reach out to her for a quote so I can’t verify this, but it is irrelevant. I’m always told this. I’m always told to lighten up, it’s just a joke, other women think it’s funny. I doubt Brad is smart enough to comprehend the concept of “internalized misogyny,” but internalized misogyny is when women believe that lies and stereotypes about women are true. It doesn’t matter that a woman thinks “Two Girls No Cup” is funny; that doesn’t negate its sexist nature.
What message does it send a female athlete when her own father thinks “girl” is a put-down for a player he dislikes? Really, what message does it send a daughter when her dad uses “woman” or “girl” as an insult in any setting? What message does Jerrid send his son when he makes the same sexist remarks? What message is this sending to anyone?
Those questions are rhetorical, of course. The message is clear. A defective man is a woman. A woman is always less than a man. A woman has no traits or qualities a man could ever find desirable in himself.
(This same man then posted disgusting, misogynist memes regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton on a mutual friend’s Facebook wall, and called me a “stalker” because I happened to see them. But he doesn’t hate women, because he has a wife!)
I asked Brad to think about what he was saying, and to be better. He told me “Thanks, mom.” Apparently he doesn’t think much of mothers either. I oinked at him in response, because what else was there to do? He didn’t want to be a better person. He just wanted to continue to believe himself better than women.
People (of all genders), when you make a sexist joke, like Cindy Crosby, Chrissy Pronger, Sedin Sisters, or any of the other myriad ways you put down ordinary or extraordinary men who you see as failing in some way, you’re not making the joke in a vacuum. I’ve heard it before, or if I haven’t, I’ve heard something just like it. All women have. Your piggish remark is a drop in an ever-growing ocean of sexism that will eventually drown us all. These unfunny, stale “jokes” are added to the Kanebros lathering to defend him, the snide remarks about menstruation anytime a woman shows any emotion, the catcalls, the fat-shaming, the rape jokes, the impossible standards of beauty and conduct to which women must conform, and worst of all, the horrible crimes of domestic violence and rape committed overwhelmingly against women (who are then shamed and blamed). Don’t tell me to lighten up. Be better. Consider what you’re really saying, what you’re really doing, what you’re really contributing to.
And don’t use your own daughter to try to shield yourself from criticism.