I’m writing my masters thesis on female hockey fans. We’ve established this fact here over and over again, and I think at this point, most people are aware that I lean towards the ‘crazy feminist’ side of the spectrum as well. So obviously, I may be reading more into this than possibly necessary, but at the same time, it still rankles me a bit.
The Hockey News just released an article by Ryan Kennedy on how teams are important in economically depressed areas through the rust belt. I was intrigued with the article until I got to the section describing the Buffalo Sabres’ HSBC Arena…
Rolling into the city, of course, can be a little ominous. There’s precious little around the arena except parking lots. An old General Mills cereal factory (among others) lords over the landscape like a ghost and many other buildings wear wooden boards as bandages over their windows.
But once you park the car, you join a stream of energy that can barely be contained. The boys are boisterous and ready for a victory, while the girls have their hair done and their best jeans on – with a Sabres jersey on top, of course. HSBC Arena is a shining beacon in an otherwise grey land and once inside, the tribal drumming of mascot Sabretooth whips everyone into a frenzy.
Why, why oh why oh why are the boys “ready for a victory” while the girls are reduced to being pretty arm candy with “their hair done and their best jeans on?” Sure, Mr. Kennedy tacks on the “Sabres jersey on top, of course,” but in my eyes, the damage has already been done. Essentially, he’s reducing all the females down to walking fashion plates.
I left Mr. Kennedy a comment asking…
Why must girls “have their hair done and their best jeans on ” while boys are “boisterous and ready for a victory?” Why can’t the girls be “excited to cheer for their team?” or “supporting the home team with their Sabres jerseys on?” As a female hockey fan, I have to say I’m sick and tired of being reduced to a vapid stereotype over and over by people writing for some of the most circulated and prestigious hockey media. Please, consider your word choice when describing female fans. Better yet, lump us in with “fans” and don’t take the time to call us out at all. We exist, but the majority of us aren’t that different from the male fans, and I’d much rather “cheer for the team” then parade in “with my hair done.”
I know, I know, I’m fighting the good fight against years and years of sexism and cultural dumbness and the Inconsiderate Hockey Media Man Club, but if someone doesn’t step up and say it, nobody’s going to realize that there’s a section of society that doesn’t agree.
Vive la loudmouth!