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08 July 2012 @ 09:10 am
Rant: the boys i mean are not that bright  
I read a lot of hockey blogs, because that is the right and proper behavior of the obsessed sports fan, and I want to be right and proper. (Okay, no, that's a lie. I have no interest in being proper.) Yesterday, I found a post about summer hockey-related reading, and, wow. The post has three unsubtle messages for me:
  1. "Alas, these books are not for you." (This is the only message I'm not pissed off about, because it's all on me. Basically, if I'm going to break out of my non-fiction comfort zone, I need it to in some way involve Martha Wells, Naomi Novik, or spaceships.)
  2. "Get lost, this post is not for you."
  3. "Fuck off, this sport is not for you."
Yeah, it's those last two messages I wanted to rant about.

The author of the post is Philip Painter, whose business cards, I have to assume, say "not interested in the ladies" right under "Director of the Puerto Rican Ice Hockey Federation." And we should thank him, for he has provided an excellent, possibly even textbook example of using assumptions about your audience to make that audience smaller. (And, in the process, exclude and hurt a group of people. I get the feeling he'd be more worried about the first part, though.)

Because we all know the only people interested in reading books about hockey are dudes, right? Right, Painter says. But, he continues, these books are so good that "your woman" might actually want to read them, too. You might have to hold her Cosmo hostage to get them back! (Or her alcohol. Or you can just withhold sex. No, I'm not kidding, that's exactly what he says.) Gosh, Mr. Painter. Thank you! That is valuable advice that will surely save my marriage. Oh, wait, no, I meant the other thing. Fuck you. I meant fuck you.

And then there's this line, which is such an amazing gem I can't look directly at it:

...sometimes a female writer can grab the subtleties that men overlook.

Thank you for those few kind words, Mr. Painter. This female writer is really appreciative, and let me tell you, I am exactly the master of subtleties that you assume me to be; I totally get the subtle implications, here. (And since you complain about the lack of graphic sex in the female-authored book that you recommended, let me just reassure you: I do indeed write graphic sex. In fact, if you're short on hockey stories involving sufficient graphic sex, I can totally help you out with that.)

And the thing is, this post comes after a season in which female hockey bloggers had to beg people not to use women's names as insults for their most hated players. (The most tragic part of this: at least one of these articles focused just on begging other female hockey fans not to use misogynist insults. Apparently the male hockey fans are just irremediable, but we can maybe save some of the ladies if we try hard enough.) And let us not forget the delightful clusterfuck that was While the Men Watch, a Canadian TV show meant to bring relief to all the women who were watching hockey but secretly yearning to discuss manicures instead. (Though no one I read on this topic mentioned the sole draw of While the Men Watch, which was that it would give you something to drown out the inane and often worrisomely creepy official announcers. At least, I assume it did, because having to listen to Pierre "My love for Sidney Crosby is unwholesome" McGuire and exceedingly unfunny stereotype-based jokes is surely cruel and unusual punishment.)

But what the general hockey fandom has learned from both of these kerfluffles is, apparently, that the ladies sure do get worked up sometimes. And then you can't have sex with them until they get over themselves. So better do your misogyny where they can't see.

Dear male hockey fans: I can still see you.

I'm just starting to wonder if you can you see me. Like, did you set your shields to exclude female presence back in fourth grade and then forget to switch that off?

If you're wondering why hockey doesn't have a bigger fanbase in your city, if you're wondering why you never seem to meet women who like hockey, if you're confused about the preponderance of dicks on your dance floor, uh, let me clear this up for you: it's your fault. Yes, you, misogynist hockey fan, and also you and you and you. Because when you pull shit like this, and especially when you pull shit like this again and again, and then don't see any problem with it (when I checked the comments on Painter's post, they included one note that the post is, you know, a tiny bit offensive, and that comment was left by a woman - and let's not forget that the Puck Daddy editors let this post fly in the first place), you're doing everything in your power to push the ladies away.

(And so those ladies are going to go somewhere else and entertain each other. And if you just said, "Hey, can I watch?" out loud - yeah, those female hockey bloggers were right. You're irremediable. Congratulations! Now please shut up.)

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
Mara: Zoe bitch pleasemarag on July 8th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, I only made it far enough in that post to note that his condescending review of Emma Lathen's Murder Without Icing doesn't exactly tell you what the book is about.

The hero is a financier. Seriously. I love this series and have for decades. John Putnam Thatcher is a banker of the old school, who actually believes that the purpose of what he does is to help businesses grow so that they can stay in business and employ people. I can't recommend Emma Lathen's book enough...even if it has no sex in it that I can recall ;) (Seriously, he has to comment on that? Wow, what an ass.) I recommend the whole series, each of which focuses on a different area, like real estate, food...

BTW, if he'd actually bothered to read the bio, he'd know that Emma Lathen is--or maybe was, I'm not sure--two women writing under that name. But I think we can safely say he wasn't interested in learning anything about a woman writer. Hmmph.
tried to eat the safe banana: Hockey Geno/Sid Good Luckthefourthvine on July 9th, 2012 02:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, he's a - special guy, I think we can conclude. And of course he's not going to read the bio. What are the odds it includes graphic sex? (Maaaaan, now I want some author to PUT graphic sex on the bio page. That yearning is going to stay with me.)

And, oh, thank you for the rec! I'm sort of out of my mystery phase (unless the mysteries occur on spaceships or were written by Stout or Sayers), but my mother LOVES mysteries and spends most of her life in a fruitless search for more of them. I will let her know that a new series awaits her.
that_whichthat_which on July 9th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
Oh, I love that book, and that series.

I kind of doubt he's read it too, when you consider that the savviest hockey operator in it is someone's wife...
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: hockey - pottereddramaturgca on July 8th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah. That. A lot.

And that doesn't even touch on things like the fact that you can't get a jersey with a cut that is more flattering to, oh say people with breasts, in a size that would fit most people with breasts.

Or that every time the NHL shop advertises new stuff for ladies, what they mean is teeny skinny ladies, the kind that the boys want to look at. (Yes I am on a major sizist kick right now, mostly because of my adventures in swimming and swimwear this week).

Or the whole "hockey mom" thing that Sarah Palin made worse.

Or that even now, those "intrepid" girl bloggers, the ones with legit press passes for full access, get barred from dressing room interviews, BY MALE REPORTERS, because gol durnit little lady, you can't go in there! (Actually happened to one of my closest friends while she was writing her master's thesis on women and hockey media)

If anyone needs me, I'll be over here with my foot up someone's ass.
tried to eat the safe banana: Hockey Price/Subbanthefourthvine on July 9th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
And that doesn't even touch on things like the fact that you can't get a jersey with a cut that is more flattering to, oh say people with breasts, in a size that would fit most people with breasts.

I was letting that go on the grounds that I didn't want to start openly weeping. I mean, you've met me. You know I will never find a jersey that goes over my boobs that doesn't go down to my knees. But I guess I am unreasonable in that I don't want a hockey dress?

Or that even now, those "intrepid" girl bloggers, the ones with legit press passes for full access, get barred from dressing room interviews, BY MALE REPORTERS, because gol durnit little lady, you can't go in there! (Actually happened to one of my closest friends while she was writing her master's thesis on women and hockey media)

I assume Chapter 4 was mostly expletives?

If anyone needs me, I'll be over here with my foot up someone's ass.

Just make sure you keep your shoe on. What if misogyny is catching? I won't be able to go to any more games with you, for fear of spreading the disease to the earthling! Remember: safe ass kicking is fun ass kicking.
'Mousey'echelon_razor on July 12th, 2012 03:50 am (UTC)
Sure you can get a jersey that fits, you can get one if it's TOTALLY IN PINK. *facepalms*

(For the record, it's not like I outwardly hate girls who wear pink shirts, whatever - I hate the fact that they're made at all. Firstly, because fuck you for thinking that the only way a girl is going to wear a shirt is if it's pink, and secondly because THE LEAFS LOGO IS EITHER BLUE OR WHITE, YOU ASSHOLES. I WOULDN'T WANT IT GREEN, PURPLE, OR YELLOW, AND I SURE AS FUCK DON'T THINK IT BELONGS IN PINK JUST TO SATISFY SOME APPARENT FASHION RULE THAT WOMEN ONLY WEAR PINK THINGS, ERGO MAKE EVERYTHING PINK TO APPEAL TO WOMEN.)

/butting-in-rant

Emframlingem on July 8th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
Urgh. Yes. This.

I am also totally with the above comment. I live five minutes from the Habs' practice facility in Brossard, which has a Habs Store in it that's bigger than the one at the Bell Centre, and I STILL cannot get a ladies' T-shirt that fits. It pisses me off. Not that I don't love my Gio t-shirt, but when I get my Subban one, I'd like it to not be a men's shirt.

I would also like it to not be pink. There is no pink in the Habs uniform. Pink would clash awfully. Loads of women like pink, and that's great, I'm happy that there's pink stuff available for them, but I would love it if the same gear was available in team colours too, without exception.

In terms of books, I am eternally fond of "Scrubs on Skates" and the two sequels, by Scott Young. YA books about a teenager who's a recent immigrant to Canada, can't even skate, but joins the high school hockey team because they need a body; and the slightly-stuck-up, very talented (but too small for the big leagues, he'd make a perfect Hab, hah) centre who takes him under his wing and teaches him to skate.

They fight crime make a good team, it turns out. The only flaw with the books is that everyone wants to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I can deal with that. ;)
Emframlingem on July 8th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, and ha! I just found out that Scott Young is Neil Young's Dad. So this is the ULTIMATE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE.
tried to eat the safe banana: Hockey Price/Subbanthefourthvine on July 9th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, the gear thing is just fucking irritating. (Although, hey, at least the guys on your team participated in the greatest gear photo shoot of all time.)

And, awwww. Scrubs on Skates sounds so great I have ordered it DESPITE the apparent total lack of spaceships. (They want to play for the Leafs? Do they enjoy losing?)

Edited at 2012-07-09 07:03 am (UTC)
Em: habs-celebrationframlingem on July 9th, 2012 11:34 am (UTC)
Whoot! I hope you like it. There are two sequels as well.

As for the Leafs, it was published in 1985, when they weren't as dire. It's also set in Ontario - I think there's something in the water. (In Montreal, it's more like something in the Kool-Aid. *drinks some more happily*)
Emframlingem on April 6th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
Just found this post while looking for something completely different (how weird is that!?) - did you like the book?
'Mousey'echelon_razor on July 12th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
OMG. So I basically wrote your pink comment above WITHOUT READING YOURS, LOL, I just wrote more capslock, ranty-flails.

On the topic of books, the Screech Owls series was darling when I was a kid. I was the same age as the kids when the first book came out, and they were roughly that age for all of the books except for the last one, when they were 10 years older (the same age I was at the time). Cute little series.

Edit: And I just remembered that the best player on the team in said series was a girl. :-)

Edited at 2012-07-12 03:54 am (UTC)
tour cincinnati dammitmisanthrope7842 on July 8th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Ugh, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
tried to eat the safe banana: Hockey Super Sidthefourthvine on July 9th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
God, I have no idea.
lexstar29lexstar29 on July 8th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
I want to quote all the parts of this post that I most agree with, however I'd end up quoting the whole thing!
tried to eat the safe banana: Hockey Geno/Sid Good Luckthefourthvine on July 9th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! I - kind of wish this was an isolated experience. Uh. Not so much, sadly.
you're always running into people's unconscious: marilyn reads joyceinnocentsmith on July 9th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
Wow. Just...wow.

If you're wondering why hockey doesn't have a bigger fanbase in your city, if you're wondering why you never seem to meet women who like hockey

I'm pretty sure dudes like Mr. Painter aren't, though. Like, it never occurs to this brand of misogynist that the interests of male and female people could overlap: girls like girly things, and guys like guy things, world without end, amen. (Obviously, "girl" and "guy" are the only two options.) The idea that ladies could be into hockey is a joke, like the idea that a woman could be a hockey player in the first novel described.

Women and men only get together to breed: otherwise their natural state is enmity. Like that Due South vid with Victoria and Fraser as polar bears. Or as though we're all living in the society from "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death."
tried to eat the safe banana: Hockey Price/Subbanthefourthvine on July 9th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure dudes like Mr. Painter aren't, though.

You are probably depressingly correct. Dear Philip: WONDER MORE. WRITE LESS.

Or as though we're all living in the society from "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death."

...I have never seen this fine cinematic masterpiece, but just the title speaks to me.
Stasiastasia on July 9th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
*blink*

Now I must find and watch that movie, omg.

Stasia
Professor Liddle-Oldmanliddle_oldman on July 9th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
Sarcasm!
But you know that sports just upsets ladies' delicate lady bits! And there's sweat! Heavens forbid!