08 July 2012 @ 09:10 am
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.
 
 
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