If any of you were around the Internets recently, you may have noticed a nice little set of blog posts on the site Anaheim Calling, written by a few well-intentioned women.
It’s called Too Many Men on the Ice, and it basically serves — satirically, of course — to outline the reasons why the NHL and NHLPA NEED a woman to head negotiations.
Why? Among other things, we ladies are naturally used to giving and receiving nothing in return, we will remember the fans putting up with all of their nonsense, and — get this — we’re just so much smarter.
*Dr. Evil sneer* Riiiiiight.
Let’s get down to business. First off, satire or not, this buys into some seriously tired stereotypes of both men and women. The well-intentioned yet weak disclaimers stating that we should all laugh because ~lol we lurve you~ do nothing to prove as much. It smacks of ignorance and misandry, and enough people have noticed, compelling the writers to create a post addressing their critics. Again, it pretty much failed to do the trick, still sticking to the idea that “it’s just a joke!”
You know where I’ve heard that one before? Here, where Maxim printed an offensive article outlining how to “cure” a feminist. As if we have a communicable disease.
In my Anthropology class last semester, when someone presented a list of stereotypes of African-Americans as “observations” of their culture and prefaced it with, “Don’t get offended, but…”
And in every trending topic on Twitter pertaining to women (or men), in every sexist or racist advertisement, pretty much anything offensive where the creators are aware that it might cause a problem.
Am I saying that these ladies are all sexist? No, but they are contributing to ideas that polarize men and women, turning them into helpless products of nature, when in fact any differences between men’s and women’s behaviors are almost entirely a product of social conditioning. Sociology. Not biology. It also doesn’t help that the writer of the “ask for directions” post immediately went on the defensive and, in doing so, managed to perpetuate the caricature of the “bra-burning, man-hating Feminazi” everyone fears so much.
Those attitudes, joking or serious, benefit no one — not men, not women, and not hockey fans.
The lockout has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with money, how it’s to be divided, and the fact that no one’s happy with what’s been proposed so far. It’s to do with the idea that the owners and players are fighting over a pie that’s getting smaller by the day, and in the process, they’re alienating a fanbase of all genders and all walks of life. It has to do with that, and not with whether or not men are too macho to pull over and ask where the nearest freakin’ Denny’s is.
Besides that, just think about what would happen if the tables (and genders) were flipped — if men wrote posts about how women shouldn’t be hockey fans, that they’re just too fragile to handle the violence, too tender for the trash talk, they’re just naturally less competitive. We all know this is bullshit, and we all would get pissed — and more than likely, the women who wrote these posts would be raising hell, and rightfully so. So why is it perceived to be okay for women to joke about the same?
I’m not trying to point fingers or knock anyone down — in fact, I’m sure these ladies are great people offline. It just needs to be stated, once again, that stereotypes of men suck just as hard as stereotypes of women. And as a woman, I prefer not to let those ideas speak for me.
Until next time.