Just when you thought the “While The Men Watch” controversy was over, it turns out it’s not.
On their official fan blog entitled “Blueshirts United,” the New York Rangers published an article entitled “A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers” (Note: Rangers have removed the posting). Its purpose was to help new female hockey fans learn about the team and sport they'd likely been hearing so much about in the last week. It's a testament to the old "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" theory.
The premise here is that females are not as up to par with regards to their male counterparts and hence need a guide to brush up on their hockey knowledge. While the article was taken down rather quickly by the Rangers, the effects of it are still lingering.
The pandering to women in the article is downright disgusting. To suggest that a decent percentage of women not only have no knowledge of the game, but should take a lesson in the sport for the sake of the man in their life who's enthralled by it is laughable.
Women have been drawn to hockey in record numbers just as men have. In fact, there is an increasing number of women playing the game across the country as well, some at very high levels even. How many, you ask? Let's ask Chris Peters of The United States of Hockey:
FYI: Women's hockey has grown in the U.S. by nearly 20k players in the last 10 years, 60k+ in the last 20. 66,692 girls/women played last yr— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) January 25, 2013
I seriously doubt any of those women needed a refresher course on when the proper time is to ask questions about this barbaric game.
To assume they need help comprehending something because it has nothing to do with baking or shopping is sad, especially for an esteemed organization such as the Rangers.
For example, the author writes “News of the NHL lockout’s end caused as much excitement in the male world as a 70 percent off sale does in a woman’s.” Why, because all women automatically rush to their local mall when there’s a sale at a store? Shopping makes a woman excited? Trust me, I’ve met plenty of women who get more excited for a face-off than they do at making sure they buy a $50 pair of heels in every color under the sun. To assume this misogynistic view is both pathetic and sad.
Later on, the writer mentions Henrik Lundqvist (which shouldn’t shock anyone). Here’s the transcript:
If New York were to have a new face on every quarter, it would be his. He's broken NHL records. His nickname is "The King." He played "Sweet Child O' Mine" on guitar during a recent episode of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." Don't you want him to do well? Don't you want to watch when he's on the ice? My point exactly.
So that’s the reason why female Rangers fans should watch King Henrik eh? Never mind that he won the Vezina last year, will more than likely represent Sweden in the upcoming Olympics, or is arguably the best goaltender in the league. It’s because he can play the guitar and he’s “purdy.” Gotcha.
Of course, hockey fans - especially women - voiced their opinions about the article:
Just saw the "Girls Guide to Watching the Rangers." Author seems to forget millions of girls: watch hockey. play hockey. love hockey. Lame.— Sarah Baicker (@sbaickerCSN) January 25, 2013
Re: Rangers/women thing, I've had women teach me plenty about sports. If not for @ceeangi, baseball would still be weird and scary to me.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 25, 2013
@nyrangers There is no reason to publish a "girl's guide" to anything. It's sexist, patronizing and flat out offensive.— Jen (@NHLhistorygirl) January 25, 2013
Why is it always women perpetuating this bullshit? You want to hurt people’s perception of you, be my guest, but don’t bring me down, too.— Laura/theactivestick (@theactivestick) January 25, 2013
S/T to HFBoards user Hockeygoon15 for providing the transcript to the article before it was taken down by Blueshirts United.
David Rogers contributed to the story.
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The fact of the matter is, something along the lines of a guide for people new to hockey, regardless of gender, would be a good idea. Some of the rules are pretty arcane, especially with the inconsistency of the refs sometimes. This, though, is not that beginner's guide.
ZOMG, I'm a giiiiirl. I can't like something unless my boyfriend takes an interest first! I only care about shopping and making sammiches, so I need to assume that's what the rest of my gender is like too!How dense.