As we say good-bye to 2022 and move into 2023, there’s a something that I’d like to see come to an end when it comes to hockey: mansplaining the game to women. I can’t remember a single live game that I’ve attended where some form of this didn’t happen because somehow, despite being decked out head to toe in team colours and well aware of what’s happening on the ice, I must not understand the game and constantly need to be fact checked. The incessant audacity that some men have to make women feel inferior rather than welcome is staggering.
Ladies, tell me, do any of the following sound familiar to you–
**The following list is merely a small sampling of the treatment experienced**:
We are told that it’d be wonderful if we could love the game but when we actually DO, it’s not a truth that is accepted. We are told we are a distraction. We are told we’re only here for the looks. We’re told to find space elsewhere and that our opinions certainly are not valid. We’re told many opinions about why we aren’t allowed to have certain opinions. We’re told that we can’t possibly have the same nostalgia related memories to the game or certain players. We’re told by the repeated actions of many that we are deserving of harassment for simply trying to be part of something bigger than us.
“Oh you like hockey? You definitely must not actually understand the game though. Let me help you and explain the game point by point…” —Did we ask you to explain the game? No. Did we ask you to repeatedly make us feel uncomfortable by invading our personal space? No. Did we ask for the absolute condescension? No, but we will be a recipient of it nonetheless.
“Sure, you know *insert current stat* but do you know *insert random trivia fact from 50+ years ago*?” —The only mildly entertaining part of this one is when you shock them by giving them the correct answer and they claim you’re wrong BUT then google or someone else nearby informs them that they are in fact wrong. We didn’t ask for a trivia quiz, we simply decided to attend a sporting event, much like you. The difference being that no one will grill you all night about why you are there or if you should be there at all.
“Did you borrow that jersey? You don’t actually know who that player is do you or if you do, it’s only because you think that player is hot right?” —No, I bought this jersey for kicks. I assure you, we know exactly which jersey we wear and why. We don’t owe you any sort of justification for why that is. Maybe we love that player for the player they are, or because they are attractive or because they are a good human being or for a myriad of other reasons. Maybe that jersey is one that has familial connections and holds special meaning.
“You must not have played hockey to understand what *insert score* means?” I assure just because we may make a comment on the current score does not mean we understand the game less or have any relation to whether we have played the game or not.
Ask most guys and most will not have had one of any of the above experiences for simply trying to attend a game or express their opinion, most are encouraged to display that however they want. I can’t even imagine what it might be like to go to a game and NOT experience some form of misogyny.
On a happy note, the Our Voice Series–a series that puts the spotlight on women in the game is returning to the blog. Any women who’d like to take part or want a glimpse at what that looks like, can find more info the article linked below featuring the first edition of the series. OR simply send me an e-mail (email@example.com) for more information. Can’t wait to share more incredible stories representing women from all backgrounds in the next edition!
Nucksaid: OUR Voice (Vol.1)
Here’s to ending the misogyny in 2023 & actually creating a space that is welcome for all in this messy wonderful magic that is hockey. The world could use a little more magic.
As always, until next time, nuck said.