Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rangers' 'Girls Guide to Hockey' offensive to female hockey fans

Early on Friday a post titled "A Girl's Guide to Watching Hockey" went live on the New York Rangers site blueshirtsunited.com, and was intended to give women an insight into the sport. The problem with the post was that it was specifically geared to women who are not fans of the sport, and offended a lot of female hockey fans.

Rangers' 'Girls Guide to Hockey' offensive to female hockey fans

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Jeanine (CQ) Wagner, right cheers the players on during a practice before the season. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)
Jeanine (CQ) Wagner, right cheers the players on during a practice before the season. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

Early on Friday a post titled "A Girl's Guide to Watching Hockey" went live on the New York Rangers site blueshirtsunited.com, and was intended to give women an insight into the sport.

The problem with the post was that it was specifically geared toward women who are not fans of the sport - and are probably not perusing a hockey site in the first place. There are plenty of female hockey fans out there - the kind that frequent sites like blueshirtsunited.com - who understand what icing is and how line changes work. Those fans took offense to the article's presumption that women don't know anything about the game.

So much so that the post was removed from the site within an hour. However, the text from the article was preserved, so you can take a look at it yourself.

Are you laughing yet?

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You should be, because as a female hockey fan, I found this article to be unintentionally hilarious.

Although it was written by a woman, the condescending tone throughout the article hit on a lot of female stereotypes and assumed all women know absolutely nothing about hockey.

If you grow up in a hockey family or are dating a hockey fan, you have to know at least something about the sport.

At least enough to watch a game.

Guys understand that some girls don’t like sports, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there are plenty of female hockey fans that don’t want to be told how to understand hockey. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, “You like hockey?” - which is often paired with an incredulous look, so I get the outrage from female fans. 

The purpose of this blog was understandable, but the lexicon and tone of it made it come off as sexist, even though it was written by a woman. 

Here’s my advice to anyone - male or female - who wants to learn more about hockey:

Be a visual learner and just watch the game.

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