Imagine a day when female hockey fans are simply “hockey fans.” When they aren’t defined by their gender, but rather have their gender be a part of their fandom, no different than a heterosexual male hockey fan who ogles the ice girls. When there aren’t assumptions about their levels of hockey acumen or commitment to the sport or motivations for cheering on a specific player. When the rest of the world catches on that a girl rooting from the cheap seats is not a “Puck Bunny.”
We’d like to live in the world. But then we remember we live in one that produces “The Girl’s Guide To Watching the Rangers.”
This post appeared on the Rangers’ official web site, in its Blueshirts United social media section. It’s since been deleted, for reasons we’ll address in a moment. But you can read the full article, such as it is:
This was the first article produced by a “contributor network” of writers for Blueshirts United, by Mirna Mandil. It’s yet another article that deals with the shackled lives of women that are with sports fan men. In this case, an article that helps explain the “obsession, enthusiasm and passion” of male New York Rangers fans who are treating the end of the lockout like a woman would treat “a 70-percent off sale.”
Because SHOPPING, amirite ladies?
Keep in mind this ode to beleaguered women forced to swallow the bitter pill of hockey fandom is appearing on the official site of an NHL team, where the “obsession, enthusiasm and passion” of Rangers fans should be the norm, and people to whom the glories of Henrik Lundqvist must be explained are the outliers.
Also, no one associated with the post evidently remembered the “While The Men Watch” controversy last season, in which CBC pushed a female hockey program that was “willingly enforcing the myth that all female sports fans are really just sports widows who reluctantly and begrudgingly learn the sport to please their man or spend more time with him,” according to Julie Veilleux.
So the post went over like a fart in an elevator, as one might imagine.
Among the reactions to the article:
That's it? Oh... OK! Time to cuddle! twitter.com/SI_sarahkwak/s…
— Sarah Kwak (@SI_sarahkwak) January 25, 2013
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
The Girls Guide to Watching the Rangers? Ha. Hahahaha. Here, I'll make it easy for BOTH genders: 1. Turn on TV. 2. Cheer. Done.
— Alexa Rae (@QueenCrash) January 25, 2013
— Sarah Connors (@sarah_connors) January 25, 2013
— Caylee (@MilanLucheck) January 25, 2013
Girls Guide to Watching the Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist will always be prettier than you no matter what. Always.
— Rachel (@raaaachel_g) January 25, 2013
And finally, the Devils Army blog managed to snark on their neighbors across the Hudson with “A Guy’s Guide to Watching the Devils”.
The post is off the Rangers’ website after the backlash. Hopefully lessons are learned all around. But remember ladies: Try to know at least some of the players’ names because you’ll be more attuned to the game.