Gary Bettman Stole My Fun

Friday 24th, April 2015 / 13:19 Written by
Gary Bettman Stole My Fun

photo © Huntley Paton

Here’s what I enjoy writing about:

  1. Post-goal celebratory dogpiles
  2. My teams winning
  3. Pop culture references to 2000s teen movies, Bob’s Burgers, and Marvel comics
  4. Baked goods, particularly pies and/or pie-adjacent things
  5. Hilarious on-ice chirps (“water-bottle police” will always be gold, Jerry, GOLD!)
  6. Butts

 

Here’s what I’ve somehow found myself writing about since starting The Other Half:

  1. Sexual Assault in Junior Hockey
  2. Sexism and the tipping point for Women’s Hockey

 

Guys, this is not fun.

I think many men labor under a misconception that I feel the need to clear up. See, women do not complain about stuff because we enjoy complaining. Complaining is something we do when we have absolutely no other option. We know it’s gonna end up with us being verbally harassed, so we like to do it about as little as y’all like to hear it, and probably less.

You know what I like to do? Eat nachos and call the Blackhawks “my boys” as I drink my lucky whisky and literally make voodoo dolls of the opposition goalies. That’s fun.

What’s not fun is being told I’m supposed to laugh when the goddamn Winnipeg Jets fans force me to sympathize with Corey Perry.

You’ve taken that away from me, Jets fans. You’ve taken away my ability to fully hate Corey Perry.

And then – and then, just when I’d gotten to feel the righteous joy of someone who’s watched a fanbase I had good reason to dislike feel the pain of a sweep, just when I was able to put my annoyance aside and return to what I do best – voodoo dolls and hating St. Louis – Gary Bettman opens his stupid mouth.

Having the joy of pure sports-related hatred taken away from me isn’t fun. Fun is watching your team win. Fun is painting your nails with four feathers and having your Hockey Hating Husband roll his eyes at you because why on earth would you go to that level of effort? FOR LUCK, BROSEPH. Fun is inviting your other hockey-watching friend over and building a nacho tower and trash-talking like it’s your job because she’s from Minnesota and they’re too nice to do anything but threaten me with a lukewarm tater tot hotdish. Fun is seeing what amazing doodles HockeyBabbler will come up with for last night’s Cup Check.

What isn’t fun is being told by some dude that you just need to learn how to take a joke or whatever, and then having that be validated by the goddamn commissioner of the NHL. Not when you’ve spent a significant amount of time and money following your team over long distances because you’re just as much of a fan as the bros who think it’s hi-fucking-larious to insult a dude by calling him a lady.

It’s also not fun to hear the commissioner of the league tell you that, if it is an insult, it’s basically the same as when a goalie gets called a sieve.

A sieve. An inanimate object, devoid of feeling, found in kitchens across America, often used in the preparation of delicious jams and jellies or in draining pasta. Apparently in Bettman’s eyes, I – as a woman – am also an inanimate object, devoid of feeling, found in a kitchen. It’s all the same thing, right, Gary? I’ll just go make you a sandwich, shall I?

The attitudes displayed by the commissioner tells us, “Lighten up, ladies, it’s just part of the game! Maybe you should smile, sweetie!” It tells us that to him, we’re not real fans. We’re just women and we can’t really tell when we’re being insulted. And these attitudes are pervasive. The idea that women don’t know what they’re thinking or feeling, that we’re basically just inanimate kitchen objects, lead to people like Shitwafffle McDouchebro over at CBS Detroit thinking it’s just a great idea to stalk the significant others of the Red Wings and Lightning players on social media and pit them against each other in some sort of hot-or-not Hunger Games. It allows him to literally say in the preface of the article, that he doesn’t care about hockey, and that’s why he’s writing about hot ladies instead, in a hockey article.

I love hot ladies just as much as anyone else, okay? I really do. But it has zero place in a hockey article. And yet somehow a local news organization literally paid that man money to write a hockey article entirely based around non-consensual hotness competitions between player spouses. Actual currency, which you can use to buy things like pie and hockey tickets and books to learn why that shit isn’t cool, exchanged hands for that tripe.

But sure, yeah, having this stuff come from the head of National Hockey League doesn’t foster sexism. Fans are just enthusiastic! It’s all part of the game! Hey, I heard on Twitter the Avs are holding ice girls auditions – maybe I should mark my calendar. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep my wallet open and a smile on my pretty face.

effyou

Eliza Eaton-Stern

Eliza is co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of The Other Half. She did her undergrad at the University of St. Andrews, where she once played air guitar with Prince William, and her Masters at the London School of Economics, where she wrote her dissertation on the history of military veterans in the Paralympic Movement. Despite the amount of time spent in Great Britain, she remains staunchly Midwestern in her feelings about how much cheese should accompany any given meal (lots). She lives in Colorado with her Hockey Hating Husband, where she plays rugby and yells at the TV about a wide variety of sports, including hockey, football, and other football.


19 comments on “Gary Bettman Stole My Fun”

  1. ringtail says:

    Just when I thought the “Cindy Crosby” taunt had gone away because enough women complained. This was progress. Now this stupidity from Bettman. One step forward …

  2. Brooke says:

    I love all the swears. But seriously, great article. I’m so tired of bros explaining to me what I’m allowed to be annoyed by. For the record offended ain’t what I’m feeling – pissed off annoyed drop the mitts irritated but not offended. Sit down boys and shut up. When I want your opinion on how I should feel about something I’ll give it to you.

  3. Char says:

    Preach!

    Just when I start to think Goodell is the world’s worst sports commissioner, good ol’ Bettman one-ups him. Why can’t we have competent adults in charge of billion-dollar entities?

    And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a Hockey Hating Husband.

    • Eliza Eaton Eliza Eaton says:

      Hockey Hating Husband as of this past Sunday! Glad to have him finally make the transition from Hockey Hating Fiance to Hockey Hating Husband. It’s much catchier.

  4. ty says:

    wow this has to be the stupidest article i have read in my entire life, if you can even call it that.

  5. Neil says:

    Funny article. But if you’re serious about your misgivings towards Bettman, consider the fact that you can’t prove that he truly meant to disparage women by comparing them to inanimate kitchen objects, which makes your position purely opinion based. So your opinion is that his opinion doesn’t line up with yours and is therefore misguided? It’s my first time reading one of your articles and I did find it entertaining but it doesn’t have much substance. Maybe that’s the point?

  6. Sigurd Sigurdsen says:

    I realize that you are only a woman and thus will get quotes wrong but I believe the actual quote would be “Maybe you should smile, toots”. ‘Cause, you know, Betman.
    (Why when I wrote that does it now look like it should rhyme with tutes?)

  7. Janice Rochford Janice Rochford says:

    The only acceptable #likeagirl

    GIFSoup

  8. PTK says:

    This is fantastic. I shared it with friends, read it aloud to my son, made my own Hockey Hating Husband read it. Thank you for writing this insightful article!

  9. Heather says:

    I commented a while ago as part of the civil discussion that is encouraged above, but perhaps my comment didn’t get through moderation because I quoted the author’s own colorful, tasteful language?

  10. Shlee says:

    This is a terrific god damn article. I’m going to share the hell out of it, and you’ve definitely fostered a long-term “The Other Half” fan in me! Glad I found this, and keep on writing great stuff!

  11. Heather says:

    You speak of fun as if it is something that you are owed in life. We all experience things, every day, that we don’t like, aren’t fun, or even make us uncomfortable. Fun and comfort aren’t basic rights in life.
    If someone tells you to learn how to see/do/look at something, you have the option of not doing as they suggest.
    You demand that a certain culture change to make you feel like you are having more fun, yet use the term “shitwaffle mcdoucheboro” to describe, presumably, a male. This insult contains a reference to a feminine hygiene product; did you go there because feminine hygiene is more insulting than masculine hygiene? Is snarky name calling acceptable for someone in your position because you don’t like something, but snarky name calling unacceptable because you don’t like how the shoe feels when it is on the other foot?
    Being a woman doesn’t make you a victim, and to presuppose that you are one only holds you back.

    • Maria says:

      Douching is not only useless, it harms vaginas. (There is no equivalent for male hygiene.) By the power of synecdoche, a person contributing to day-to-day misogyny is a douche.

      • Heather says:

        Recognizing that masculinity and femininity exist and that men and women are different does not equal misogyny. declaring that ones feelings are hurt, or that something isn’t “fun” doesn’t change that reality.

    • Christy Kondo Christy Kondo says:

      >You speak of fun as if it is something that you are owed in life. We all experience things, every day, that we don’t like, aren’t fun, or even make us uncomfortable. Fun and comfort aren’t basic rights in life.

      You make a good point. Fun isn’t something we’re “owed” in life. But you’d think that the head of a business whose entire business model is based on entertainment, having a good time, and *GASP* fun would care if his customers were no longer having fun.

      >If someone tells you to learn how to see/do/look at something, you have the option of not doing as they suggest.

      Of course we have that option. We also have the option of telling them that telling us how to feel is a real dick move, because it is.

      >You demand that a certain culture change to make you feel like you are having more fun, yet use the term “shitwaffle mcdoucheboro” to describe, presumably, a male.

      That’s a presumption you make. Believe it or not, Shitwaffle McDouchebros come in all shapes, sizes, gender identities, and races! It’s amazing!

      >This insult contains a reference to a feminine hygiene product; did you go there because feminine hygiene is more insulting than masculine hygiene?

      Good job on the stretch and attempt to change the conversation there. This has already been addressed, but douching in something that is sold as being beneficial to women when in fact it’s harmful. Much like people who claim to be supportive of equal rights for women but are actually harming the rights of women! It’s an apt comparison, like calling someone who is being dense a brick.

      >Is snarky name calling acceptable for someone in your position because you don’t like something, but snarky name calling unacceptable because you don’t like how the shoe feels when it is on the other foot?

      Yeah, it’s not snarky name calling that’s being complained about here. It’s the systemic undermining of femininity and the use of femininity as an insult. Masculinity is not under attack here.

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