photo © Huntley Paton
Here’s what I enjoy writing about:
- Post-goal celebratory dogpiles
- My teams winning
- Pop culture references to 2000s teen movies, Bob’s Burgers, and Marvel comics
- Baked goods, particularly pies and/or pie-adjacent things
- Hilarious on-ice chirps (“water-bottle police” will always be gold, Jerry, GOLD!)
Here’s what I’ve somehow found myself writing about since starting The Other Half:
- Sexual Assault in Junior Hockey
- 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.