It is Women’s day. I don’t especially like this celebration, or more precisely what is done out of it. It often turns into a series of shallow homages to women, and little gestures supposed to show how sympathetic to the women’s cause people are. But I find most of this really superficial and hypocritical, and I think on many occasions it actually reinforces the clichés and the sex divisions it’s supposed to fight.
That said, I will do exactly what I just criticized, and I will pay a little homage to some of the female hockey bloggers out there, often doing an awesome job, sometimes without much recognition. There has been some talk about the place of female fans in hockey recently, for various reasons (Avery’s comments, the pink jerseys marketing trend, the pansification remark by Milbury, and more recently the launching of Scarlet Caps). Let me just say this: I think hockey is a sport that emphasizes a lot of supposedly “manly” traits and vertues (I use quotations marks here because I don’t think those traits are exclusively manly, but that’s another debate). The mystique of this sport is built around toughness, strength, physicality, resilience, hard work and so on, and each time a player doesn’t exactly fit this image of a tough warrior, he is immediately ridiculed everywhere (see: Semin and Crosby fighting techniques). This is not necessarily what I like the most about hockey, even if I love a good bodycheck or a nice scrum as much as anyone (but then again, I’m a soft European, so that shouldn’t be a surprise) :) This emphasis on “manly” attributes goes beyond what is expected from the players. The place of women in hockey is often marginal and rarely flattering: ice girls, Elisha Cuthbert, female reporters only assigned to do short interviews of the players between periods, the old puck bunnies cliché…
So in spite of all this, it’s really refreshing to see so many good hockey blogs* written by women that show on a daily basis that there is clearly enough space for them too in the hockey world, and that they are as passionate and knowledgeable as men. And this is all I wanted to say.
*I don’t think I need to give names here, they’re in the blogroll, and well… you know who you are, ladies!
PS: WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! A win in Dallas!