The Hockey Feminist

I think it’s because I’m a little older, I’m going to talk a little about feminism and later about hockey feminism.

I will be the first to say that as a general rule, I don’t hang out with hockey fans. I usually stick to those who work in the business. The reason why has a lot to do with ‘cyberbullying’ and lessons learned from the past. Usually the cyberbullying that I’ve encountered are fans trying to dictate the rules and if you don’t follow their rules, they will attack you.

It starts with one bully, fueled by their minions that turn into a large gang. They feel like they are justified in what they’re doing. Truthfully, they never are.

If the aim is to destroy someone else (that leads to hurting them) then the person is WRONG. We call these people HATERS. Haters like to spew some evil hateful words at anyone that the green eyed monster has zeroed in on. Jealousy is the green eyed monster. Shakespeare called it that because envy and jealousy can turn people into monsters aimed at destroying their target (when in fact the evil only comes back around…we call this KARMA).

For complete reference to the green eyed monster, I suggest watching Kenneth Branagh’s version of “Othello.”

Now, there are a lot of hockey players, hockey columnists, league employees, etc. that come here a lot to read my work. I tend to view this blog as more of an adventures into my world kind of blog. It is connected to everything that there is about my adventures as a hockey columnist. Better yet…a female hockey columnist.

The whole ‘female’ part has its battles of its own, but here, I want to discuss feminism.

I’m going to use the show Desperate Housewives as an example. In the show, Bree VanDerKamp is the Martha Stewart of the bunch. She comes out with her own cookbook, company, etc. in what it means to basically be a woman from the 1950′s.

While most feminists would say that a woman that embraces the ‘Martha Stewart housewife’ lifestyle is taking a step back in the feminist movement, it actually isn’t. The feminist movement should not say that it is wrong to enjoy cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their families (having an elaborate dinner on the table every night, flawless homes, etc.). To say that part of being a woman is WRONG is in itself taking a step back in feminism.

Trying to become equal to men by degrading what it means to be a woman is in itself taking a step back in the feminist movement.

To me, what the feminist movement is really about is protecting women from being wronged, degraded, or victimized. It’s purpose is to advance women into a position where we are deemed as HUMAN BEINGS, and not anything less. As women, we have to help each other out and stick up for each other. We have to help escalate women in this world.

BUT you can’t do that by destroying the meaning of what it means to be a woman. We took strides in becoming liberated as a sexual being and being able to do whatever the hell we wanted to do with our own sexuality and bodies. We take pride in the fact that we can now work in male dominated arenas and still hold onto our feminine ways. We celebrate what it means to be a woman no matter what we look like, what we do, or how we live.

Any woman that tries to thwart our freedom to be a woman is in fact not an ally to the feminist movement.

The feminist movement is about being free to be women, not be as equal as men are by changing ourselves to be more like a man.

Psycho Lady Hockey has come under fire as of late as being anti-feminist and everything that is wrong with ‘puck bunnies.’ Personally, I love her blog and anyone that doesn’t like it can move on. You don’t have to keep going back to her blog and then start a campaign to blacklist her and her followers, friends and readers. That’s childish.

The claims made against Psycho Lady Hockey are in fact wrong and written by someone that apparently doesn’t know her personally and is reading into something that isn’t there and judging her based on what they think they see.

I’ve been reading Katrina’s work since Buddy Oakes (Preds On the Glass) introduced me to it. Her work makes me laugh. There are a few pieces that are controversial enough that I don’t like what she says, but I don’t condemn her for it. She’s entitled to her own opinion…and sometimes she is doing it to spark some sort of reaction from her readers. If she can do it then her job is done for the day.

Now, I’ve worked from a grassroots level with V-Day and women’s shelters. I was even the Director of Governmental and World Affairs for a non-profit that I helped start up (when I left, it completely fell apart). I was the female voice in that group, and that voice was the voice that dominated…and people listened.

My aim was to use that voice for good and to help people. In layman’s terms, it’s called paying it forward.

You gain respect when your aim is for good.

There are so many facets to feminism, but the true aim is to excel women in this world in a positive manner and to celebrate what it means to be a woman.

I like Psycho Lady Hockey because it is a different aspect of feminism. It is the freedom to be a little psycho when it comes to being a female hockey fan. She is a true hockey fan underneath the Psycho Lady exterior. Her adventures across the NHL to see every hockey arena in the NHL is inspiring. We love her blog because we love reading about her adventures.

I’m 10 years older than Katrina and even her blog inspires me in so many different ways. She has my respect as a fellow female hockey columnist, colleague and friend.

There are things that a lot of female hockey fans are afraid of being called…and that’s a “puck bunny.” We are so busy trying to be equal to the male sports fan that anything that can make us remotely feminine is shunned.

Some women shun wearing anything pink or clothing remotely aimed towards the female hockey fan that the NHL sells. It’s as if it is wrong to be a woman AND a hockey fan. There’s nothing wrong with wearing the female hockey gear. There’s nothing wrong with wearing the male hockey gear. All that matters is that you feel great about what you’re wearing. But to take aim at women that would wear pink or feminine clothing to a hockey game is a step back from feminism.

Female fans have the right to express themselves any which way they want to. Ice girls wear less clothing (and I do feel bad for them if they’re flaunting too much skin because it is cold in there).

For a single heterosexual female that’s into sports to say that they don’t have a ‘thing’ for any player…it’s a LIE. If you have never had a crush on an athlete, you will someday. Even I still say that Jesse Palmer (the Bachelor former NFL quarterback) is HOT.

Most teenage girls that get into sports do it because of some cute jock. That is the truth. Just ask all of Zach Parise’s young female fans. When he scores a goal…there’s shrieking throughout Prudential Center…and a bunch of them call themselves MRS. PARISE.

Also when it comes to where I sit during a game when I pay for tickets, I usually sit in the front row. It has nothing to do with picking up a player or flirting with them from my seat. Remember, I have all types of access to them…and IF I were that type of woman, I’d already have tried plenty of times to pick up a few players. But I’m not that type of person. I also do not take kindly to any player that would attempt to hit on me. It’s unprofessional and can lead to something called SEXUAL HARASSMENT. People lose their jobs every day if there’s even a hint of that stuff going on.

Sitting in the front row is a unique experience. I see the game differently when I sit down in front. I’m looking for things that you can’t even fathom I’m looking for in assessing a player, how they play and their contribution to the team. It’s the technical details I’m viewing.

When I first got into hockey, that’s how I learned about hockey…right down by the ice. You view the game differently from that position. You learn things that you’re not going to learn anywhere else higher up in the arena or on television. Even during practices, I’m down in front looking for certain things.

Trust me, if I see something wrong…say a player’s skating not being up to par…and I print it…the next day, the players are running skating drills. You’re not going to pick that up from the nosebleeds.

Even the MSG sportscasters John Giannone and Al Trautwig watch the game down by the ice. They are watching the game the exact same way that I’m watching the game.

When I sit behind the bench, I’m actually watching the coach coaching his team. You learn things when you listen to the coach and watch the team working together to strategize and talk about what they’re going to do next.

I always like listening to a player mic’d up during a game. You get a different view of the game when that happens. Sitting behind the bench is the same thing, as well as sitting in the front row (because I read lips).

To stereotype all female hockey fans that sit in the front row as being a whore, slut, etc. it’s sadly WRONG.

Now, there are women out there that do sit down by the ice in an effort to pick up hockey players (which I don’t understand how that would work considering there’s a sheet of glass between them and the players). I don’t associate with those types. To each their own. It’s their fairy tale world, not mine…but I will not condemn them for it, because it’s THEIR LIFE. Who am I to say what’s right and wrong? This is a part of hockey.

As one of the few female hockey columnists in the league, we have to deal with the bullshit of these stereotypes from both men and women alike. We have to constantly prove that we are not what people ‘assume’ we are because we are a woman or a pretty face. If you’re in it for the players, pick another profession.

Psycho Lady Hockey is a humorous site. The men I’ve spoken to today about the site are absolutely appalled by the hate mail that Psycho Puck Lady got.

They’re not drooling over her. They read her work for pure entertainment value only and nothing more. Many hockey writers in the business respect what she’s doing and that she’s in a certain niche. She’s chronicling her adventures as a hockey addict.

It’s like TMZ versus the New York Times. TMZ has more followers than the NYT sells papers. People go there for entertainment value.

If you don’t like her work, then don’t read it. I don’t visit TMZ because I don’t like their content, their paparazzi ways, and lack of privacy into celebrities personal lives. I’ve boycotted them.

My point is if you don’t like what she’s doing, don’t read her blog. If you keep passing it along to get people to join your bandwagon…you’re only increasing her popularity. If you don’t want her numbers to increase, then BOYCOTT HER. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

And if you haven’t figured out that Psycho Puck Lady is a CHARACTER, then you’ve totally misread all of her work.

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