Why This Woman Won’t Be Watching “While The Men Watch”
It’s time for the NHL to ditch the “Because It’s The Cup” slogan. After reading about CBC’s latest offering to female hockey fans – and I‘m using that term very loosely – may I suggest “Because We Wear Cups”? After all, we non-cup-wearers are just there to ogle hot guys and critique the coaches’ sartorial choices, right?
Yeah, except we’re not. While I don’t have a problem with the content of “While The Men Watch” (although I’d rather go into the corner for a loose puck with Chris Pronger than actually watch it) I have issues with the title, the concept, and what they imply.
Enjoying hockey is not solely for men, and a publicly funded TV station in a country with 85,000 registered female players should realize this. I’ve also known my share of Canadian women who are not registered players, and who enjoy watching and appreciating hockey as a sport rather than some kind of Chippendales-meets-Fashion-Week-on-Ice.
As a registered player with USA Hockey, I find it ridiculous that the tax dollars of my Canadian friends and their families are being used to promote the idea that enjoying hockey as a game is for men, and the appropriate role for women is to complain about which coaches need better haircuts. I may have a tiny crush on Zach Parise (if I didn’t mention that, Ben Kerr would have), but I can also go into detail about his play on the ice and why it’s effective, and what I’ve learned from watching him… It’s not just “OMG HE’S SO HOT.”
A few years ago, I was extremely happy to see Cassie Campbell in an on-air role with Hockey Night In Canada. I’d love to see her have the opportunity to use her experience and knowledge in a more analytical role, but I am happy that at least a female reporter was on the air.
The more recent addition of Andi Petrillo was another step in the right direction as far as acknowledging the increasing roles and capabilities of women in hockey. Don’t get me wrong, I think a hockey show geared toward women is a fantastic idea. It’s just that “While The Men Watch” is exactly the wrong way to go about it. It stereotypes and trivializes, and that never works out.
… and that is the Last Word.