Or How Sexism In Sports Will Never End.
So, this one time I was on tumblr and saw a link to this Sports Illustrated article titled "NHL Puck Bunnies'.
You have no idea how mad it made me.
Here is the link to the gallery.
My favorite part of this piece of 'journalism' was this line:
Hockey fans come in all shapes and sizes, buy few are as passionate as the league's female fans (aka - Puck Bunnies)
I can forgive Sports Illustrated's ignorance on what exactly hockey is. This is America and hockey will always be the red-headed step child no matter what Bettman does.
What I can't forgive is how they use a derogatory word to describe all female hockey fans. And they use it cheerfully.
Do they not have fact-checkers up in their offices? Do they seriously think that all women who love the sport of hockey are 'puck bunnies'? Do they even know what a 'puck bunny' is?
It's just another example of how mainstream sports media in America has no idea about anything hockey-related. (Hockey is the hipster sport...we're kidding.)
That word angers me to begin with.
The word 'puck bunny' is used to describe a female who watches the sport of hockey solely to 'hook-up' with a player and because the players are hot.
It's a loaded term that is used by both sexes of fans to berate female fans of other teams, their teams or women who they just don't like at games. This term has to stop. It's vile and cruel and unnecessary.
Girls use it about other girls to make themselves feel better about being a fan. They use it when they are personally threatened by how a girl looks or how she dresses. Guys use it to feel superior about the sport. They use it to degrade the female fans.
Personally, I could not care less if you're a bandwagon fan, if you're a life-long fan, if you jump from team to team, if you're only here to bang the players.
I DO NOT CARE.
I am just thrilled that you decided to pay money to come see the game or watch it on the television. As long as your antics do not interrupt what I am doing or my enjoyment of the game, I don't care why you're there.
I know why I am a fan. I know where my loyalties lie. And that is all that matters. If you wanna bang every hockey player, go right ahead because I don't care and I am not going to stop you. It's your decision and it's your life and I am not going to judge you for it.
The issue here is how SI basically calls every female hockey fan by a name that is derogatory. Not every female fan is a 'puck-bunny'.
Do I find hockey players attractive?
OMG YES ABSOLUTELY!
HOW CAN I NOT?
It's like a dude watching the Victoria's Secret fashion show and not finding any of the girls attractive.
It's rare and it does happen but NOT VERY LIKELY.
So are these guys who find the models attractive called 'Lingerie-bunnies'? Why not? Let's get that trending.
Liking a hockey player because of how he looks should not be something we ridicule. You should make fun of your friend if they are drunk and admit that they like the trolliest-looking player. You shouldn't call a girl a 'puck-bunny' because she finds a player attractive.
How I think of it is this: if I knew this person in real life and if I was say in college with them, would I still find them attractive? If the answer is 'yes' then what does it matter? If I like the hockey player in question for his looks and for his skills then I hit the mother-load.
I am female.
I have lady-parts.
These lady-parts appreciate a pretty face.
Hockey players are attractive because they're built and they're toned and they're talented and they've got language like sailors and they're motivated and they're competitive and they're missing teeth.
So many reasons.
Have I ever watched a hockey game just for the sole purpose of watching a player I find attractive?
No, not really. There are certain teams that I only watch when one of my favorite teams are playing them. And you couldn't get me to watch these teams unless Ryan Whitney was traded there. Then I would think about it.
Admittedly, I barely watch Wild or Devils or Coyotes games unless there's a team I like playing them. Are there attractive players on those teams? Yeah. Zach 'universally pretty' Parise plays for the Devils and I can't even watch those games unless I have to. And Mikko Koivu is one of the best defensive forwards in the league and I still can't watch Wild games. Sorry, nothing against these teams but their playing styles are just not my cup of tea.
As a fan of hockey, I am in love with the game. I have done some crazy things to see a game. And it wasn't because the player that I think I have a chance of banging will be playing. It's because I love the sport. There is something about the quickness and the skill and the fast plays that are just amazing. I've been a hockey fan since I was six-years-old.
Does that make me better than other fans? No. I am sure that there are fans who just started watching hockey who know more than me. All that means is that I have been watching way too much hockey.
Now, back to the Sports Illustrated article.
The pictures are just terrible.
Granted, there are some in there that are of what people like to call 'puck-bunnies' and every girl knows who they are. But who cares? I don't care if you wanna bang Taylor Hall because he's pretty. I don't care if you wanna bang Taylor Hall because he's an amazing player who is an integral part of an up-and-coming team and reached 50 points for the first time in his young career.
If you wanna bang him, go for it.
Here's an example: I worship the ground that Jordan Eberle walks on. Why? Oh maybe because of this:
And I'm not even Canadian.
I can appreciate what this meant for hockey and for Canada and for the kids that were giving it their all in that game. LeTude and I were literally crying and holding each other in the living room watching this game.
Was I crying from joy because Jordan Eberle is SOOOOO HOTTTT? Come on. I was emotional because it was the biggest goal scored probably ever in WJC history. It was important and we understood that and were so happy that we got to witness it.
But the important question to ask is: if he approached me in a bar and wanted to bang me, would I do it?
Absolutely. I would let him bang me if I was a dude. Why? Because he's a Canadian hero and I would be honored that he would want to do it with me. Honored. And I would take one for the team because being American, I would totally get disowned by the country. And he's attractive in a dopey sort of way and he has a cute laugh.
Okay, back to the pictures. Let's analyze some of these.
More than likely puck-bunnies:
more than likely NOT puck-bunnies:
We hope you can tell the difference.
But the funny thing is, maybe the girl holding the 'Marry Me Ryan White' sign knows everything there is about hockey?
What if she knows more than the woman holding the sign that says 'Canucks Give Me 5-0th It's My Birthday' knows absolutely nothing about the sport.
We have to stop judging female fans by what they wear and by what they choose to put on signs.
Oh, apparently everyone.
These girls, no matter how much they know, give the rest of us female fans a bad name. And it sucks. We are already fighting an uphill battle and when male fans and other female fans decide to degrade the other women for making these stupid signs and dressing up for a game, you're kicking women back into the 18th century of sports fans.
This prejudice hurts all of us.
And that's why the word 'puck-bunny' has to stop.
I've been called a 'puck-bunny' many, many times. Mostly by men who thought that it was funny. I don't really care. I know what I know and I know why I watch the game. I feel sorry that these people have to put me down to feel better about themselves as fans.
As female fans, we should embrace the players that we love. Shout from the rooftops about how much you love Henrik Lundqvist or Kris Letang or Taylor Hall. Be proud that you not only find them attractive but you also can appreciate how they play and recite their stats, not because you have to but because you love stats.
I talk about my favorite hockey players all the time. I tell everyone how much I love Ryan Whitney. Do I care what people think of me? No. Sometimes he sucks. Sometimes he has the amazing passes that still make me weep. And most of the time I just love his face.
On this blog alone, we definitely objectify the hockey players that we want. We make up dates and list them in order of who is the hottest. We're allowed because it's the American way and it's a free country. And we have the smarts to back up what we say.
99% of female hockey fans have that one player that they love only because of his looks. It happens. But then there's that player that you love no matter what because of his playing. It could be because he's a master shot-blocker or because he plays with the most passion you've ever seen or because he has this disgusting backhand that gets you all riled up.
We're lucky to be able to see both the skill and the talent while also appreciating the looks of these guys.
If you have to use the word 'puck-bunny' then use it properly.
Use it for a girl who is truly after the players because they're young, rich and attractive. Use it for the girls who go to games and waste their money because they think that they will get the hockey player of her choice to bang her.
That's why the word 'puck-bunny' was invented. So use it properly or not at all.
And we're looking at you, Sports Illustrated.
Let us know what you think.
Also, here is another, better analysis of the article here by Emma Harger.
Check out her take.