The internet, as we all know, is a meritocracy. Especially in the hockey corner of the internet, who you are doesn’t matter so long as you bring high-quality, incisive commentary.
That’s why I– as a straight, white man– was so surprised and so disappointed to learn that some women were not being treated well online.
While some might assume that this abuse is a predictable symptom of the internalized misogyny endemic to sports and the abject failure of society to educate its young men on how to treat women as if they are human beings with rights and dignity equal to their own, I think that’s letting the women off the hook.
Let me explain.
The only reason the boys are being mean to you is that you’re not being a good hockey fan. If you’d only learn and practice the basics of hockey fandom, you’d find that how you get treated has nothing to do with your being a woman or not.
I’ve prepared a list of very simple rules that, if you follow them, you’ll definitely be welcomed as another one of the guys.
This is hockey. It’s about punching and hitting and sometimes scoring. It’s not the forum for remarks about how hot a player is or how good he looks. They’re not Chad Michael Murray and this isn’t season five of Dawson’s Creek. Have some propriety.
Carey Price is too pretty to be hurt.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) May 17, 2014
Brooks Laich wants you to draw him like one of your French girls http://t.co/M7a2LRJI
— RMNB (@russianmachine) December 22, 2012
It’s a simple sport, ladies. Before you shoot off your mouth about something, maybe do a little research first. That way you won’t look like a fool when you’re wrong, and then the guys won’t feel like they have to quiz you on your hockey knowledge– something they do only for the recidivistically incorrect, definitely not just for women.
Wow. That was NOT an Ovi goal. So sorry.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) March 25, 2012
That was Carly. Sorry!
— RMNB (@russianmachine) February 23, 2012
That Grabovski tweet is fake. We're sorry.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) August 23, 2013
(2015, not 2016. Sorry!)
— RMNB (@russianmachine) November 22, 2013
Hockey isn’t an excuse to talk about a bunch of unrelated stuff. You’ll never be welcomed into the hockey community if you go off-topic all the time about whatever nonsense floats through your empty head. If you just blather on about frivolity, you’ll be spurned — and you’ll deserve it.
That suit really brings out Joe B's eyes.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) February 10, 2013
Imagine a 2019 movie with Blunderbuss Crumplezone vs Tom Hiddleston
— RMNB (@russianmachine) December 4, 2014
#bucciovertimechallenge Finance a final season of Gilmore Girls with Amy Sherman-Palladino as showrunner
— RMNB (@russianmachine) June 13, 2013
Fighting is a part of hockey. Fighting is a part of hockey like wooden sticks and frozen ponds are a part of hockey. Fighting is a part of hockey like burrito launchers and RFID tags are part of hockey. Fighting is a part of hockey like chronic traumatic encephalopathy and opioid abuse are a part of hockey.
If you don’t get that, you don’t belong in the sport. You don’t belong in the sport like a marginal player teetering on the edge of re-assignment who is compelled to prove himself by getting repeatedly punched in the head lest he lose his roster spot and 90% of his income doesn’t belong in the sport. So drop your dainty “omg fighting is totes bad” act; you look like a dilettante.
Krys Barch, rather unintentionally, illustrates how profit motive can trump the informed consent argument for hockey fighting.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) November 3, 2013
@wyshynski The plural of anecdote is "You are totally right, Fighting wins games!"
— RMNB (@russianmachine) October 2, 2013
The Caps should fight again. That'll turn it around.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) December 15, 2013
Just proofread your stuff before you share it. People will respect you more if you don’t make lazy mistakes as women are wont to do.
Mike Knuble hasn't been on ice for a shot against Brodeur yet. 8 shits, 7 minutes, no offensive zone starts.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) December 24, 2011
Sorry– COLUMBUS. RT @russianmachine: Verizon Center playing Young Rising Songs.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) January 28, 2015
If you keep bringing up shirtless hockey players, you will lose all credibility forever. You definitely won’t become a popular hockey site that has gotten more opportunities than you’d expect given your track record of impropriety and prurience.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) August 3, 2014
Why is Alex Ovechkin shirtless this time? http://t.co/pD9gnimg7L
— RMNB (@russianmachine) June 16, 2014
New RMNB: Alex Ovechkin plays shirtless soccer again http://t.co/ayAMFBbg Are those love handles?
— RMNB (@russianmachine) August 16, 2012
Before I conclude, ladies: you’re welcome.
Before you read this article, you probably thought that all those men who were being atrocious trolls to you online were doing so because you’re a woman and they’re grotesque neanderthals who have been conditioned to fear and hate you.
Now you know better.
Now you know that all people are treated fairly online according to their behavior and there is definitely no double standard going on. If you simply follow these rules, I’m sure the circumstances of your identity will become a complete non-factor in how you’re treated online.
And now… more shirtless hockey players.
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