Your TV Guide and Open Thread for Night 17 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs


This will appear every night to inform you of the TV networks and announcers that will be covering the games during the playoffs.  Enjoy all the local and national info, after the jump.

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gender politics in hockey;

Occasionally I do actually write about semi serious topics. Hard to believe but true. The other night tiredness and general annoyance led me to write a bit how it’s time for attitudes to change when criticizing players. And not doing it in a way that means slagging on women. You can read the post here. I was blown away that BKBlades took the time to leave this comment that was much longer than my post. Enjoy the comment below;

I was wondering when you were going to post this and your thoughts about feminizing athletes as a derogatory term. Admittedly, I have been guilty of using the aforementioned slang word for kitty cat when I’ve played competitive sports or got into a major testosterone disagreement with someone in the past. I like to think it wasn’t often, but nevertheless, I am not innocent or naive to the all too frequent use of these terms in sports, or otherwise. As you know, this isn’t a hockey epidemic. This permeates all sports at every level. I’m certainly not going to defend or condone this behaviour, but I do understand how deep and ingrained this has gone in sports. Sports publicly recognizing the presence of females is a modern occurrence. Sports was and in many ways still is a male oriented and dominated area. Fairly or not, sports has been used as a rite of passage, an identification, many times a tool/resource for gender role classification. All the traits that people look up to and worship in our best athletes remain the same throughout the years: hard-working, talented, strong, courageous, impervious to pain, overcoming some sort of adversity. Along those lines, masculinity has been tied to these “ideal” traits.

Sports is a convenient, easily accessible area in life where people can grow up, emulating many athletes and pointing out, “That’s what a man should be.” It’s likely the reason why we disdain and deride athletes that are perceived to be lazy, weak, shies away from adversity or risk, and complains. They’re all traits people don’t want to be associated with athletes because we hold them to ridiculously high standards. Rightly or wrongly, as we use athletes as role models, it’s always the extreme – be the hard-working, salt of the earth third line captains and not those unmotivated floaters who aren’t utilizing all their talents. When we move into the realm of extremes, we “cheat” with our language, too. Wimp, weak, scared, etc. all get melded into singular words either for convenience or maximum effect. Has some of those terms unfairly and inaccurately been used to describe women? Yes. But the connotations to those words aren’t strictly for the purposes of degrading women and automatically thinking men are superior to women (of course, there are sadly many exceptions to my generalization), but rather, identifying what types of people, specifically, males that we want to ultimately hold up to our imaginary pedestal of the so-called perfect man.

Until the onset of feminism, females were often not seen in the same light. And many, males and females, are still coming to grips, I think, when they see great female athletes matching and often surpassing standards originally set out for men only. Unfortunately, it’s going to take time to change a culture that’s so used to using sports as a metaphor for the best qualities of the male gender. But most definitely hold people to the highest standards. It’s the only way we can change.