Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
Girls just wanna have fun ~ Cyndi Lauper
Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Critical Thinking?

Critical –adjective: inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily.

If you are reading this, you are either a Twitter follower or may have been sent the link from a Twitter follower. Either way, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m sarcastic and I don’t kiss ass.
I usually do not hold back when I am passionate about something. I’ll march on Washington for people’s rights. I’ll sign petitions to enact or preserve laws I believe in. I’ll give the shirt off my back and money out of my pocket to people who truly need help. And, I will defend my family, friends, and even my team when I feel they are being ‘threatened’. I am a lioness who protects her cubs. (*lioness* not cougar, to those that went there!)

So, when it comes to criticizing, let’s differentiate it from constructive criticism.

On occasion, I may have said something regarding the Capitals that could be considered a criticism as described above. I try not to, so if there is something out there, my apologies. Show it to me and I’ll happily delete it. I hope I have shown one and all that my allegiances to my team are sincere and realistic. I do not post rants saying that the coach should be fired. I do not spew rhetoric that the General Manager does not know how to do his job. I do not assume to know how to play hockey or run a hockey team. And I find it repugnant when people who claim to be fans of our team do just that. These types of comments are the criticisms that get my dander up.

I’ll grant you; these people are entitled to say what they wish, where they wish and when they wish. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, grants them this right. But, the First Amendment also grants me the same right, which I choose to exercise to the fullest. Hopefully, I accomplish this with a little more intelligence, but that too is a matter of opinion; I’m ok with that.

On the other hand, there is an army of people out there who write blogs and news articles. In my mind, the majority of these people offer constructive criticism of our team (see my list of a few of my favorites on the right). I read these blogs and articles. I usually learn from them. Most are people whose knowledge I trust and rely on to further my understanding of the game. Their opinions are usually well thought out, well written, and well researched. Yes, they may disagree with my opinion on things such as our goalie or our defensemen, but I am open to what they have to say. They, in turn, are also open to what I have to say. (And on the rare occasion that I do comment on one of their blogs, it’s usually one that 'gets' me, since I tend to gravitate to like minded people.)

I try to be nice. I try to be tactful and diplomatic. Sometimes I fail. But, if you are going to use public forums to bash our team while you claim to be a fan, go ahead, but be prepared for a fight...Any questions?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dear @NHL_shop,

At the risk of total ostracization from the NHL, male hockey bloggers, and Twitter followers in general, I would like to write to you concerning to your tweet posted today, 11/3/09, regarding your ‘line’ of ‘Women’s Fashion Jerseys’. I would like to think I speak for a multitude of female NHL fans when I say; excuse me?

When you offer a line of clothing to female hockey fans, do you do any market surveys with women hockey fans?

I am quite sure there is a market for this line of pink jerseys that you are promoting to women. There must be, otherwise you would not continue to offer them. But, and I would like to emphasize BUT , please recognize there are so many women hockey fans that do not wish to wear pink jerseys. (Here are some words to live by-pink is for lingerie and Breast Cancer Fundraising).

If the NHL would offer ‘regulation’ style jerseys in team colors with a women in mind, we would all appreciate it and probably swamp your store with orders. It is very difficult to find women’s hockey jerseys that are actually made for a woman, let alone ones that come pre-customized with a player's name and number. In searching online and after reviewing the comments in reply to your posting, I can see that many women feel it is a relentless endeavor.

In the hope that I can persuade you to consider our pleas,
I would like to direct you to a recent blog article called “Sexism and the NHL third jersey: Female fan's plight, fight” written by Greg Wyshynski on his Puck Daddy blog, dated 10/30/09, where even though he is writing about NHL Third Jerseys, this could be applied to all NHL team jerseys. He states:

This might all seem like quite a mountainous molehill, but it speaks directly to the problems many female fans have had with the League's marketing approach. Creating a female-cut version of a third jersey seems like such a fundamentally sound decision -- the jerseys are usually more visually striking, in a fashion sense, than the usual gear -- that it was rather stunning to discover that they aren't available.

Is it possible that women's cut jerseys are available off the Web, or that they're on the way? Sure. But for now, it's either a pitiful oversight or, worse, an intentional decision not to tailor these jerseys for female fans in the same way that traditional home jerseys are; either way, it needs to be rectified by the teams that aren't currently offering them.

Secondly, is it possible to find a line of clothing whose name is not insulting to women fans? I am speaking of “Be Luv’d”, “touch” by Alyssa Milano, and “Ice Flirt”. These names are a connotation of the image of the female hockey fan as the proverbial ‘puck bunny'. I would be embarrassed to wear any clothing with a trade name such as those, and I am sure I am not alone in this.

Finally, I would like you to consider the role the NHL, (and thereby; the NHL Shop), plays in the marketing to women fans. Among many of the responses to your posting regarding the ‘fashion jerseys’, (and yes, I must put that in quotes, because there really is very little that is ‘fashionable’ about them), I would like to call your attention to a comment made by @sweetestofdekes,

“@nhl_shop, in fact, I'd like you to meet my master's thesis on marketing hockey to women sometime. Have your people call my people.”

I have read her thesis, and find it extremely well written and informative. Not only speaking as a feminist, which I am, but as a female hockey fan, there is a lot the NHL could learn if you broaden your thinking in regards to women fans.

So, as much as I, and thousands of other female hockey fans, support the NHL, the NHL Shop, and our home teams, please realize that our complaint isn’t so much the pink jerseys, as it is the lack of women’s jerseys in team colors that we would be proud to wear to any NHL game. Offer those in addition to the pink ‘jerseys’ and we’ll happily and quietly scoff at the ‘Women’s Fashion Jerseys’ while we attend our NHL games feeling like our voices and opinions matter to the NHL…Any questions?