Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

In Defense of Flasher Chick

From Katie Maxmick at Canucks Hockey Blog:

“When the reporter asked me how it made me feel, I realized it made me feel pretty pissed off. Why? Well because after all the articles I’ve written on female fans and our fight to be taken seriously in the NHL, some chick goes and does something like this and sets us back a peg in the hockey world. [...]

It’s not appropriate for a guy to take off his shirt at a hockey game, and it sure as hell isn’t for a female to do the same when there are many children watching from either the crowd or their living rooms at home.”

Clearly Kate Maxmick wasn’t happy with the events of Wednesday night, and of course she’s entitled not to be. It’s her opinion after all. 

But I’m not a big fan of generalized statements, so I can’t help but respond.

image
Rich Lam, Getty Images

First off, I’ll address the children issue, since it’s the most inflammatory point. (Inflammatory since the implication becomes, if I don’t have a problem with the boob-flashing girl, apparently I don’t care about children.)

But in my opinion, the fact that people make such a big deal about it is far more of a problem than my daughter being inadvertently exposed to 2.5 seconds of nudity.  It’s nudity, not an insider’s view of the holocaust, for pete’s sake.  Or any of a million episodes of background violence that people seem fine with letting their kids enjoy on television programs and video games these days.

It’s nudity.  Breasts. For a few seconds! 

I understand we don’t want kids staring at this stuff all the time, but for a few seconds in a context like this, is it really all that tragic??

I won’t speak for Maxmick, but the assumption seems to be that any nudity must immediately be viewed as a sexualized image, hence something children should never see.  And sure, I’d prefer to keep sexualized imagery away from kids, too.  But it seems to me that if you’re seeing “sex” in such a televised moment as what happened at the penalty box that night, you’ve got a greater imagination than I do.

Secondly, presenting this as an issue that effects female fans and writers, like we’re all the same and all agree, irritates me to no end. 

Maxmick finishes off her piece asking male viewers to “try to see the larger picture. In it alongside of you are kids and thousands of respectable women trying to enjoy the game.”

I almost choked. “Respectable women”?  Seriously?

As someone who gladly posted the unedited video footage of the incident, there’s certainly no doubt I fall well-outside Maxmick’s category of “respectable women.”  And I’m okay with that.

But I do wonder where she came up with the idea she might be the guardian and decider of what “women” in general think is appropriate, of funny, or offensive? 

Am I not-respectable just because I just think hockey fans—men and women—do crazy, goofy, and (often) stupid things… and that those things frequently make me laugh?

Sure, that might make me front-runner for “Immature Frat Girl of the Year,” but it doesn’t mean I’m not interested in women’s rights, or respecting their opinions or their voice in the game.  As someone who started hockey blogging in 2003—at a time when there were virtually zero other females blogging about hockey—I’m plenty familiar with being disparaged as a female voice.

And yet, somewhat ironically, it’s Maxmick goes on to proclaim “I’m not a Feminist.”

And perhaps more ironically, I’m perfectly content to say I’m AM one. 

Go figure.

First we had Glenn Healy getting all freaked out because the Green Men were shaking their junk too close to his face, and so I defended the Green Men against that over-reaction. 

Yet now I’m supposed to condemn Boob Girl in the name of The Sisterhood, or something?  Gimme a break.

Girls and boys acting ridiculous and flashing their business at a hockey game—once in a very rare blue moon—are the least of our problems in this world.

Just my opinion.

P.S. Just to be 100% clear—since I know how easily these things can be misinterpreted—I’m not meaning any attack on Katie Maxmick personally. It’s just a point of view I seriously disagree with, but that’s not to say she’s not a fine writer.

 

Filed in: | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink
 

Comments

GZ Expat's avatar

When I read that article, I would have hoped someone would sort of counter the point.  Thanks for doing that. 

The same fans that stand and cheer loudly at bare knuckle fighting during a game, are the same ones that are shocked…simply SHOCKED…that someone would whip ‘em out in a moment of hilarity.

Makes the Jeff Cowan bra incident pale in comparison.

Posted by GZ Expat on 05/20/11 at 05:49 PM ET

Avatar

I thought nudity wasn’t as big a deal in Canada as it is in the U.S. but perhaps I was wrong, didn’t you Canadians have some nude cooking show a while back?  I think people get way too wound up about nudity anyway and you’re right in that generalizations about a large and diverse group of people don’t hold up.

Posted by Devils In The Details on 05/20/11 at 05:55 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

They’re boobs. Lighten up.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/20/11 at 06:05 PM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

Great response.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 05/20/11 at 06:09 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

I’m all for nudity at hockey games.  And the pool.  And the grocery store.  And the bank.  And well pretty much every where but church. 


And grandma’s house.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/20/11 at 06:10 PM ET

Avatar

Really appreciate this, thank you. “Respectable women” is not a phrase I like to see outside historical documents - especially since I think boob girl is still pretty respectable. She made a decision which other people have judged incorrect, that’s all. She hasn’t suddenly become a blow-up doll because people saw some ladybits. You don’t have to treat her with respect, but if you treat her with less respect than you would have before seeing her breasts, well. That’s a bit sad.

The implication that a female hockey fan must be a bandwagoner - or something - because she happens to have intentionally or unintentionally sexualized herself to the masses is pretty sad, too. Being young, pretty, and possessing breasts does not make her a bad fan. Maybe she spent the whole game keeping track of offensive zone starts and charting passes between her beers. There is literally no reason not to believe so, other than “most people don’t,” but everyone seems quite convinced that she’s an idiot.

Identifying yourself as a feminist is always dangerous on the internet, but I’m happy to do so in this instance. The response to this has been awful, from the stalking to the declarations of moral virtue to the people who seem to think that the male of the species will literally turn into wild dogs if they see a nipple. The event itself pales in comparison.

(ps - I too find it funny that people keep speaking for all women. What about the lesbians? Everyone else is going “think of the children,” and I’m going “think of the lesbians!”)

Posted by annie may on 05/20/11 at 06:10 PM ET

petshark's avatar

Unbelievable. I have absolutely no problem with women’s boobs, or men’s boobs for that matter.  In view of the violent noise and the content of things people shout at the top of their lungs during a hockey game, a woman flashing her boobs is supposed to be offensive?  It is moderately funny because unexpected but honestly, there is something seriously wrong with people thinking children will be traumatized by the sight of naked breasts. What if kids and the adults they grow into DID see naked women every day?  They would be desensitized, not traumatized. Some women might be made uncomfortable if the exposed breasts are more shapely than their own, but your own body image issues are no reason to inflict nudity phobia and other neuroses on the children by getting all worked about it.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 05/20/11 at 06:10 PM ET

Avatar

It’s not appropriate for a guy to take off his shirt at a hockey game

There used to be a dude who came to Penguins games with no shirt and a P painted on his chest. He used to dance between commercials and was a fixture on the jumbotron. Everybody loved him. No idea what she’s talking about.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/20/11 at 06:23 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t know about anyone else, but I saw plenty of boob as a kid, at least until I stopped breast feeding.

Posted by Simon on 05/20/11 at 06:27 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

GZ Expat—Damn, I should’ve remembered the Jeff Cowan incideent when I wrote this. Seems fitting!

Devils in the Details— I don’t want to speak in generalizations (given what I just waxed Ms. Maxmick for doing) but I think you’re right… as a rule, we’re not quite as censor-obsessed when it comes to nudity or (particularly) language in media. But I suppose some things are always triggers… and girls flashing their bits at a national camera in the highest rated broadcast forum in the country, is bound to create a wider hit of offended parties. smile

Chris in Hockey Hell and Chris from NOHS - Agreed.  And thanks!

42 Jeff— Predictable. smile

Annie May—great comment.  I particularly liked this:

She hasn’t suddenly become a blow-up doll because people saw some ladybits. You don’t have to treat her with respect, but if you treat her with less respect than you would have before seeing her breasts, well. That’s a bit sad.

I wish I was as eloquent.

Petshark— You make some great points. I realize it’s a personal thing, what we expose our children to, but throwing blinders over everything has always seemed like a bit of a lost cause to me.

StevieSteve—I was a bit confused by that part too.  God, I’ve been exposed to so many man-chests at hockey games in my life, I might need therapy soon. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 05/20/11 at 06:35 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

But in my opinion, the fact that people make such a big deal about it is far more of a problem than my daughter being inadvertently exposed to 2.5 seconds of nudity.  It’s nudity, not an insider’s view of the holocaust, for pete’s sake.  Or any of a million episodes of background violence that people seem fine with letting their kids enjoy on television programs and video games these days.

Agreed, completely.

Its like CNN showing pictures of torture and humilliation in Abu-Ghraib and censoring prisioner’s genitals. For gawd’s sake, children can be exposed to horrible acts performed by horrible people, but can’t see a penis? I’d bet that if a kid saw an unedited pic it’s first question wouldn’t be “what’s that thing hanging”, but “why was this guy hanged”.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 05/20/11 at 06:39 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

after all the articles I’ve written on female fans and our fight to be taken seriously in the NHL, some chick goes and does something like this and sets us back a peg

Because all women must think and feel the exact same way, after all, their genitals are the same, and that’s all that matters, right?

/sarcasm

Alanah, your response was perfect.

It is definitely off-color what happened, but honestly, not that big of a deal. It doesn’t “set women back” and it doesn’t hurt any children.

The parents that are upset their kid just maybe saw a pair of boobs while watching hockey are the parents that are too lazy and/or uncomfortable with their own bodies and views on sexuality to turn the moment into a lesson and teach their kids to keep their private parts to themselves. Any time something like this happens, the faux-outrage (“But think of the children!”) is just a crutch for these lazy half-wit parents.

The original authors comments are both offensive to men and women. They imply that all men will see this girl showing us her boobs, and immediately our response will be, “Gee, now I expect all women at hockey games—and all women that have anything to do with hockey—to be sexual objects here to please me.”

Of course there are men this dense and pathetic. But the point is that these guys are going to be pigs whether this flashing incident happened or not. And it’s insulting to the rest of us (the majority of us) to imply we’re all like that.

And the implication on women is even worse, on multiple levels. First, it implies all women are the same, or that they should be the same and feel the same way about things. Uh… do I even need to explain why that’s wrong? Second, it implies that women that take hockey “seriously” have now lost their credibility by proxy of this flasher. How does that make any sense? The fact one boob of a women decided to show the world her boobs at a Canucks game has zero bearing on the credibility of the average female hockey fan, female member of the hockey media and blogosphere, hockey moms, etc. etc. etc.

Maybe I’m not qualified to talk about this since I’m not a women, but I think that the definition of feminism is choice. Point being, if this dumb girl chooses to flash people, the point of feminism is to fight for her right to be an individual that is allowed to make those decisions and have those decisions judged INDIVIDUALLY, rather than against her entire sex. She’s still stupid for doing it, but c’mon… not the end of the world.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/20/11 at 06:45 PM ET

awould's avatar

I think that type of behavior should be encouraged, especially for broadcasts shown in HD.

Posted by awould on 05/20/11 at 06:56 PM ET

Avatar

Alanah, I won’t repeat what others have written but I totally agree with you and I appreciate you writing this…a lot of journalists are making such a big thing out of this woman!

And Nathan, you are also correct.Some comments are just offensive to men too! Not all men are pigs and will view this in a “sexual” way!

Posted by Meg on 05/20/11 at 07:20 PM ET

Tapeleg's avatar

I hate how SOME (and sometimes, I hate myself for using the ‘some’ tag) female hockey fans get angry at other female hockey fans for not acting the way they think is appropriate.  Imposing a view on how a woman should or should not act is exactly what women, and female hockey fans that complain about it, have been fighting against for years.  If you don’t want to be represented by the breast-flashing mob, then don’t flash your breasts.  There, problem solved.  Telling someone else how they should or shouldn’t express themselves is a horrible way to be self-righteous.  And to hide behind the ‘think of the children’ clause?  Please.

Good post, Alanah.  I know it’s all conformation bias, but good job.

Posted by Tapeleg on 05/20/11 at 08:23 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Thanks for all the interesting, thoughtful comments.

And Nathan, you mention something that I ignored for this piece but was in the back of my mind: that elements of this are certainly offensive to men, too, since it presumes they would view this event in a certain light… rather than the same way I do: that a goofy fan was just behaving like a goofy fan.  Or a tipsy one. Or whatever was going on in her head. smile

And by the way, since a couple of you mentioned this exact phrase, I wanted to confess that I almost titled this post “Think of the Children!”  But then I figured I’d better not… it might highjack the rest of my point in all of this. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 05/20/11 at 09:04 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

So let’s review:

*Close-up of coach saying: “F you and your f’ing f you up your a-hole you f’ing f!”

“Part of the game.”

*Close-up of player spitting out teeth or incurring a grotesque wound and skating off the ice, leaving a trail of blood:

“Shows the heart and character of a hockey player.”

*Hockey player being subjected to so many cross-checks, slashes, hacks, whacks, punches and facewashes that it woud literally be criminal outside the confines of a hockey rink, because he’s near the goal crease:

“That’s the price you pay to go to the front of the net.”

*Naked breasts:

“OHMYGODNOHOWAWFUL!”

I don’t think that I’m allowed to call myself a feminist because I’m a guy, but I was raised by a feminist, and I can’t remember anything about being required to stereotype and write off an entire gender based on someone who probably drank a few too many whatevers baring her “assets.”

Behaviors you don’t want to tell “you kids,” as Don Cherry would say, to engage in? There’s a lot of that going on.

The gals from Chicks Who Give a Puck didn’t summarily say, “Okay, we give up!” and resign when this young lady pretty much evened up all the covered-up-with-green-but-visible male genitalia we’ve seen near the visiting team’s penalty box all season long.

Somehow, magically, female hockey fans everywhere weren’t rendered into sex objects. I hope not, anyway, because I’d lose half my readership and over half of my hockey-loving friends. I’d miss ‘em because they’re smart, don’t take any BS, and don’t get into testosterone wars about who’s “more right” about something.

Besides, aren’t we supposed to write off all males already because you’re bound to run into some drunk guy peeing behind the bar at some point during your hockey fan’s existence?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/20/11 at 09:54 PM ET

creasemonkey's avatar

I don’t know about anyone else, but I saw plenty of boob as a kid, at least until I stopped breast feeding.

Posted by Simon on 05/20/11 at 05:27 PM ET

I was going to add, most kids don’t seem to mind seeing a boob right after they are born.  Instead, I’ll state my hypothesis that most people freak out over *kids* seeing nudity because they are too lazy/scared to bother explaining the aspect of nudity and society’s reaction to it.  But that can be said about a lot of topics.

Posted by creasemonkey from sweet home san diego on 05/20/11 at 10:43 PM ET

Avatar

I’m a chick and I love and appreciate what you’ve said here. I am in total agreement.
I also immediately posted the uncensored video of the flashing and updated on the consequences that this girl has faced since her decision on Wednesday night to bare all.
Not insulted in any way by this fun incident! We should all lighten up!!

Posted by Jodi from Aldergrove, BC on 05/21/11 at 03:46 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Thanks Jodi!

I read your post. I’ve heard those rumours about the consequences she’s possibly facing as well…. hopefully they’re not true.  One thing about Vancouver… always a whole lot of crazy rumours. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 05/21/11 at 03:58 PM ET

Avatar

She’s a whore plain and simple, I guarantee if a man rubbed his penis on the glass everyone would be outraged.  She should expect to be called a slut for a while she earned it after all.

Posted by Brandon on 05/24/11 at 04:13 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by Brandon on 05/24/11 at 03:13 PM ET

You were dumped recently, weren’t you?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/24/11 at 04:39 PM ET

Avatar

What a joke, rapists and murderers don’t get this much press. So she flashed her tits, big *#$%@& deal, it was a great moment, and Eager must be gay, he didn’t even look, lol.

We as a population need to lighten up, we’ve become too high strung and go off on the stupidest things except things that count.

Society is going downhill fast and this really proves it.

Posted by Bad dog from Abby on 05/24/11 at 09:24 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]