Canucks and Beyond

In Defense of Flasher Chick

05/20/2011 at 6:22pm EDT

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.

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.

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