Thursday, November 08, 2007

Who Wears Stilettos to a Hockey Game??

I figured I had to post this because it's certainly discussion-worthy:



The Penguins held a "Hockey 'n Heels" event last night, geared towards attracting female fans. The idea in essence is a good one, and I believe the Kings also did one earlier this year. The Caps also had one of these last season with an incredible response, selling out in a short period of time and eliciting rave reviews from the attendees.

I think what bothers me is the tone of the article...very condescending, a little obnoxious, and the decision to single out the girl who "came decked out in a Pens shirt and baseball hat, accessorized with black-and-gold bangle bracelets and black-and-white, 3-inch high heels" seems like an odd choice. Oh, she "also has a pair of yellow heels she adds to her ensembles". Excellent. And this was written by a woman!

I don't know, it rubbed me the wrong way. Thoughts?

13 comments:

Teka said...

When Lisa Ovens can get me free beer for being female, I might bother to listen to what she says. Until then, her book is going firmly in the "Sports Books For Dumb Broads" category of my thesis research.

Kerriberry7228 said...

I think her heart is in the right place, but I think the emphasis on yoga classes and nail-doing before the Steeler game is a bit much. I think you hit the nail on the head though... high heels to a hockey game? Not all women wear stilettos all the time! I am much more of a sneaker girl, but I did wear heels once, last season, because I came straight from work to the Islanders third playoff game against the Sabres. (I wore my Ranger jersey anyway, of course). The look was sorta cute, if I do say so myself. But still so not comfortable when you want to be able to jump up for goals and call bullshit at refs.

CapsChick said...

kerri: I agree, the attempt is nice and it's fine, but yeah - it's focusing more on being a girly fan and not just a fan. Female fans come in all shapes and sizes but for some reason we can't shake the overly-girly image.

And yes, wearing heels to a game when coming straight from work is fine ;) I just have trouble climbing alllll the way up to the cheap seats in anything but flats!

Shan said...

I don't think you girls are in the target audience of the book. How much can really be said about female fans without talking about the uniquely female side of things? Like high heels, lipstick, dating, and whatever else those dumb magazines talk about. I'm sure it's off-putting any time you're made to look like women first, hockey fans second, but she'd probably find nothing to write about otherwise.

Nadine said...

My major complaint with Ovens and every subsequent MSM write-up is the whole "embrace your inner cheerleader" thing.

I was a three-year, three-seasons a year varsity athlete. I wasn't a cheerleader and I didn't want to be one.

Telling me to embrace my inner cheerleader is like calling me a puck bunny: it's bound to get you verbally smacked down because they are one and the same in my book.

But maybe that's just because we had ridiculous cheerleaders at my high school...

KMS2 said...

That article was poorly written. Not to toot my own horn but I think my post about the LA H&HH event was more descriptive about what the event was. But then again, we didn't have a panel of ladies and have a discussion about what it means to be a female hockey fan. I'm glad we didn't because I hate going into discussions about that. If the LA event had that my contribution would have been "I'm a hockey fan, ok, let's move on." These events are marketed in the oddest ways because the LA event was almost nothing like how it was advertised. Lisa was actually really f'ing cool and I had a blast sitting next to her during the game during which we talked about a ton of hockey stuff and it was fun talking to someone (in person) who is a fan of a team other the Kings.

I was quick to hate on these events just like all of you (I even wrote a post about how I was too good to attend the LA event) but after having attended one I've been looking at it from a different perspective. I'm in the middle of Lisa's book and it's funny. Nothing about "we're female and we wear high heels...tee hee hee." It's definitely a different type of hockey book because it's something that any of us could have wrote about (our experience as a fan during one specific season).

This comment turned out waaaaay longer than I had anticipated. Sorry to be babbling so much! I guess the bottom line is, die hard female hockey fans come in all different types and while it's easy to judge based on appearances what we wear to a hockey game and how we like to present ourselves should in no way be indicative of how well versed we are in hockey history and culture. I should have a just written a post...

Elly said...

Sigh. CC, you have a very good point. I've been swamped with work and have been sitting on a post about this (and to get more information, thank you for linking the article), and I was not impressed with what I saw during the Flyers game (they had a quick segment about it, I need to go back and rewatch, I was crying about the Flyers lead at that time too much to really pay attention. That and the 3 Flyers fans behind me), which showed a small room with female fans, all looking very done and pretty and 20 something in their Crosby jerseys, listening to Ovens talk. I didn't get much else, so I'll hold my thoughts on the rest, but I was hoping that there would have been a bit more diversity in the female crowd to attend. Yes, the article did come off as a little condescending, and as far as I know (I haven't checked too much, been busy as I said), the only coverage of it.

KMS2: 'bottom line is, die hard female hockey fans come in all different types and while it's easy to judge based on appearances what we wear to a hockey game and how we like to present ourselves should in no way be indicative of how well versed we are in hockey history and culture.'

I think you've summed up the entire female fan debate in one eloquent sentence. It's about substance more than surface, but unfortunately (and I do it as well), we all judge on appearances. Maybe that girl in the article was a deep-rooted hockey fan? How can we tell? Does a deep knowledge of stats and numbers make a true fan? It's going to be an on-going debate for ages.

Shan: Yeah, probably not, heh, but that's life when you're in a tucked-away minority.

I cannot speak for all my co-bloggers here on personal taste, but it would be nice to have something other than yoga and manicures offered (nice point, Kerri). Teka said something about free beer...why not half off those horribly over-priced drinks for ladies for Monday night games along with the curlers and makeup? Or a discount on the first Friday of every other month in the retail department? A drawing to be able to go on a guided tour (that was in the Hockey in Heels thing, but I'm just spouting ideas here), or something along those lines? It targets more the fan rather than the gender. Maybe it's just me, and that my fashion sense has been beaten down and tempered by the fact that I live in a cold, wintry, rough state (our idea of winter fashion? Fleece, wool, and long underwear. Ladies in heels are frozen and miserable and I have scraped my car off many times without gloves, I can't imagine without proper shoes), so I can't speak for all women (and would never try, just make nice, big generalizations), but those things sound interesting to me. I've seen some pretty regular, comfortable, and non-made up ladies at the Igloo before, maybe it would interest them, too.


So, fellow ladies (and others too!), what sounds like a good fan-outreach draw for your team?

Elly said...

Holy crap I rambled. I should have done what KMS2 said and just made a dang post. Sorry for the long-winded reply, guys!

Cat said...

While I think the idea is nice, I don't like the generalization of female hockey fans being cute and decked out all the time. I go to games in jeans and a jersey and flats. CUTE flats, mind you, but still.

I think the problem is still society as a whole expecting women to be gussied up all the time, even when said women are sports fans who just want to go to the game, drink a beer, and yell at players and refs.

Lucky13 said...

Wow nothing burns me more than reinforcing the female stereotype. Inner cheerleader? I'd just as soon shave my eyebrows. IMO, this story did nothing but darken the line between male and female fans. I'm no activist, but I detest how different the expectations are between the appearances of men and women.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

Kerriberry7228 said...

That's it, Elly!

NHL mandated "Ladies Night." Half off beer and chocolate ice cream. Free hat for the first 500 women to the game. Any team in noncompliance gets sues $100,000 dollars a day. (See current NYR website drama, lol.)

I'm so excited, someone write a letter.

KMS2 said...

why not half off those horribly over-priced drinks for ladies for Monday night games along with the curlers and makeup? Or a discount on the first Friday of every other month in the retail department?

One of the things about LA event that I most pissed off about was that the social hour/wet bar was actually a CASH bar!! Not that I was planning on getting hammered in front of Luc Robitaille, but STILL!!! Cash bar?? C'mon...give me a free beer or two or at least something, I mean even the soda cost $2.50! Although, in fairnes to the Kings' organization, they did include a raffle (which was NOT stated in the flyer) so a couple ladies won some goodie bags filled with autographed pucks, photos, and other Kings stuff. I actually won a puck autographed by Luc but since I had just asked him to sign a puck I brought (thanks to Finny for the idea) I gave the puck to my friend. Anyhow...where am I going with this?? I don't know. I should just write a damn post. Ok, look for one over the weekend.

Elly said...

Kerri: That sounds really good. It's something that even men could get behind, and a little more broad spectrum to more types of female fans.