Wednesday, September 03, 2008

From the Desk of the GM: Beating a Dead Horse. Yes, Another Post About Ice Girls

First off, we've decided to open up the comments on HLOG as I feel that our troll problem has been taken care of for the time being. However, if any of you still feel like you can't play nice in the sandbox, we'll have to turn the moderating back on. Really, I don't mind doing it at all. It sort of makes me drunk with power.

Next, I feel like I need to address an issue that is very controversial among the hockey fandom of both genders...the issue of Ice Girls. Now, I object to scantily-clad females in a space where there are young children present, although the argument can certainly be made that they'll probably see a whole lot worse on TV or in magazines. Most female and even male hockey fans I've spoken to don't like them. They feel that they have no place in our game. I'm actually one of those who don't mind them as much as some people might, but I have to agree that I would much prefer that they not be there. We go to the hockey game to watch the game, and until somebody gives me some actual evidence that a 5 second appearance from a scantily clad female will actually boost attendance, I remain unconvinced of their usefulness. The Senators have a crew of both men and women in tasteful, temperature-appropriate track suits to do the snow clearing during breaks and it is very conducive with a family-friendly atmosphere.

My complaint is that the skanky uniforms is just a blatant form of pandering to the lowest common denominator. Think about it this way, if the ball boys and ball girls in baseball games were dressed that way we'd all think it was absolutely inappropriate and ridiculous. Their jobs might be more physical but it's essentially the same idea isn't it? Not to mention the fact that the ball girls and ball boys are usually young teenagers and the ball parks certainly don't have any problems drawing a crowd (Um, some MLB teams exempted of course) so I don't think the problem is the attractiveness of the personnel.

That being said, I'm not so naive to suggest they don't have any value. Somebody needs to clear the snow, and men are apparently so easy and dumb that they're always a sucker for a scantily-clad attractive female (or at least that's the impression I'm getting) and the truth is, these dumb, hormone-driven males are the majority that pay for the tickets and go to the games.

Puck Daddy recently had a link to a post by Theresa Ferries of The State of Hockey criticizing the use of ice girls in games. I didn't agree with all of her points, for one I think calling Ice Girls simply bimbos on skates might be a bit of a generalization. I think a majority of these girls are just women who are only doing it to supplement their income or shore up their resume for whatever else they want to do in life. Maybe as somebody who's in marketing I can understand why teams see their value and I can't muster up the same amount of ire for them anymore.

I do really like her bringing up the idea that if men want to ogle women on skates in revealing clothing they should just watch figure skating but they would never admit to doing so because it's a "feminine" sport. Which, I think just exposes the whole double standard of classifying sports as "masculine" or "feminine", but that is a whole other discussion for a whole other day.

Her piece is still well-written and she brings up a lot of good points one ought to consider without descending into a childish diatribe about it. I understand one needs to have a sense of humour when reading Puck Daddy, but by Jove, I really cannot read through the comments without wanting to kick some of them in the box. I'm sorry you feel the need to over compensate, but maybe you can do that without resorting to childish behaviour and making rude comments about the author's gender or appearance? Really, it just makes everybody else embarrassed for you.


Cat said...

I'm also one who doesn't mind the Ice Girls as much as most. I've had actual conversations with some of them about hockey (imagine that), and they're not only familiar with the Stars, but also other teams. They're hockey fans who happen to be figure skaters (at least the ones I talked to were).

I would really, really love it if, instead of Ice Girls, they'd use kids, like baseball does with ball boys and ball girls. I don't really enjoy the spectacle of the games. You know, the really loud music, the dancing girls (our Ice Girls dance - some clear the snow, the ones who can't skate dance), all of it. I don't mind the little games they do at intermission - I love nothing more than seeing a bunch of people dressed up as beer bottles try to run around on the ice, and I LOVE it when they have teeny kids playing hockey - but really, all the other crap I could care less about. I go to games to watch the team play and hang out with my friends while doing so, not to be entertained with stuff I could see on television (yes, I watch hockey on television too, but it's late and you get my point anyway).

Rambly and incoherent comment, go!

Lucky13 said...

I'm still anti-ice girl. While it is nice to hear that some of them actually know hockey, we all know that's not why they are scantilly clad and all dolled up. I have a real problem with anything that reinforces the pressure on women to be physically perfect.

Also, if the tactic is to sell tix, has anyone bothered to check to see if it's working? The picture that Sherry included in the post shows the Islanders ice girls, and from what I've heard, they had some of the worst attendance in the league the last couple of seasons. Hard sell there.

elise said...

cat - The Wild uses kids most of the times. Or, random guys in sweatsuits go around doing the actual shoveling and the kids push around the plastic barrels they put the snow in. It's pretty cute.

Shan said...

It's pointless. They shouldn't be selecting people for stupid reasons like that in any job.