Rabid Habs

The Fear Of Loving Hockey As A Girl

I hear the term “puck slut” constantly thrown around on Twitter. At first, I honestly had no idea what it meant. I thought maybe it was some messed up way to describe someone who only sleeps with hockey players, but even then I didn’t really care because what someone else does in their life is none of my business. However, after awhile I came to realize that “puck slut” didn’t just mean what I imagined. In fact, it was worse than I had thought.

The definition of “puck slut” according to Urban Dictionary means, “A very slutty female (usually) that will f**k anything hockey. Used to describe people that are obsessed with no-strings-attatched sex with hockey players,” and “a sometimes attractive, very easy, slut that hangs around the hockey rinks just waiting for a hockey player to screw her.” Now, while that was the meaning I first expected, I came to realize that some male and female hockey fans on Twitter were also using the term “puck slut” to describe female fans who sent non-sexual tweets to their favourite players. While I am overly disgusted by all of this, I figured the grown up thing to do would be to sit here and address the issue and explain why the term “puck slut” could potentially ruin a girl’s love for hockey.

I hate the word “slut” (I always have), it’s a word made up by people to describe someone who likes to have sex with different people. First of all, why is that bad? If a woman or a man is being safe by using protection and is happy with their life, why is it so wrong? Second of all, why is it any of your business what someone does behind closed doors? Just because you don’t like having a lot of sex with different people, doesn’t mean a person who does is awful and ‘gross.’ If anything, they’re probably happier than most of us (I’m not going to go into the health benefits of sex right now, but I’m just making a point). Now to the real point of this article:

When anyone calls a girl a “puck slut” because she happens to be female and happens to love certain players, it’s not okay. Why? Just because a girl loves a sport and happens to love certain teams or players, does not mean that she wants to sleep with them or marry them. All it means is that a girl loves a sport and admires the people that play the sport. There is a lot to blame for this “puck slut” shaming. The main problem is stereotyping. I am not saying there aren’t any girls out there who want to sleep with hockey players, because there probably are some who wouldn’t mind doing that, and because there is a medium majority of women who would like to be with a certain athlete, this makes some people assume that most girls who like hockey are only in it for the penis and not for the game. Let’s also look at the models of NHL apparel (no, not the ones on the actual NHL site). I’m talking about the girls who model for different websites wearing crop tops and low neck shirts sporting certain NHL team logos. In fact, there is a whole gallery dedicated to “hot female hockey fans” where you can see many of these photos. Now, I am not saying that it is wrong for those models to be wearing what they wear, because it’s not. It’s their life, it’s their job, it’s what they’re doing and what they seem to be happy doing. The main problem is some people take this and create discrimination towards these women, and it doesn’t just happen in the hockey world, it happens everywhere. Most times when you see a girl walking downtown with a skirt above her knees, you’ll most likely hear some cat calls and snickers from girls and guys passing by them. Is it wrong? Yes. Of course it’s wrong for some. Not every female wants this.

In my experience online and offline, I’ve never once been called a “puck slut.” Maybe it’s because I’m a lesbian, or maybe it’s because I don’t fit into whatever neat little category a “puck slut” is supposed to be. Whatever the case may be, I worry for young female hockey fans everywhere, and this is why:

When you’re bashing young women and girls on Twitter by calling them a “puck slut” or a “puck bunny”, you’re making some of these women afraid to come back onto Twitter and to love hockey overall. From what I’ve seen, there has not been one guy on Twitter that has been labelled a “male puck slut” just because he likes to interact with his favourite players and wear his favourite jersey during Saturday night hockey, yet it seems to be perfectly okay for some men and women to go on and bash these girls for loving something that brings them joy. This is what causes the fear of loving hockey as a girl; when you are constantly teased and bashed online and offline, when you get direct messages from men telling you that you’re sexy because you wore a Montreal Canadiens jersey while wearing shorts because it was too warm to wear pants that day, when all you’re portrayed as is a girl who is only here to crush on the boys and pay no attention to the game whatsoever – these are the reasons why some girls are absolutely terrified to love hockey, including myself.

What I’m thankful for are the men and women who stand up for these young girls online. I remember a time where I saw a girl I follow send a tweet to Mike Weaver saying, “Double whammy on @mikeweaver_43 today”, and it was just a photo of her in the bathroom taking a selfie with her Mike Weaver shirt and her Mike Weaver iPhone case. Obviously a huge  fan, Weaver was nice enough to reply with “looks good!” A harmless fan getting a nice reply from her favourite player; it wasn’t bad until  someone tweeted at both of them saying “law slut.” Now, I have no idea what a “law slut” is. Is it a woman who sleeps with tons of legal papers? I have no idea, all I know is that Mike Weaver’s reply was more golden than ever:

 

Of course after that reply, the “law slut” tweeter replied with “Sorry Mike”, but would not apologize to the innocent girl who just wanted to have a conversation with her favourite hockey player.

Anyone, whether in the NHL or not, who defends young women who are harassed by boys/men and girls/women like the one mentioned above are beautiful in my books. However, the problem with this childish shaming still goes on every day. Just because there are girls and women out there who have crushes on players, who want to marry players, and who want to have sex with players does not mean every other female on and off Twitter are the same. Once again, I will point out that there is nothing wrong with what other females are doing in regards to liking a hockey player a little more than others. In fact, it’s none of our business as to what they do with their life. Why should we care? Why does it matter?

Finally, to all of the men and women out there who constantly call female fans of hockey “sluts” or “puck sluts”, I leave you with this question: “What if your daughter was a huge fan of hockey and loved certain players, but when she expressed her love for the team and for those men, she constantly got hate and harassment on Twitter for it, even though she didn’t do anything wrong?” Because it’s tweets like these…

 

 

 
 

 

 

…that make girls afraid to love hockey.

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: “The Fear Of Loving Hockey As A Girl” – My Opinion On “Puck Slut” Shaming – truehabstrongandfree

  2. Roland Briere

    December 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Very good read. May daughter is an enormous hockey fan, and has been since she was a kid. Knows more about the game than I do. But there was no “Social” media back then. If terms like “PS” were out there, I never heard them.
    Social Media unfortunately has a dark side. This is part of it.

  3. Jessica-Lyn Saunders

    December 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful comment, Roland! 🙂

  4. Krist Heiman

    December 28, 2014 at 10:12 am

    As a long-time supporter of the Canadiens, I enjoyed reading your piece on the challenges of being a female hockey enthusiast. I understand your perspective since I have attended many games in collegiate and professional levels. Fortunately, most fans I have encountered find it admirable that a woman enjoys going solo to watch a match. However, I have been in situations where other spectators (ironically, other female fans) have judged me to have a modus operandi to be at the rink. Initially, I was surprised but it only ignites my motivation to appreciate this sport more. Thank you for addressing this issue.

  5. Jessica-Lyn Saunders

    December 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the lovely feedback, Krist!

  6. Pingback: Female Sports Writing: The How To’s, Do’s, and Don’ts | Smart As Puck