Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's still not okay

A few days ago I mentioned the Slapshot and Shop women's hockey tournament to take place in Woodstock, VT in November. I emailed the contact name provided on the website to express my displeasure with the marketing of the tournament--particularly the logo that has a hockey stick with a pink purse dangling off it and the website which features what I called a "vampy avatar" who says "shopping is a sport." I got a short but not at all unpleasant reply that said my comments would be passed on to the women's team hosting the event who had designed the logo themselves.
This information was intended to silence my complaints apparently. As if, upon learning this marketing strategy was devised by women and not men, I should have slapped my hand to my forehead and proclaimed, "Well, golly gee; if women created it then it must be just fine."
There seems to be a very big misconception about feminism out there: because there exists in some forms of feminism a rhetoric about "choice,"that anything women choose to do is acceptable. Nay. Women participate in their own oppression all the time. (Check out I Blame the Patriarchy for some stunning examples provided and analysed by Twisty on a regular basis.)
The rationale that because the women's hockey team came up with the concept and design, this is not offensive or oppressive is faulty and it fails to consider the pressure female athletes have on them. To be feminine. To not be lesbians. To be super feminine if you participate in a traditionally male sport like ice hockey. To compensate for "aggressive" behavior on the field or ice by being girly (and going shopping) off of it.
Our "choices" are always limited and constrained by such forces--for women and for men.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I am fond of saying "I marched for bimbos" every time I see something like Slapshot and Shop--which is several times a day. I hate to sound like the bitter Second-Waver that I am, but we spent hours and hours marching, writing letters, producing radio and TV shows, giving interviews, attending meetings, lobbying legislators, and generally getting insulted and kicked out of workplaces, churches, schools, and marriages because we dared to demand that women have the same social, political, economic, and sexual opportunities as men.

When I look around now, often, all I see are young women who stick a pink purse on a hockey stick and then defend what they have done. Women simply don't get it, so it is no surprise that men don't. Some heavy-duty consciousness-raising is so very, very overdue. But why must we keep having to do that?