You’ve hurt me, more than words can say. If you’re going to dis Ice Girls, fine, just do it in an orderly fashion, thank you very much. Righteous anger, like one’s concentration during cunnilingus, should be tightly focused. It does no one any good to just start slopping your tongue all over the place.
Ice Girls, especially, don’t deserve this treatment. Ice Girls represent, if not the pinnacle, at least a lofty crag on the mountain of hockey enjoyment. Let me explain: I like sports. I like ladies. These are sportsladies! Hooray! They have my whole-hearted support. But not everyone is such a fan.
Criticism of Ice Girls appears to fall into three tragically misguided categories.
1. Fans (most loudly, male ones) who believe that Ice Girls somehow tarnish the purity of the game of hockey. This club’s motto is “The Game Should Be Enough.” First of all, I know these guys. They loudly “tsk, tsk” Ice Girls in the presence of their wives/girlfriends…and then fantasize about Suzi‘s ice-shoveling skills while sort-of enjoying the occasional missionary sex they are permitted. They know, and I know and you know, that the Game Is Not Enough.
The Canadiens don’t need Ice Girls (although, frankly, Montreal strip club rejects would give them the hottest Ice Girls in the league by several orders of magnitude). Neither do the Leafs, or the Rangers or the Wings. Those arenas are full; the fan bases are both broad and deep (Heh. I said “broad.”). But let’s say you are the Thrashers. Or the Islanders. Or the Lightning. If some girls in short skirts and flesh-covered tights will put a couple hundred extra asses in the seats, well hallelujah. Somebody put in a call for push-up bras!
I’m not going to tell you that anyone goes to a hockey game strictly for the Ice Girls. That would be creepy and wrong. But as part of the “game experience,” along with music videos and stupid contests, they leave casual fans (who maybe got a free ticket from a buddy or through work) with the takeaway impression that they had a nice time, and maybe would come back again (and even pay for it!). If the NHL relied solely on hardcore, “purist” fans to buy tickets, we’d still be stuck with the Original Six and maybe a few other stray franchises that relocated every five years. So if you’re a non-Canadian hockey purist who lives anywhere south of Philadelphia, shut the fuck up already and thank Jeebus that the Ice Girls and other promotional gimmicks are allowing you to enjoy the sport.
2. Ice Girls promote the continued objectification of women, which is disgusting and wrong. I am not, despite the song linked to above, a woman hater (some of my best friends are women, haha). This argument might have more force if the makers of it weren’t constantly using terms like “Ice Bitches” and “Ice Tramps” to emphasize their points. Language counts. Words matter.
I want to sympathize with this argument. I really do. I have two daughters. But if I am totally honest with myself, I can say this: guys like to look at pretty girls. And they aren’t going to stop doing it. That’s just a fact of life. When my girls are a little older, I am quite certain that guys will look at them (don’t even bother suggesting that my progeny are less than ideals of physical perfection, because you would either be lying outright or engaged in a futile attempt to get under my skin). If the guys are too old or creepy or are being just a little too open about it, I may have a brief and pointed conversation with them, wherein I casually mention my gun collection and a little parcel of wetlands my family owns. But for the most part, that’s just life. If I’m lucky, they’ll have hot friends who I can discreetly ogle while I read the newspaper.
All (straight) men objectify women to some degree. It ultimately is a matter of whether a guy can only relate to women as objects. Which the Ice Girls provide no evidence of one way or the other. As Confucius might have said, complaining about guys looking at pretty girls is like Keanu Reeves taking acting lessons. Some things you can’t change. I also find it just a weeeee bit presumptuous to be complaining on behalf of the Ice Girls that they are being objectified. They are big girls; they can decided for themselves the level of ogling and objectification to which they want to be subjected. You would make a different choice; fine. I’m happy to support you, too.
3. Ice Girls are “slutty-looking” and undermine legitimate women hockey fans, what with their flouncing and perky pushed-up breasts and whatnot. Meeee-fucking-oooww! Nothing sets feminism back 30 years like women being catty to each other about their looks. The WHOLE FUCKING POINT of the feminist movement was that women should not be judged by their looks, but by their abilities. And some other shit about equal pay, and not having your ass grabbed more than twice a week by the CEO. As an employment lawyer, I can tell you we ain’t solved that shit yet, and YOU’RE NOT FUCKING HELPING. You dismissing other women by saying they dress “trashily” or “like hookers” or mocking the fact that they are “working their way through college” tells guys that it’s PERFECTLY OK TO JUDGE WOMEN SOLELY BY HOW THEY LOOK. What about their ice-shoveling abilities? Their hard work at the community-college? When are these women going to be properly respected for their achievements? Honestly, this opinion is not more than a few steps away from “Look what she was wearing–she was practically asking for it!” Which is about as anti-feminist as it gets.
Look, there are two kinds of guys: assholes and not-quite-as-bad assholes. Assholes are threatened by women who are as smart (or, Vishnu forbid, smarter) as they are. On a “manly” subject like sports, deer hunting or barbecue techniques, doubly so. They prefer women who are dumb and insecure, because it helps them suspend their disbelief about who they really are. But you DON’T WANT TO BE WITH AN ASSHOLE ANYWAY. You’ve got more self-respect than that. So who gives a shit what they think? Not-quite-as-bad assholes like smart, confident women. We find it very hot. I’ve never met Wraparoundcurl and have no idea what she looks like, but I am certain she is a total babe (thatidonothaveanyactualinterestinbecauseiamhappilymarriedtoawonderful woman). Because she is smart, talented and knows who she is and isn’t afraid to show it. If guys don’t respect you as a female sports fan, it’s not the Ice Girls’ fault. You just need to not hang around assholes.
So there it is. LeNoc loves and respects the Ice Girls. If you don’t like it, get the funk out.