Friday, October 30, 2009

jersey debacle pt3: rebuttal

well, puck daddy made good on their threat to help me fight the good fight, and i have to say that i was really quite surprised at the backlash that turned up in the comments section; opinions range from kudos to pure vitriol.... i opted to keep my nose out of it over there, and take the time to properly refute some of their sentiments over here...

1. females are not 50% of the fanbase
i agree entirely with this statement and i did long before i wrote it in the letter to mr. king. still, it is a fact that females make up half of the earth's population (51%, even), and i thought the argument sounded more clear this way. and who knows ?? maybe if there was an improvement in the way the game was marketed towards women, they WOULD make up half of the fanbase.... ;) puckdaddy, in all of their wisdom over there, refer to it as half of the consumer fan base, which is probably more astute and accurate. *apologies*

2. the hockey purists' argument
so, an authentic jersey is meant to wear over hockey equipment, yes.... and women's hockey players wear men's jerseys over their hockey equipment, also true.... so in a purist's mind, anyone donning their team's jersey should certainly be sporting a men's large. i could actually buy this rationale, if that's where it ended..... here's where their logic is flawed: most of the people buying jerseys to wear are never, ever, ever gonna wear them over equipment. furthermore, unless your name is in fact iginla, regehr, or kiprusoff, how does a purist feel about wearing a jersey adorned with a player name ?? it also occurs to me that you can purchase a flames third retro-throwback in children's sizes, but i have to wonder if they are actually wearing these shirts to their tiny mites practice at the community rink (with equipment underneath), or if these timbits are realistically just wearing their flaming Cs to school ?

"It's not a men's or women's cut, it's a hockey cut. If you don't think you look good in a hockey jersey, wear something else."
(commenter wilsmith) this would seem like a decent justification if they didn't make the be luv'd and iceflirt models, or offer home jerseys for ladies.... i suppose if the nhl had never opened the door to making jerseys for women, i would accept this as "just the way it is" and move on... [who am i kidding ?? that's totally not true...] ;)

lastly, i simply don't understand why hockey purists would give a shit about the cut of a third jersey, since they should be pissed about the fact that an alternate jersey exists in the first place... white homes and coloured aways, right ? that's how the world worked BEFORE MARKETING AND MERCHANDISE EXISTED !!!! it just all seems like an outdated way of thinking, in my humble and female opinion.... but how am i wrong in postulating that the nhl makes third jerseys purely to sell more jerseys ???

3. i want a women's cut jersey so i must be a lesbian
wait.... do i even really need to deflect this nonsense with a rebuttal ?? i just really do not understand how logic goes from A to B, here, so i thought it best to simply point out that i like dudes. i would prefer to write a lot more about how much i like dudes, but my mum reads this.... ;) i also find it totally fascinating that this "argument" essentially delineates that there are only two kinds of female hockey fans: puck bunnies and dykes.... i'm not sure where the wives fit in but more than a few commenters mentioned that they exist. sorry for bringing it up, i'll "go back to the kitchen where [i] belong" (commenter habs1rule)

4. the rbk jerseys have a sleeker fit anyways
ah, yes, but the jersey i'm talking about is NOT cut like the rbk edge "premier" sweaters.... they are designed vintage: like oldschool jerseys. ie: boxy and tent-like in the non-sweatproof fabric. i'd also like to de-bunk the proposition that womens-cut jerseys are "whore wear" and display one's "goodies" (stars_fan_2). wearing one simply means i don't get my sleeves caught in the condiments of my pocketdawg and the bottom doesn't hang outside my kickass flames' jacket like a men's jersey would....

5. "if people were buying them then the league would respond in kind"
commenter johnC offered this explanation. the problem is that, according to blaine (my bff over at the flames' fan attic), they can't keep the women's-cut home jerseys in stock. like, they get 3xsm 3xmd & 3xlg every week and they're gone within days.... what doesn't sell are the ladies-cut XLs, presumeably because the size is comparable to a men's small.... perhaps i'm wrong in taking the sales of one store and extrapolating to the world but i'm guessing that it applies...

in calgary, people wear flames' jerseys like their team does: it's a uniform. you wear it to the 'dome on game night in the 'c of red' or you wear it down on the 'red mile' to support your team.... in the pics below, please note that most of the people in the stands and the concourse are wearing JERSEYS, not t-shirts.... i don't understand how anyone could possibly think that the females in these photos wouldn't consider an alternate option to wear whilst showing the nice folks at rexall how it's done.....



FURTHERMORE, the cost of actually manufacturing a jersey is very little in comparison to what they would sell it for, especially if you consider the league's profit on lettering/numbering would also increase. if a run of 25 custom jerseys costs $40/each to build before cresting (with the jerseymaker and sales outlet each netting some cash) then a run of 500 would be significantly less expensive, equalling more profit.... i would be hugely surprised that when you factor in gamenights and gifts, fans and girlfriends, that you couldn't sell that many in cowtown by christmastime....

6. the "S" word
"Maybe they should make women's cut thirds, but to insinuate that it's an issue of sexism is downright moronic." (rc) fair enough, on this comment, and i may have been premature in jumping to this conclusion, but from what i understand both the womens cut home jerseys and the men's 3rds are a good sellers (so it's doesn't seem to be economics). is there something else at work here that i don't know about ? quite possibly, yes. but the simplest way to look at it is that they make the home jerseys for men AND women, but not the thirds....

some of my other preferred comments :

"My wife won't let me buy her a jersey unless its a female cut jersey and she hates the pink jerseys. As Dallas Stars fans what she wants doesn't exist and until it does she won't buy a jersey."(joel)

"I don't know what planet most of these guys posting these ridiculous comments are from, other than from a time warp from 1908 with some of the comments I see on here. For those of you who think women are only 20-30%, think again. We live in Milwaukee and usually get to 1-2 Blackhawks games a year and I would guess that 40-45% of the fans are women there. At the Admirals games we go to I would guess it's pretty close to an even split, and that's for an AHL team! And, let's face it. If you're woman with any kind of figure worth showing off you don't want to wear some schlubby jersey--you want something that shows you're a big enough fan to drop serious cash on a jersey AND show off your figure. Especially if you're going out to the bars after a game." (gogooners)

"Don't hate that I have a sensitive side. I wrote this while wearing my Lilith Fair shirt."
(wyshynski, himself, poking fun at being chided for posting the article in the first place...)

"I find it hard to believe that none of you making comments about how she must be a dyke apparently have a mother, let alone sisters, daughters, aunts, whatever. Here you've got somebody saying please, I want to give the league money, I want to give MY FAVOURITE TEAM money, but they won't offer what I want to buy, and you're telling her to shut up and just wear what you do? "It's fine for me, what's your whine?" And then some others say "well, I doubt that half the fanbase is female anyway." Has it occurred to anybody to wonder if those two little factoids might be related somehow? And for those of you saying "well, she needs more to do with her time than to complain about this" - clearly you need more to do too, since you've time enough to not only complain, you're complaining about somebody else's complaint. Believe me, she's not the only one complaining. My wife would dearly love a sweater, but same issue. Ditto my stepdaughter. Neither of them are thrilled with the idea of pink sweaters, but they also don't like how a men's fits them. That's ok, I'll just keep my money in my pocket for now, I guess, but too bad for the league." (mikeP)
[this one's my favorite... thanks mikeP, well played...]

"This discrimination really makes me angry - I can't find a pink men's jersey anywhere". (books)
[also well played...]
;)

"Is the “authenticity” of a jersey really such a big deal? No one knows you dropped $300 on that Reebok EDGE “authentic” jersey except your ass constantly getting scratched by the tie-down fight strap hidden in the back. So who cares if a jersey is fitted for women? How does that diminish from her expression of team loyalty any more than a guy buying one of those Reebok Premier jerseys — which, you authenticity police should note, features screen-printed names and numbers rather than the “authentic” embroidery. Essentially, if you’re not on the ice, you’re wearing a jersey as a fashion statement anyway. Two real problems I have with this post/subsequent comments: 1) Finding out those new women’s jerseys are named “Ice Flirt” and “Be Luv’d,” which feeds into the age-old idea that any woman who says she’s a hockey fan is inherently a puck bunny (or a lesbian, according to some comments here, however that logic works out). And 2) I’m really bummed to find out that some of my fellow readers/commenters on this blog are complete Neanderthals who still believe that idea to be true. I thought PD was a place for hockey fans with a love for the game and respect for other hockey fans to trade wit. This chest-pounding machismo crap from the grandstands is so boring. Save it for the locker room." (ray of amber)

"Does the military alter their fatigues for their female soldiers so that can look more attractive or feel more girlie?"(treads)
[fyi: i checked with the british military stores --cause i know someone everywhere, it seems--, and treads is right: uniforms come in unisex. from sizes really small to really big.... BUT they DO have different no.2 dress shirts for the ladies. y'know, so that they FIT. this actually SUPPORTS my case...]

"As a female hockey fan, I don't necessarily need a sweater in a woman's cut, but I would enjoy a sweater that I'm not swimming in when I wear it to a game. I recently spent over $100 on a vintage Sweater and the smallest size I could find was a medium, and it's huge! The worst part about wearing a large jersey (for me) is that most people I meet think that I've just borrowed my boyfriend or father's jersey and that I'm not fan enough to buy my own. Now, I don't think that every jersey needs to be cut and tailored for the woman's figure, but it would be nice if they offered them in smaller sizes. Which most of them do, so kudos to them." (fergus30)

"There is a "ladies" cut, it's called a size 44, 46, or 48. Seriously what kind of pencil necked 120lb geek wears those sized jerseys, YET !, they make them." (runnin up on ya!)

well, as they say "no publicity is bad publicity." puckdaddy has already updated to show an excerpt from the minnesota wild media relations department, protesting that (while it's not available currently on NHL.com) there IS a womens-cut minny 3rd... and there totally should be, that thing is a BEAUT.... kudos to the wild organization not only for lookin' out for their ladyfans, but for reading puckdaddy.

goad also made note that the 'nucks 3rd is available in a women's cut in stores in vancity... so maybe this situation IS just a flames thing.... *sigh* somehow not surprising....

hopefully this whole blitz will just get the ball rolling in the right direction and we ladies flames fans can get our very own third jerseys.... then we just have to make sure we BUY them :)

16 comments:

VegasCityGirl said...

I too am a Female Flames fan searching for apparel. I even called the 800 number for shop.nhl.com and complained. Because I live in Las Vegas, I don't even have the option of checking in a store.
Keep up the fight!

walkinvisible said...

mark my words: i WILL have this jersey. patience is a virtue... ;)

ps: i'll probably be in vegas before the year is out. if there's something you know you can get in calgary that you want, lemme know. i'm all for helping my blogging bretheren out. hell, i waited in line for hours to get a book signed for awildermode, and i've never met'im. :)

Mike H. said...

This whole series of rants is great. I bet you ladies cut thirds are being made right now and will find their way in to the racks at the Fanattic before Xmas without a word to the public. When you ask, the answer will be, "Oh those! We just missed the box in the back."

I went over and read the comments on puckdaddy. I know you've got some thick skin, but I would have never imagined so many people calling you an "idiot". And after all this time I was oblivious to your sexual orientation. The guys at the pub are going to be shocked and disappointed. I'll be happy to wing for you anytime. :)

The weirdest thing, I waited in line for hours and didn't even get a book signed for me, much less someone in blogspace. Though I did get the benefit of reading the book for free.

Nuuuuugs said...

What the hell?! I didn't get a signed 'Playing with Fire'. From Barnes & Noble.

walkinvisible said...

mike:
the funniest part to me about the comments at PD was that almost 100% of the really vicious attacks came from the same dude: habs1fan. i'm pretty sure he's unemployed and got dumped recently... i only say that because he clearly has a lot of time on his hands and really hates women.
;)

N:
you should've asked me to get you one !!! i would have GLADLY watched theo carefully count the number of "u"s in your name as he transferred it from the pre-written yellow post-it-note "cheatsheet" to the inside of the book.

for the record: there's 5 of them. 5 like gio. ;)

robert cleave said...

Best wishes in this endevour, wi. I hope your efforts get the league/apparel manufacturers on the stick.

As for the quality of Yahoo's commenter base, I'd love to say I'm surprised, but that sort of nonsense goes on all the time, and not just at Puck Daddy. One of my favourite college football blogs is Dr. Saturday, also at Yahoo. Matt Hinton is a terrific writer, but his comment section is a cesspool. Wysh's is about the same. Anyway, good luck, and hopefully Mike H. is right about Xmas availability.

walkinvisible said...

RC:
y'know, when i get "attaboy"s from the M&G crew, i feel like i'm on a righteous path...

much appreciated.

wrkd4it said...

Well heck - yes I read your blog, and for the record, I have never had a jersey until there was a ladies cut available in Flames red last December. Glad you're started a "fire" on this subject, Toots! If so many fan-type people are heating up, then maybe the manufacturers will, too.

awildermode said...

uh...i am one of those pencil neck geeks with a size 46...and it is still big on me, but i weigh about 150.

if they have women cut flames thirds here in southern california...you bet i would wait in line to get one for you ;)

puck_drops_here said...

Hey... great article... and SO true.
I've got a sports radio show in Mtl on the Team 990... I would absolutely love to have you on talking about this. I'm one of only two female voices on my radio station and COMPLETELY agree with the jersey situation.

Is there somewhere I can further contact you to talk about this?

Thanks,
Amanda

walkinvisible said...

amanda:
i'm interested, curious and terrified about this prospect.... ;)

get me at walkinvisible@gmail.com and i can send you my actual details.

markbow said...

Hey, congrats kiddo! you made some International news: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Sexism-and-the-NHL-third-jersey-Female-fan-s-pl?urn=nhl,199217

walkinvisible said...

markbouw: (typo but it stays)
thanks immensely for the congrats/support but i gotta tell you that you commented here at htp on my rebuttal to the comments in that very puckdaddy article....
;)

thanks for the link, nonetheless, brother.

duncan said...

The league should hire you. Seriously.

Anyway, I was in Mississauga yesterday at "Pro Hockey Life" to buy some equipment. This store is a crazy, warehouse-sized, hockey-only playground with a shooting range, boards, and the one of the best selections of NHL apparel I've seen. Guess what I found there? One of those Canadiens CHC barber-pole jerseys — in the old-skool, non-Reebok cuts — in a women's fit. So the pattern exists.

Looked at the Flames area just in case, but no dice. You'll win this one, and deservedly so.

Resolute said...

A Habs fan behaving like a dick? That's almost as shocking as the sun rising in the east.

Keep fighting the good fight!

Doogie2K said...

WI: I can explain the lesbian comments, because we talked about this very thing in sociology of sport today. Basically, sport tends to promote exaggerated versions of the traditional social notions of masculinity and femininity, so you wind up with sporting cultures that are either hypermasculine (football, hockey) or hyperfeminine (figure skating, gymnastics). Because of this, there is an inherent homophobia within sport, and furthermore, there is a presumption that any woman who participates in a masculine sport, and any man who participates in a feminine sport, must be gay. From there, it's one more leap of addled logic to suggest that the same holds for the fans as the athletes. It's stupid, but there we go.

Duncan: Pro Hockey Life is the most wonderful place on Earth. I went to the one at Cross Iron Mills and walked out fifteen minutes later $120 short and wearing a Blackhawks third jersey. Kind of surprised they have a barber-pole third in lady cut, but that's pretty cool, anyway.