Friday, February 26, 2010

Canadian Women Win Gold, Drink Molson!

 Photo: Luke Winn, Sports Illustrated

Here's one of the best quotes about Canada's women taking gold, and the ensuing celebration on the ice:

Is it possible to just see something like this, laugh at it, and be happy for these girls? 

I wonder, and would like to hear from readers and fellow contributors, if the same sort of uproar over the on-ice celebration would be happening if it was a men's hockey team celebrating a gold medal victory?


Char Weaving said...

I cannot get over the negative media/press surrounding this!!

It appears to be such a double standard at least from a CDN perspective. For instance, all week, CTV (the CDN Olympic broadcaster) has been featuring and celebrating Jon Montgomery—the Canadian skeleton gold medalist who chugged from a pitcher of beer while not breaking stride on Whistler’s “walk of heroes” (on national TV to boot and along side a crew of police officers). Note: the women’s hockey celebration was not on live TV, but rather was probably publicized as a result of the popularity of social networking sites like facebook. Montgomery received no negative press for the beer chugging and has actually become a Canadian icon! He was on Oprah today!

I should stress that at least CTV has not criticized the women players’ post game celebration, however, it seems that the American press has been particularly harsh on them. For example, ESPN has suggested that the players should be banned from the closing ceremonies because they are not embracing the true Olympic spirit……right….

However, I really find it troubling to see the overt sexism surrounding women’s hockey at these Olympic Games.

1. Just prior to the final game, IOC President Jacques Rogge essentially threatens that if women’s hockey does not become more competitive, it will get yanked from the Olympic program. Nice timing! What about other sports like diving that is dominated by the Chinese, or marathon running where Kenyan runners rule?, USA and basketball?, USA and men’s half pipe—do we ever think of pulling them because of country/continent domination?

2. I was also quite shocked to see a “so-called” panel on CTV discuss women’s hockey at the Games on the first morning post the big win. I was so discouraged by the comments. We seem to forget our history, in that Canada dominated men’s hockey at the Olympic Games in the early 1900s and then the rest of the world caught up by the 1950s. However, we criticize women’s hockey and are quick to pass judgment based on only 4 Olympic appearances!

3. The high/lop-sided scores in the tournament debate are quite comical----each year, our Canadian Jr. team dominates competition at the IIHF World Juniors (scores 11-0, 9-2) until they reach the playoffs, yet its’ women’s hockey that has the real problem? Why not re-structure the tournament for IIHF? We need to put money into women’s hockey internationally if we want to see elevated levels of competition. Even, a NA professional women’s hockey league would be a great step in developing players and recruiting international women hockey stars.

Ultimately, I think the women’s team was criticized for their post game celebration because they are in fact women!! Women who play at a high level, and who play a traditional hyper-masculine sport.

As I take a deep breath and begin to compose a strongly worded letter to CTV outlining my disappointment of their blatant sexism, I will celebrate with a cold beer and a stogie! :):)

Emily Ryall said...

Just read this post from Ted Butryn's blog which makes an interesting point on the acceptability of female athlete's behaviour:

And I agree Char, that I think the whole furore is due to the fact that they are women. If it were men, the media would grin and say 'boys will be boys'.

Carl Thomen said...

People should consider the sacrifices it takes to be a team like that, and shut up. They are undoubtedly the best female sports team I have ever seen; in fact, one of the best teams I have ever seen. They have earned the right to get hammered and have fun. I wouldn't have cared if they'd skated around clubbing baby seals and laughing about it.