Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pet Peeve: "You know a lot about hockey... for a girl."

At the risk of being a Negative Nancy, I'm going to share one of my pet peeves: whenever I get to talking about hockey (and it's almost always with men), I usually get the same reaction at some point: "You know a lot about hockey for a girl."

Excuse you, "for a girl?"

First, I'm a woman. Don't patronize me.

Second, let's step out of the dark ages for a second here.
My gender (and sex) do not dictate my interests or abilities. Or put more bluntly, my possession of a vagina has NOTHING to do with my interest in hockey OR my knowledge of it.
I know, I should be so busy cooking and cleaning and searching for a husband and being irrational that I don't have any time to be interested in Man Things like sports, let alone, y'know, actually know about them.

I know it's meant as a compliment, which is actually worse. ("Wow, you're not as stupid as I expected you to be based on the fact that you're female.") And it comes from an attitude of male superiority.

But God forbid I be the ungrateful she-bitch who can't take a compliment or bruise the fragile male ego. I usually handle it by saying a genuine thanks and adding, "I know you meant it as a compliment, but just to let you know, HUGE pet peeve. I know a lot about hockey, period." And I give them a big smile and go back to telling them why their team sucks. 

Because really, I know a lot about hockey. No qualifiers or additions necessary. And I probably know more than the person "complimenting" me. 

Interests based on gender or sex are socialized, not inherent. Being born with a penis does not automatically = sportsbeerviolence. Being born with a vagina does not automatically = cookingshoppingantisports. And I shouldn't have to point that out in 2011. 

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