Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Column Examines Women, Hockey, and Sarah Palin

If you are as interested as I am in the rhetoric about sports, Title IX, and especially hockey (my favorite sport) surrounding Sarah Palin's candidacy for Vice-President (which we've blogged about before), you may find interesting this column in the Beacon Broadside by the assistant women's hockey coach at University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Michelle McAteer argues that Palin does not "seem to understand the complexities of women in the women's hockey world" where "lesbians are a visible part of the game" and female hockey players "battle stereotypes that force them to defend their 'feminity' as they play a 'masculine game.' Notwithstanding this disconnect, McAteer argues, Palin has appropriated an association with hockey because it is politically useful:

Palin's claim to authority as a "hockey mom" is useful to her because this paradoxical phrase symbolizes the essence of Palin's brand. The unflinchingly patriotic masculinity associated with hockey allows Palin to take on a powerful position, but by fusing it with motherhood politics, she's kept within her God-given role as a submissive wife, mother, running mate, and perhaps even as a sort of First Lady.
With the interrelation of sports and gender taking on an important role in this campaign, it's good to get political commentary from a hockey coach!

Via Women's Hoops Blog.