puck bun•ny (ˈpək ˈbə-nē) n. 1 A female who is primarily interested in the attractiveness of hockey players rather than in the game itself. 2 A female who goes to hockey games to hook up with the players.
I am the red-haired stepchild of red-haired stepchildren: a female hockey fan in America. In this football-, basketball-, and baseball-obsessed nation, hockey takes a backseat. And God forbid, I’m a female who loves watching hockey, so I must be a puck bunny!
Wrong. I love the game of hockey.
I lament the fact that male hockey fans throw the “puck bunny” label at females who frequent the arena. I lament the fact that female hockey fans have the need to prove their fandom and that even such proof won’t often be enough for people.
I am annoyed by the fact that men can watch soccer, for example, only because “Hope Solo is so hot” and yet not be accused of being “pitch bunnies” (pretty sure I made up that term).
There’s an obvious double standard. If men don’t get ridiculed for watching female athletes because they think the women are good looking, then why should women get ridiculed for watching hockey, especially those women who don’t watch just for the attractiveness of the players?
But if you’re a female hockey fan, here are my top five ways to try to deter the “puck bunny” label from being thrown at you:
- Easiest way: know the game. Perhaps you’re new to the game, but it would do you well to know at least some of the basic rules of hockey, such as offsides and icing. The more you know, the better.
- Use the language. Obviously, you won’t want to use “score” in the sense of landing a hockey player. Instead, think forecheck, crease, five-hole, top shelf, one-timer, etc. If you don’t know what those words mean, look them up.
- Don’t talk about the looks of hockey players while men are listening. If you think a hockey player is mighty fine, great. Just save those thoughts for your conversations with your girlfriends.
- If you go to a game and bring a sign, take care about what it says. Think something more along the lines of “Go Wild” than “Zach Parise, here’s my number: ###-####.” Okay, so the former example lacks creativity, but you get the point.
- Think about your appearance if you go to a game. I get it, you’re a female, so you want to look beautiful when you’re in public. But you might do best to tone it down. Revealing or tight-fitting clothes, lots of makeup, and stilettos are not advisable.
Most importantly, if you’re a female fan with a passion for hockey, stick with it no matter what the guys say. Why let anyone dampen your enthusiasm for the greatest game on the planet?