Women’s Hockey News Roundup

With less than a month to the CWHL draft (August 23!), player confirmations are starting to come in hot and heavy of whether they’ve signed with the CWHL or NWHL. I’d like to promise that I’ll be more regular about giving news, but … life. In the meantime, enjoy a wrap up of the information from the last month.

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NWHL Draft Recap and League Info

As summer begins and men’s hockey season ends, you may start going through hockey withdrawals. I strongly urge you to take this time to educate yourself on another part of hockey. WOMEN’S hockey. I only recently started watching (this season with the CWHL) but I’m hooked.

Today, the inaugural draft for the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) was held. There are four teams in the NWHL, the Buffalo Beauts, New York Riveters, Boston Pride, and Connecticut Whale. The draft order was Riveters, Whales, Pride, then Beauts. You can see all the draft picks with extra fun information such as vines or gifts on the @NWHL_ twitter account, but if you don’t want to search, a quick recap.

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The Stats Shaming Narrative needs to stop.

We all use math every day. To predict weather…to tell time…to handle money. Math is more than formulas and equations. It’s logic; it’s rationality. It’s using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.

-Charlie Eppes in Numb3rs

One of my favorite television shows of all time is Numb3rs, of which the above quote came from. In it, the FBI utilized consultants from CalSci (the fictitious California Institute of Science) to solve criminal cases. The math used in each show was valid and applicable to each situation. P vs NP, a mathematical problem discussed in the first season, is a real thing. But more than just using these random mathematical terms to solve cases, the show would apply real life meaning to them. For example, game theory:

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The Mark Madden Project.

A few weeks ago, after witnessing Mark Madden continuously harass a group of women on Twitter who didn’t agree with his opinions and ways, I started working on an email to both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the radio station his program is on. I never finished that email because every time I thought I was done, Madden would tweet yet another comment that I wanted to include.

So instead, I began taking screenshots of his comments. As of writing this post on May 16, 2015, all are still available on his Twitter account. Some may appear innocuous by themselves but when taken together they tell a story that disgusts me that two influential organizations continue to allow him to run unchecked while being adjacent to them.

I am well aware that this post may garner his rage, but I am but a impotent blogger after all. I can do nothing except write for free (which hey, I write for myself first, everyone else next so I guess it’s good I’m not paying myself.)

I went no further back than November 2014 before I had to stop documenting the past. This only covers a portion – not all – of his questionable tweeting practices. He continues to be heralded by a majority of the Pittsburgh sports media and fans. Most tweets are NSFW (not-safe-for-work). Presented in no particular order…

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Guest Post: Women & Media Project

Hey guys,

Guest poster Debra over here. Ashley has been kind enough to host the final semester project for my Women & Media class here on her blog.

This project focuses on hockey Twitter and how women are treated. I’ve interviewed several women, asking to talk about their experiences on Twitter and in regards to hockey overall. Some have been a part of hockey Twitter since the beginning, some are newer but all their stories are well-founded and also with similarities. As you listen, you’ll probably notice a few themes are repetitive: the lack of safety, the hostility, that the league needs to work on making the environment more welcoming for everyone – women, People of Color, LGBT fans – it’s all connected. And if it’s repetitive, then it’s a big enough problem that needs some fixing.

What I intended with this project is to continue and add to the education of what it really means for women to be a part of internet culture. Because that’s really all we can do – continue to educate, open eyes and ears to individual stories. There isn’t one story for all women; each woman who participated in this tells a unique story. And hopefully, with each interview, people will start to understand where it went wrong and what can be done to change things – to be better. Because really, that’s what we, as people, strive toward doing. Or at least we should be 🙂

Now, onto the Interviews which are below.  The women I spoke with are Zoë, Heather, Laura, Kat, Ashley, Toni , and Sarah. Thank you, again and a million times over, to these wonderful women who took part in this, were super helpful, informative, patient, and just overall really great to speak with.

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The Aftermath – What Happens Next?

It’s been over a week but since March 14th, I have spent (probably way too much) time sorting out my emotions and trying to parse out my reactions. It’s hard to come to terms with being a victim of bullying. As an adult one might feel that bullying can’t happen to them and that it’s limited to high school. However, cyberbullying is more frequent towards adults than one might think. The anonymity of the internet allows the perpetrator to hide behind a pseudonym if they so choose. It’s an unsettling experience when you’re not sure if the person on the other end of the cyber-line may be someone who is masquerading as a friend on a different account.

Social media – especially Twitter – runs at a rampant pace. 140 characters and the press of a button sends your thoughts out into cyber-land in less time than it takes you to read this sentence. A simple retweet takes less time than it does to blink your eyes three times. The consequences of such can be huge… and hugely detrimental. I feel that it’s why it is so important for official accounts who are representatives of blogs to attempt to be unbiased and avoid “punching down”, where they don’t directly attack someone but incite abuse from their followers via retweets and .@’s. I can only speak for my own experiences, but it hurts when an organization that you have supported turns their back on you.

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