Feature

Canada: Hockey as the last bastion of masculinity

All during the recently completed National Hockey League playoffs, said Andrew Potter in <em>Maclean&rsquo;s</em>, the players refused to shave until their team was eliminated.

Andrew PotterMaclean’s

All during the recently completed National Hockey League playoffs, said Andrew Potter, the players refused to shave until their team was eliminated. It was “the simplest and most authentic form of masculine display in all professional sport.” What a perfect method for connecting with “the sport’s battle-torn origins: archetypal wild men fighting it out on a frozen wasteland.”

As the global recession deepens, such macho outlets are growing harder to find. “Two of the most alpha-male industries, automobiles and finance, have been effectively gelded by the nanny state,” and new jobs in computers or the service sector tend to require female traits such as precision and politeness, “not manly muscle.” Men are starting to feel obsolete.

Of course, “not every man can shoot, skate, or throw a body check a tenth as well as the players on the ice.” But most of them can at least grow beards—which, if nothing else, reminds them that they are still men.

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