The New York Post and The Daily Mail recently wrote about a Colorado College astrophysicist professor, Natalie Gosnell, PhD who sees her specialty of study of the universe as riddled with “very violent and hyper-masculine” terminology — such as “vampire star” or “cannibal star”. Gosnell has gone public about combating these issues in the classroom and beyond.
As for men’s hockey at the Colorado Springs institution, Gosnell has definite thoughts about changing the overly aggressive terminology which “values ‘uber aggression’ at the expense of overall group enrichment. “Power play, sniper, slapshot, roughing, and attacker? Let’s wake up to what is going on over at Robson Arena”, said Ms. Gosnell. “This would not be tolerated in ceramics class, cooking class, film study, or any other high-level endeavor of study here at CC.”
By redefining and adapting hockey terms, Gosnell sees a more inclusive game for participants and spectators alike. Gosnell suggests a transformation of collegiate hockey terminology. “Change power play to ‘unequal engagement’, man advantage to ‘asymmetrical superiority‘ and attacker to ‘protagonist’.”
“We need to reimagine how we look at the game. For example, retain the term ‘neutral zone’ but to be more inclusive – make the entire ice surface neutral and fair.”
“Eliminate checking and the highly contentious term ‘checking’, said Gosnell. “Remember, you can only check your privilege – not another player.”
“Embedded hierarchy and status is also a big issue. A ‘goal judge’ implies someone with the right to evaluate others. Why not diffuse the authority of this individual by calling him/her a ‘neutral observer’. And ‘referees’ imply a structural imbalance or inherent unfairness. There would be fewer on-ice conflicts in games if officials were called ‘facilitators’.”
Gosnell’s big idea? “Eliminate scoring. By ‘keeping score’ we elevate one party over another – even though coaching, facilities, or technical skills may advantage one party.”
Denver faces off against Gosnell’s Colorado College Tigers at Ball Arena Friday, January 27th at 7:00 pm MT.