My Turn: NHGOP tweet hits new low lashing out at Shaheen
The NHGOP Twitter account hit a new low Saturday night when it lashed out at Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for congratulating the Boston Bruins on their recent victory. The @NHGOP tweeted, “You don’t know the first thing about hockey.”
Why would the New Hampshire Republican Party assume Shaheen doesn’t know the first thing about hockey?
She has celebrated Bruins victories for decades. She was a collegiate basketball player. She coached her daughters’ sports teams. She has grandchildren who play hockey.
So why, then, would they assume that she doesn’t know “the first thing about hockey?” Could it be because she is a woman?
This type of stereotyping is something I’ve battled as a female athlete.
“You’re a girl. You can’t be an Olympic skier.”
“YOU won an Olympic medal?”
“This isn’t a sport for girls.”
When I was a freshman at Laconia High School, women weren’t allowed to join the ski team. So I tucked my hair into my hat and went by the name Tommy. They told me I couldn’t be a female athlete.
And now, 61 years later, Jeanne Shaheen – the first woman to be elected as both governor and senator in history – is being told she can’t possibly be a sports fan. Because she’s a woman.
The audacity of the NHGOP never ceases to shock and amaze me. This is the same party whose former chairman recently compared Shaheen to Betty Crocker cake mix in an op-ed.
And it was an NHGOPer who last week decided that pay discrimination exists because women are less motivated than men.
The string of aggressive tweets that came out of the NHGOP were perhaps so unsettling because they came out of nowhere, yet from what seemed to be a very angry, bitter place.
They were unprovoked and nasty, and made giant presumptions about Shaheen based on her gender. The Republican Party clearly still has a problem with women and women’s issues.
Meanwhile, Scott Brown happily sent out a congratulatory Bruins tweet from his account with no backlash suggesting he wasn’t a true hockey fan.
Perhaps because his name is Scott and hers is Jeanne.
(Penny Pitou, who was the first American skier to win an Olympic medal in a downhill event, lives in Gilford.)