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Thread: How is men's figure skating viewed in Russia?

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    How is men's figure skating viewed in Russia?

    So, unfortunately, men's figure skating in the states (not sure about Canada) is often something that is derided, mocked, etc. by the general public as it generally conjures up images of a prancing queen rolling around on the ice, acting like a man princess. While I disagree with this perception of men in figure skating, it's definitely a real thing. The other night, Jay Leno made a crack about how the all male figure skaters would have to sit out the Sochi Olympics because being a male figure skater comes with a 99% likelihood that you're gay. Anyway, I'm wondering if men in figure skating is derided in the same way in Russia. Or is it seen as a sport that "real" men can go into? Do male figure skaters face the same stigma that male figure skaters here do?

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    Clearly Plushenko, Yagudin, Kulik were big stars. I think the best skaters are considered artists like premier danseurs in the Russian Ballet. I do not know what Russian people feel about flowery costumes on men, nor do I know if the whole country is getting homophobic like Putin and lawmakers. I did not follow that thread in politics. But clearly male skaters are held in much higher regard than in the United States , at least in this era.

    I am curious too about the whole countrys reaction to these anti-gay laws.

    Are LGBT people being targeted and scapegoated now? Are they going to be scapegoated the way jews were for so long in Russia? I cannot answer, but we have Russian members who likely can answer your query (no pun intended!)

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    Do Russian comedians constantly mock and deride gay people with cheap jokes like the American "comedians"?

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    I bet they do not, because it seems like between the laws, and openly making fun of gays, bashing and violence is likely on the rise in Russia. That could be googled to shed some light on the general mood of the Russian people. At first I thought the only sane response to Putin was boycotting the games, but athletes have worked all there lives for a shot at the gold ring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Do Russian comedians constantly mock and deride gay people with cheap jokes like the American "comedians"?
    I don't think they do, but American comedians/actors certainly don't advocate the burning of gays in ovens. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/1...n_4456165.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Do Russian comedians constantly mock and deride gay people with cheap jokes like the American "comedians"?
    I wonder too?

    It is unfortunate that Jay Leno see fit to 'joke about male figure skaters' in a manner thereby indirectly emphasising the importance of one's sexual orientation in that sport instead of figure skating skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    I wonder too?

    It is unfortunate that Jay Leno see fit to 'joke about male figure skaters' in a manner thereby indirectly emphasising the importance of one's sexual orientation in that sport instead of figure skating skills.
    Yeah, I mean, a gay figure skating joke. I know it's Leno, but talk about played-out material.

    For the record though, he is against the anti-LGBT laws. http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/12/17/ja...-nazi-germany/

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Do Russian comedians constantly mock and deride gay people with cheap jokes like the American "comedians"?
    no because its rarely mentioned

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    Plushenko is the most popular figure skater in Russia of all time
    even Slutskaya isn't even half as popular, the men are in a depleted field
    but if they can find a new wonder boy like Zhenya, even in exchange of all the Russian ladies for a single male skater without hesitation

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    This terrifies me. Guy...is this is the new group to crucify? I wish Russians on boards will tell us what common people feel re male skaters and if there is a swell of hatred toward these people. I pray that man who said this evil thing is touched by God's love. The hatred he feels is terrifying. Only prayer and calming talking to such people can get a toe into their beliezfs.

    I hope skaters like Weir and Boitano who are well protected carefully broach this in Russia. The world's scapegoating, genocide, ethnic cleansing didn't end 70 yrs ago in Germany-there were the Balkans, Rwanda, many more. Unless we guard our hearts against hatred,envy, pride we can become Putin-esque or his follower on this. I once did a paper for a religion course, talking about the influx of soviet jewery into usa in 70's. I interviewed many families who relocated to my city. They were not equals-life was even harder for them. It was a great experience for me to learn so much.

    The huffpost link hit at my deep fear for minorities, and I'm a minority. As times grow worse, "they" will need scapegots.

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    The world is thankfully a different place and we are more cognizant of mistakes and atrocities in the past. Certain past dictators didn't have the Internet to deal with. Putin and his government can be vilified with a single snapshot of violence or ill actions. Boitano, as a US delegate is pretty much immune to whatever they do to him. I don't think he will demonstrate nor should he, but he and the other delegates will make some bold statements that will surely make Putin curl his lip. It's inevitable and a very deliberate decision to send King/Boitano.

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    no its not, Figure Skating is a male associated or neutral at best because of Pairs/Ice Dance in Russia
    its just now that ladies it has become of keen interest and with the media and attention seeker Sotnikova

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    as a US delegate is pretty much immune to whatever they do to him. I don't think he will demonstrate nor should he, but he and the other delegates will make some bold statements that will surely make Putin curl his lip. It's inevitable and a very deliberate decision to send King/Boitano.
    next time I'll go to the US, I will raise placards/ disturbing images of the rape women victims in Iraq and bombed children in Afghanistan
    sounds like a fair exchange, US is hosting Olympics or bidding in Oklahoma was it ? I bet I'll be labeled a terrorist and blacklisted forever

    I bet the US wont dare send this same people at the World Cup in Dubai
    where the gulf states are planning on implementing a lie detector for expatriates to determine who are homosexuals then to be deported
    response will be dead silence

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    (I'll leave out the political part of this discussion because we've covered it with much intensity elsewhere, except to say that the even worse anti-gay laws in Uganda are widely covered in U.S. newspapers right now, so anti-Russian sentiment isn't the issue. I'm going to concentrate on the issue of how male skaters are perceived in Russia.)

    In terms of whether Russians assume male skaters to be "sissies" or unmanly the way so many North Americans do, I've always been under the impression that this did not apply, partly because of the ballet tradition. Russian/Soviet male dancers always seemed to be revered by the general public, and several who came to the U.S. to perform or to relocate clearly had heartthrob status. Longtime Bolshoi premier danseur Vladimir Vasiliev is a supreme example, a very powerful dancer who excelled as Spartacus. Another such was Alexander Godunov, who came to the U.S. and had, as well as a dance career, a brief but effective acting career as a film heartthrob. (He was especially effective in Witness, a splendid movie. My heart rate was very different whenever he was onscreen.) And of course there's Baryshnikov....still the cure for a slow pulse rate, even in his sixties. If I met him, I'd probably burble inarticulately.

    As a skate fan, I always envied the Russians because they had their pick of young boys eager to train as pair skaters and ice dancers especially, and then later as men's singles skaters. Clearly there was no stigma on skating as an unmanly sport in Russia. Here in the U.S., by contrast, there were many really good girl skaters who eventually left the sport just because they couldn't find a worthy partner. (I often think of Tiffany Stiegler, for example.)

    Shame on Jay Leno for making that kind of joke about skaters. I speak right now solely as a fan of skating, a sport I'm tired of seeing ridiculed as if it were some branch of fashion modeling. Years ago they did a physical test comparing some winter athlete or other--maybe a biathlete--and pairs skater Randy Gardner. In terms of strength and conditioning, Gardner won. Of course he did. He could lift his partner over his head, and Tai Babilonia was almost his height. The only thing a biathlete needs to lift is a rifle. (No disrespect meant to biathletes.)

    This is an old perception in America. In movies, even our greatest dancers, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, felt they had to show that dancing was something guys did. Gene Kelly especially tried to make dance a working man's art form. He often dressed down in street clothes such as baseball caps, casual slacks, and T-shirts for his dances. I believe he once made a short film comparing the athletics of dance to the movements of a baseball player in action.

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    I agree its all about cultural, in the US boys are taught and raised to do only manly things whatever that means no cooking, dancing is for girls etc.
    are brought up in rough and aggressive environment, you can see it everywhere in the media. male skaters are seen as sissies effeminate boys
    maybe it could cultural folk dances are taught in Russia and children are familiar with it at a young age, there are as many males taking up figure skating in Russia whether for childhood sports, hobby or longtime career. The southern Russia is a bit different though with the caucasus and cossacks who might find male figure skating as shameful.

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