Page 1 of 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 145

Thread: Sequins and Manhood in the USA

  1. #1
    FetalAttraction
    Guest

    Sequins and Manhood in the USA


    We've all heard various anecdotes when it comes to men and skating in America, in regards to how it's perceived in terms of manliness. For instance, Scott Hamilton opted to wear a simple ski suit for his Olympics program because he didn't want to seem less than manly. There was that boy who got made fun of by his classmates for figure skating, only to have some famous skater visit him and cheer him up (I'm fuzzy on the names of that one). Not to mention all the figure skating jokes you're liable to come across in mass media.

    Now, please keep this in mind. I'm not asking you to defend the merits of male figure skating. You and I, being the true skating fans that we are, both know there's a lot more to skating than just banal gender typing. What I really want to know is what the general perception of male skaters in America is, and how it impacts the field. Does it discourage boys from skating? Does it discourage parents from sponsoring their male offsprings forays into skating? Does it take away sponsorship and other incentives? Does it skew the media coverage?

    Also, I know many of you are skaters yourselves, and/or parents of skaters. Do you guys have any particular stories or insight on this topic? For the less personally involved, but still devoted fans out there, what do your peers say about male skaters?

  2. #2
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Sequins and Manhood in the USA


    Every time I tell someone about Evgeni (and I do tend to babble A LOT), I hear that he's gay. *sigh* They apparently have NOT seen the picture of him and his girlfriend. (which I realize proves nothing. Anyway.)

    At the rink where I take my lessons, there is one 15 year old male skater, and one young kid who's about eight who does NOT want to figure skate, but his rather large, overbearing mother makes him. It's really scary. All the other male kids take lessons in their hockey skates, and tease him a lot, which is a shame, because he spins beautifully. That isn't, however, as "cool" as spraying your friends with ice when you do a hockey stop...

    In America, it's more "manly" to play hockey, though I think if guys realized how much us girls like boys who skate, they might reconsider.

    I wish more American men would take up figure skating, I think our pool of decent male skaters is dwindling...

    cheers,

    Laura




  3. #3
    FetalAttraction
    Guest

    Re: Sequins and Manhood in the USA


    Evgeni Plushenko is another very interesting example in this little sociological study. I suspect, though I could be wrong, that there are far fewer attacks on his manliness in Europe, and accusations of homosexuality are certainly attacks on manliness. In America, however, even seasoned skating fans are horrified by his Biellmann spins. The typical conversation goes like:

    I don't like Plushenko's spins.
    Why not?
    Because only women should do Biellmann spins!

    That logic has always escaped me. The move is pretty gender-neutral to me, even if it's one of the few more recognizable moves that women originated in skating in recent years. Just 'cause women did it first the men can't do it? But if anyone have some sort of aesthetic explanation for why the move is specifically female, I'd like to hear it:D .

    Princess, those poor kids. Have you ever reached out to them to reassure them? Or tell the hockey bullies off?


  4. #4
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Sequins and Manhood in the USA


    Yeah, I always try to compliment them when they do something well, and the older kid has a spectacular double axel, shouldn't have too much trouble throwing a third rotation on there when he's ready. With the little hockey monsters, I usually get sarcastic. "Wow, that was AMAZING the way you sprayed that ice all over me. What talent!" *sigh*

    When I first saw Evgeni do his Biellman, he was 14, and I thought it was just the coolest thing, and I started following his career. I think the reason for why it's a "woman's spin" (and he used to get beat up at Mishin's rink by other skaters when he was younger for practicing it) can best be summed up by Scott Hamilton. "ouch!" But I'm a girl, I don't know if it would hurt, um, that, if you see what I'm saying. Any of you guys tried it?

    I think in Europe and other parts of the world, people don't necessarily assume a male skater is gay.

    Cheers,

    Laura

  5. #5
    megsk8z
    Guest

    Re: Sequins and Manhood in the USA


    I think it's hard to be a male figure skater in the USA. Lots of parents just won't pay for the ice time and lessons that it takes to be a decent figure skater. I know of several young men that skate, and two of them are subsidized by Grandma & Grandpa. But there are lots of Dads that will happily sit in the freezing rink for their boys to play hockey and kick eachother's teeth (and other assorted body parts) in.

    The saddest situation I ever saw was when I saw this young man learn to skate; he showed real promise and wasn't afraid to do the work that it took to get somewhere in the sport. His father would come to some of his practices and keep reminding him that all this foolishness was costing him a great deal of money and if he would quit, the father would happily give him the money each week that he was spending on skating lessons and ice time. Of course the kid gave it up before too long.

    And there may be a certain amount of homophobia involved; my husband took one look at Sandhu's short program costume and declared, "That's why this isn't a sport." And he's an eminently reasonable man that supports figure skating and is especially kind and encouraging to the young men that do skate at our rink. So I guess the sequins may not have anything to do with it, but I guess some of the costumes appear questionable to the "average" American guy; they take one look and say, "Nope, none for me, thanks."

    If I could choose, though, I would come back in my next life as a male ice dancer. Judges always laugh when I say this, but think about it; you can dance with all the pretty girls, you're very much in demand, and you can make ridiculous amounts of money as a testing partner if you're anywhere near halfway decent. It sounds like my idea of heaven...trouble is we live in the USA where sequins and men don't seem compatible. Which is so too bad. Wish I had an answer.

  6. #6
    FetalAttraction
    Guest

    Re: Sequins and Manhood in the USA


    Speaking as a guy who can't even touch his toes (well I do have long legs so ), I don't really know if the splits lead to any extra pain for men. James Brown seems to be able to sing through his splits. I think that while men are less flexible than women, if they train right and have the natural talent for it, a Biellmann really wouldn't hurt more than it would for a woman. The pain, I think, would come more from the muscles and the tendons than the gonads. I'd assume Plushy doesn't find his Biellmann's particularly difficult.

    Perhaps the real objection to men doing the Biellmann is that flexibility is something women are better at. I think there are people who are threatened by the concept that men compete with women in an arena where the distaff populace have an advantage. In sports, traditionally, men usually are better at things than women. Flexibility, however, goes to women, hands down. So rather than risk having the traditionally stronger gender compared unfavorably with the weaker one in one aspect, people would rather disparage the aspirations to flexibility as a purely female thing, thus negating the validity of the comparison. The same hypothesis may also apply to other areas of figure skating, too.

  7. #7
    Bleuchick
    Guest

    Re:


    It is all about Hockey....

    up here, boys skate in order to do better in hockey. Some quit others stay because they really like it. I think in Canada we don't have a big problem in attracting boys to skating because of hockey.

    The trick is to make them skate is by saying...you will get better at hockey.

  8. #8
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Hockey


    I think that the problem is this. Figure skating is one of the few sports (the others that come to mind are gymnastics, diving, and body building -- three other sports that people often smirk about) in which you are judged not only by what you can do but by how pretty you look doing it. (There IS that presentation mark, after all.)

    Men, in the U.S. anyway, are not supposed to concern themselves with being pretty. Your Daddy's rich and your MAMA's good lookin' -- that's the American way. Come to think of it ("your daddy's rich") I bet that men's figure skating would be regarded as a lot more macho if the top performers were landing hundred million dollar contracts like professional athletes in other sports do.

    I like Bleuchick's idea to use hockey as bait. Lure the boys in by promising that they'll get to spend all day bashing into each other, then say, "hey, I bet you can't jump into the air and spin around and land again without falling down!"

    About kids being teased, this is a terrible societal problem which reaches far beyond figure skating. When I was growing up, one boy had to fight his way home from school every Wednesday because that was the day he went for his violin lesson. Only a sissy would play the violin.

    Mathman

    PS. IIRC it was Sale and Pelletier who befriended the Canadian boy last year.


  9. #9
    RealtorGal
    Guest

    Real Men Figure Skate


    I never really thought about that macho dad complex. It reminds me of something that happened to me a couple of years ago. There was this mom at my daughter's school, very intelligent, well spoken. We used to chat every day at drop off. Her son, age 10, had taken an interest in music, singing to be specific. He was also interested in many other things. She flat out told me that she was worried about his interest in singing... <em> Did that mean he was gay? Did that mean he would TURN gay? </em> Since I'd been a singing teacher, she really wanted my opinion. I'm not kidding--she was really concerned. I was completely FLOORED! No, I told her, plenty of straight men enjoyed singing and his interest in music would not "turn" him gay.

    I would really love to see some gay men who play football, hockey, baseball and basketball step out of the closet--just to prove that enjoying a sport has nothing to do with orientation. You KNOW they're there. Perhaps if they stepped forward, this illusion of what constitutes a "gay" or a "straight" sport would be shattered.

  10. #10
    Bleuchick
    Guest

    Re: Speaking of gay men in sport


    There is a hockey player called Estero(sp??) who came out on some t.v show and now all hockey guys want nothing to do with him...

    :rolleyes:

  11. #11
    eldredgefan2001
    Guest

    Re: Real Men Figure Skate


    But you know that isn't going to happen RealtorGal. Hockey Players and all the guys from the other supposedly "Manly Sports" are not going to come out of the closet because they would all be mercilessly taunted by the fans, and they would be shamed into quitting the sport that they love. So their simple solution (much like the military) is this, "don't ask, don't tell". Yes, most americans (especially men) think that almost all male figure skaters are gay. They would die if they found out how many of their heroes were gay, and how many there are in the 4 major sports who are just hiding their sexual preference.

    Kathie

  12. #12
    FetalAttraction
    Guest

    Re: Real Men Figure Skate


    RealtorGal,

    As you may or may not know, Esera Tuaolo, a gigantic specimen of a man who was an NFL player for the Packers (too easy:evil: ), came out as gay on the HBO magazine show "Real Sports" just this week. His physical size alone can dispel any number of myths about gay men. Here's a link to his story, in-depth, on the gay sports site (where you can find other examples of out and about jocks) outsports.com:

    www.outsports.com/nfl/200...ramain.htm

    His story is a sad one though. He was driven to drinking and suicide by the homophobia he encountered and the double-life he led.

  13. #13
    FetalAttraction
    Guest

    A Few Follow-Ups


    Princess,

    I think it's wonderful that you're encouraging and defending the next generation of male figure skaters, even a little bit helps. Who knows? Maybe the kids will grow up to be skaters that us skating fans will know and enjoy.

    RealtorGal,

    I would've told that mother her son is probably gay because she's so domineering:evil: , the singing is just a symptom.

  14. #14
    Kindertotenlieder2
    Guest

    Re: A Few Follow-Ups


    I can't fathom why anyone would think a person could "turn" gay by participating in certain activities, especially an adult. Insane . . . .

    I think the Male Skater = Gay is far from being an exclusively American equation. A poster from another forum claims that same mentality is pervasive in Germany. I also remember Plushenko saying that when he was younger, guys would pick on him for being a figure skater. It's sad really. :(

  15. #15
    bumblebee1
    Guest

    Re: A Few Follow-Ups


    I just read the article about the gay former NFL player today. Man, it must have been difficlut for him to live a double life. Here in the U.S., athletes like: i.e. football, baseball, basketball and hockey players are held up as models of masculinity. I remember the first time I saw Evgeni Plushenko doing a Beillman spin, my eyes popped out of my head. I didn't think men had the kind of flexibility that move requires.

    I can remember during the 1988 Winter Olympics, I was on duty at the Charleston, SC enlisted men's club. Some guy said something about the [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] in figure skating. I then made a comment along the lines that if he had that [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color]'s talent, he wouldn't be in the Navy now, would he? For some reason, that guy didn't say another word.

Page 1 of 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •