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Friday, January 29, 2010

If Only There Were a Sport for Masculine Men

"[Evan] Lysacek [pictured left] isn’t exactly a beer-swillin’ guy’s guy... His spidery masculinity is actorish and metrosexual," writes Emma Rosenblum in her New York Magazine article,"The Less Flamboyant One." The article is a profile of Lysacek and posits that "...[he] may wear feathers, but he’s not Johnny Weir [pictured right]. Can his Olympic bid give male figure skating a more “mainstream” reputation?"

My buddy, Michael Jensen (editor of AfterElton.com), has penned an excellent commentary that delves into the issue of masculinity in sports. Below is an excerpt:

The gist of the piece [The Less Flamboyant One] is that the rivalry between U.S. figure skaters Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir is best viewed through the prism of masculinity and how being more "masculine" is seen as better for the sport, an attitude best summed up by this quote in the article from Lysacek's grandmother:

Initially, Evan wanted to do hockey. He’s not flamboyant. His goal has always been to have dads watch him skate and then see that it’s okay for their sons to do this, too. Evan’s always wanted people to see it doesn’t have to be a feminine sport.
Because we all know nothing is worse than being seen as flamboyant or feminine. Ironic, that it's his grandmother talking this way. Of course, what's actually worse is being "gay" which we all know is what "flamboyant" really means.

Anyone who has taken a basic college course on sociology realizes pretty quickly how much of what we accept in society as right and normal is really just social constructs without much rhyme or reason behind them. And most of us realize that all you have to do is scratch the surface to see how silly most of it is and how much BS is involved in what's acceptable and what isn't.

For example, let's look at, oh say, football and figure skating. We all know that part of the reason skating is so "flamboyant" is because the skaters leap around and wear skintight costumes that are rather silly, right? But let's compare sports, shall we?

Hmm, skaters wear skates, colorful shirts, and tight pants, while football players wear pants so sheer tight they often show almost everything, brightly colored jerseys over shoulder pads, and helmets more fabulous than anything from Project Runway.
And we all know that wearing feather boas and putting makeup on your face is really, really gay, right?

And surely it would definitely be femmy figure skating fans who dressed flamboyantly.

Well, certainly macho football fans know how to dress appropriately masculine!

Right?

Let's look!

Funky hair cut, feather boa, glitter, beads, shirtless men, makeup?

Is this a football game or a gay pride march?
Read Michael's full article HERE.

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