Our son is a ballet dancer. For me, this is no longer news. It's like saying, "My son likes history," or "Our child builds a great campfire." It is just another activity for an active child. For many of you (and when I say "you," I do not necessarily mean YOU, you know), it is a shocking statement.
It infuriates me that we are supposed to be okay with woman climbing the corporate ladder, retaining maiden names, and paying for their own dinner, but a man doing something out of the norm is scoffed. Why can women be all of the things they want to be, but men cannot? Seriously, who made up that rule?
This stigma doesn't belong to other forms of dance. It's okay for a man to swing dance to country music in a country grange and it's okay for a man to break-dance on the street. But it is not okay for a man to be a ballet dancer.
Some say it is the uniform. Dancers wear tights. They wear them for many reasons, but utility is one of the main reasons. If they are trying to do elaborate turns or flying leaps, flappy pants could get in the way. This is not unusual in athletic settings, but ballet dancers are mocked for it.
How are these
more okay than this?
Also, there is the gay factor. So, what you are saying is that a man who enjoys working out for long periods of time to perfect a technique, who pushes himself to constantly improve, and who strives to provide impeccable performances for his audience must be gay? Hummm. That obviously doesn't apply to the basketball player who throws free-throws hour after hour, day after day. Or the baseball pitcher who spends entire summers trying to hit the strike zone.
It must be the makeup. A ballet dancer occasionally wears stage make-up. I know of no straight men who wear makeup for their craft.
Nope, none. Especially not the pin-up types.
Maybe the stigma comes from the plethora of ballerinas. What would an all female ballet look like?
Ahh, the problem must stem from the fact that ballet is beautiful and men are only supposed to participate in the grubby, rough and tumble types of activities. Frankly, I have no sassy comeback for that. If the love of beauty is socially restricted to women and gay men, then that is a sad, sad thing.
Yes, our son is a ballet dancer. He is straight. He works hard. He wears tights. He appreciates beauty.
And he is more a man than so many men our society has produced. Get over it, my dear.