Monday, September 12, 2011

Real Men Lift Women

I'm feeling a bit testy, so I apologize in advance for any offense I might give.  Although, if you take offense, you might want to evaluate your reaction.

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?  
Not this:

I defy any ballerina to do this without her male counterpart.  I suppose it could be an all female cast.  Shakespeare used to be played by an all male cast--including those flirty female roles.  I'm sure that went off very well.

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.


  1. I wish there was a "like" button for this. :)

  2. I'm sure that felt good to get out! Good for you.

  3. One word: Baryshnikov.

    Two more: You go!

  4. I will tell you he impressed the boys his age with his ability to do a 720 spin jump with no help or tramoline.

  5. I could see that football player's butt crack! Sick! :) Thanks for posting a pic of Wolverine to get my heart started again. Love to you, and of course, your children.

  6. now I'm curious what or who prompted this post?

    I honestly think it is awesome that your son is an amazing ballet dancer and to just think of how a parent could have robbed a child of this talent and love. I think it's when we force children to be something they're not or to manipulate your child into the parent's idea of success...or worse yet, making the child fulfill the unaccomplished dream the parent never completed...THEN we have PROBLEMS...then the child lives a life a pretending and seeking validation instead of just living and being true to how God intended them to live their life.

    now I just have to make sure I'm not doing this to my kids :) Cause I can be a control freak at times.

  7. I'm proud of Isaac! It was a little weird picking up his "belt" the other night...the guy thought it was for me!

    According to the sales guy's face, some bodies just should not be in tights!

  8. I mentioned this post to my husband who is much more into football than ballet, and his response was that there are a number of football players who take ballet classes to improve their balance, etc. I looked it up, and indeed, it is true. So apparently being tough and manly does not exclude ballet. I love the part about no manly men wearing makeup and then the picture of Johnny Depp - priceless!

  9. My son also dances ballet and we live in west Texas where this is totally taboo. Thanks for speaking up. I fight daily with narrow minded individuals who think raising him wrong because he loves ballet and spends 20 hours a week at the studio.