Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sale on Weir

I was asked on Formspring my thoughts on the below video. I think everyone is entitled to an opinion...doesn't matter if I agree or not.

What do you think?


kevin hsu said...

So what if Weir wants to wear feathers, etc. Why should he have to conform to what the media's image what "masculinity" should be like? It's not his job. Personally, I think he should do whatever he wants to do that pleases himself then to conform to the media. After all, that's why there is a large contingent of people who watch figure skating like about him. He has personality. Just look at the receptions that Evan gets when he gets on the ice versus Johnny. Evan gets polite claps whereas Johnny gets enthusiastic claps. Plain and simple. The audience has spoken. I do agree with Jamie that Weir knows how to manipulate media and has a nack for sound bites. She does come off as homophobic sorry to say. And frankly people who go watch figure skating always assume male figure skaters are gay anyway. People still go see. It's not like all of a sudden Weir wears pink or feather and all the figure skating audience all ran in different direction. US figure skating's popularity always contingent on the girls. When the girls do well, it becomes popular. When it sucks (as in the past few years), popularity dwindles. That's just the way it is. So when the ladies start to win Worlds again, figure skating will become popular once more in the States.

Tonichelle said...

the double standard in figure skating is getting so annoying.

Weir is praised for his outspokenness even if it's perceived as "wrong" by society.

now Jamie does the same thing and because it doesn't jive with what Weir's fans agree with she's wrong, she should shut up, and that her opinion does not matter.

I could say the same about Johnny's, but since we're ALL entitled to an opinion I say more power to Jamie.

Anonymous said...

jamie's word comes off as homophobic. So let's just say Rachael Flatt is fat in figure skating standard. So if I criticize Rachael being fat, it's not ok. But it's ok to criticize Weir being too gay? talk about double standard.... Oh ooops, I guess my opinion doesn't matter since gay people can be bashed but straight fat people cannot. Of course you are entitled to your opinion whether it is ugly or not. Gay people are used to be bashed verbally and physically and you are obviously one of them.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of homophobic, does everyone know about this?

I hope the figure skating blogs will call for a boycott of Smuckers and Stars On Ice.

Anonymous said...

The double standard of figure skating is so annoying in judging too. Just look at Johnny’s and Yu-na’s free programs. Their programs, both were choreographed by David Wilson, had similar features in common: sexiness and hint of whoreness emphasized with some cool and picturesque poses, flowing but a bit energy-saving movements. They were both technically solid, got huge applause from audiences, but the scores they got were…While Yu-na got the tremendous, hit-the-ceiling scores, Johnny got that unjustly low scores, even lower than a skater who fell on 3A.
So what’s the difference? Only one thing: Yu-na is a woman, Johnny is a man. Totally disgusting.

Ice Mom said...

I think that this debate, flamboyant/showy vs. athletic, represents a growth period in the sport.

I support Johnny's right to do what he wishes when he competes. I find him entertaining as well as athletic.

However, the daily reality at the rink is that boys who figure skate have a tough time with their non-skating peers for choosing figure skating as a sport.

The flamboyant stigma prevents some boys from participating in figure skating as an athletic event.

I don't think this is just a figure skating thing, though. This is a societal thing. Can a man be flamboyant and athletic? Do we label all athletes based on a few members' tastes?

It's very wishy-washy to say that I'm on the fence with this, but I am. I enjoy watching skaters like Weir on the rink, but I worry about the boys at the rink who face teasing or bullying in the classroom.

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Many, many boys who aren't figure skaters, but who are gay, face horrible teasing and bullying in the classroom. If there were more role models of out, male, gay athletes, those attitudes would change.

It's hard for me to respect Brian Boitano anymore (plugging his show where he cooks at home everywhere but on gay media. And, he's AT HOME for goodness sake. Where's his SO?).

I think attitudes like his hurt these boys and ultimately society. Acting like you're ashamed of something (by trying to hide it) only encourages people to treat it as shameful when they see it in others.

Anonymous said...

Here's an online petition.

Katrina said...

First off I will, I agree with Jamie. I think Weir does set a tone for men's figure skating. Does he have the right to do it? Absolutely. That's great, it's his right. Do I agree with it? Absolutely not. I find Johnny's skating dis-interesting and boring. But it's my opinion.

People have the same issue with male ballroom dancers. Most people think male ballroom dancers are gay. Just as in with figure skating there are but I know more straight ones and ones with families.

People also have the same issue with male Ballet dancers. Its ALWAYS going to happen and because most people are ignorant and refuse to believe any difference, the world won't change.

Anonymous said...

She is just jealous because she had to wear a terrible terrible dress to her olympics.

Anonymous said...

Certainly, there's some anti-gay sentiment among Johnny's critics, but there are also those of us who love his skating, get a kick out of his costumes, and don't care who he sleeps with, but are turned off by his romanticizing all things Russian and disdain of all things American, along with his over-the-top selling of 'poor misunderstood flamboyant me' to suit his commercial interests.

Really, if everyone who says something negative about Johnny is a homophobe, does that make Axels, Loops and Spins anti-straight for calling out Plushenko on his 'real men do quads' nonsense? No, of course not. Plushenko should be called out for being 'over-the-top' on that, just as Johnny should be called out for being 'over-the-top' in a way that's not authentic to who he is, and I think that's just what Sale has done.

Anonymous said...

Off topic:
Just curious: why is cycling not considered gay? My husband's cycling outfit definitely tops both riding breeches and sequined unitards...

Anonymous said...

It's not if someone says anything negative about gays. The first part of Sale's statement, that Johnny does what he does for publicity, has nothing to do with being gay. It sounded negative about Johnny, but not homophobic. I also don't disagree that when he wears Russian jackets, Russian lettering on his skates, while representing the U.S. at competitions, that is a slap in the face to America. But, it also has nothing to do with homophobia.

The rest of it, however, that his flamboyance (although she doesn't use this code word like so many others do) hurts male figure skaters, IS homophobic, in my opinion.

There are many other male skaters who are gay, but try to hide it and not "act gay." Johnny acts the way he wants. It's perceived as gay. When people say, essentially, that acting gay hurts the sport, it's homophobic. I don't know what else to call it.

Ice Mom said...

I don't think it's homophobic to say that boys in figure skating suffer their peers' teasing at school. All boys, gay or straight.

I do think that all sports should be open to all people and that homophobia is garbage. We all need to get past it.

However, the reality is that society isn't past it. The reality is that bullying exists.

I'm not saying that bullying is right or defending it. I'm saying that it happens. When it does happen, it's often covert, nasty, and difficult to prove.

Bullying dissuades boys - both gay and straight - from figure skating. It keeps gays in the closet, is a trigger for depression, and can encourage the second largest teen killer: suicide.

That's why I'm on the fence. I want the ideal world where everyone can participate in any activity in whatever manner he or she chooses.

However, the reality is that a stigma does exist, boys don't join the sport, and they do suffer bullying at school.

As I said, it's a growing pain. Let's hope we can grow as a society in the right direction.

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Ice Mom -

No one posted (and I'm the anon twice between you and Katrina, then again immediately before your latest post) that it's homophobic to say boys who figure skate get teased at school. It is the teasing itself that's homophobic. I also certainly didn't see that anyone, including myself, thought you said bullying is OK or that it doesn't exist. Of course it exists and it's not OK.

It seems you're saying that because Johnny acts a certain way, which in turn furthers a gay sterotype of figure skating, which in turn dissuades boys from going into the sport (all of which I agree with), he shouldn't act that way. It's the "he shouldn't act that way" part I disagree with. As you said, it's a problem with society. Jamie Sale's disparaging comments about his "fluff" hurting men's figure skating and broadcasters' homophobic comments about Johnny during The Games are the kinds of things that perpetuate (by making them mainstream and acceptable) the bullying of ALL boys seen as gay by their peers - whether or not they figure skate, or indeed, whether or not they're even gay.

Of course, in an ideal world, Johnny could act the way he does, everyone would think he's gay, but no one would care and no one would say it harms the sport. And no boys would decide against figure skating for fear they'd be bullied. The solution, however, is not to encourage or hope for sensorship of gay atheltes (whether by themselves or others). Part of the solution is for gay, elite athletes to come out, so that gay AND straight kids have someone of tremendous prowess and achievement as an example.

DW said...

Methinks Jamie is desperate for attention....

Anonymous said...

Where is Aaron's opinion on this? I'm kind of curious...

Aaron said...

My opinion on all this...where do I begin?

So first, I will defend anyones right to an opinion, Jamie Sale's included. She has every right to say what she feels and I applaud her for it, no matter if I agree or disagree.

I didn't know where to fall on this argument until I was watching an episode of Be Good Johnny Weir the other day. It was the episode where he is competing at the Grand Prix Final and he said something very telling. "The Figure Skating community can be very...fickle, especially towards me. I'm not sure why...I probably bring most of it upon myself."

I had an a-ha moment. Johnny is well aware of the mood he creates among many. He knows some love him for it, others not so much. He thrives on the fact that he is is the biggest separator between himself and others like Abbott and Lysacek. His look, comments, his appearances all carefully crafted (Tara Modlin is a genius!) by design. He is a character in a sea of character.

To some extent Jamie Sale is right...but at the same time I hope Johnny doesn't change a thing. Figure Skating needs characters, needs people to be different. What Johnny does may hurt the sport a little, but I think it helps is far more.

As far as the debate on homophobia, I don't think Jamie Sale was being least intentionally. We have to remember that in Canada all season there has been this huge push to make skating more "tough" so it shouldn't be a shock to any of us that a Canadian would call for a skater to "toughen up."

As for society and it's issues with homophobia, it's unfortunate, but it's not a fight that is going to be won or lost with Johnny Weir (who himself has never officially 'come-out') or boys at skating rinks...there needs to be a complete societal switch and rethink that, to this point, hasn't happened.