Thursday, April 14, 2011

Today in Raising Homos

A recent J Crew Advertisement has recently featured a mother playfully painting her son's toenails pink.


Apparently this small act of mom/son playful weirdness is enough to turn your son from his Tonka Trucks, BB Guns and a major in Criminal Justice to a life of *special* piracy, high heels and dubious careers on the Vegas Stage. The Conservative Media Research Center is sure to warn all us "indulgent" moms that this behavior could make life "hard" for our sons in the future. While they do not specify exactly what this hardship will be, it isn't hard to spot the thinly veiled threat of harassment, bigotry, and hatred behind the statement. Yes, Pink Toenail polish on your boy is a direct affront to Masculinity as a Whole and you'd better not "indulge," mom. Otherwise we'll make life hard on your son.

The MRC goes on to state that "Propaganda pushing the celebration of gender-confused boys wanting to dress and act like girls is a growing trend, seeping into mainstream culture. NBC's Today show on January 3 featured a segment on the 'Princess Boy' in which five-year-old Dyson Kilodavis was seen twirling in pink ballerina tutu, much to the delight of his mother Cheryl and host Meredith Vieira."

Perhaps the good white heteronormative men of the MRC haven't walked down the Boy's Toys aisle at Toys R Us lately. Had they done so, they would see the gratifying glorification of violence, sexual objectification of women, and clear lines of demarcation stating what is Boy and what is Not. Action figures of men in crazed expressions ready to kill their enemies are plied to children as young as three, and the true "mainstream culture" sees no problem with this. They haven't been to the bookstore, either, where books for boys are little more than glorified comics featuring poop and fart jokes and very little substance. (Because "studying" is for girls.) They haven't been to the movies, watched the cartoons, or even munched the "action packed" breakfast cereals marketed to the non-pink-toenail-polish wearing "normal" male youths of today. Nor have they witnessed the disturbing female counterpart to this hyper-male picture. Maybe boys aren't "gender confused," maybe the mainline image of what a boy "ought" to be is just stupid.

What gets more disturbing is when you read the comments following any internets article regarding this tempest in a teapot. Reader after reader helpfully comments that their son enjoyed tutus/high heels/pink crap and they turned out "just fine."

"Just fine?" Is this some notion that any other outcome wasn't "just fine?"

What does this have to do with figure skating? At least once a week I will hear some mom or dad decry the application of figure skates to their son's feet. "It's only until you get the basics," or "We'll switch you to real skates soon," or "You will skate in hockey skates or we will leave!"

Yes. You will conform to what is normal, or you won't skate at all.

I caught this J Crew nonsense yesterday, same day as when I caught an article penned by Junior Nats competitor Brian Benton, who caught serious Flak for wearing his "skaters only" souvenir tee shirt from the competition to school. His classmates mocked him. Seriously. WTF. He wrote the article for his school paper, telling his ig'nant bullies exactly what goes into getting a shirt like that. Again, Hockey Boys and Dads, I remind you of who skates in full body padding and who does not. Swarovski may be pretty, but it offers scant little protection from those full-on slams into the ice. Skate on, Brian. Skate on.


  1. I think we should stage a boy toenail paint-in!

  2. I'm offering full on pedicures to any boy skater that wants one, complete with my coveted Ruby Slippers polish.

  3. Action figures are just dolls given a different name and different accessories. So there are plenty of boys who play with dolls.

    It's a shame that boys in America have to put up with the harassment of small minded individuals just because they've chosen the sport of figure skating. And it's a very grueling and demanding sport. My son is always covered in bruises because learning new jumps means falling a lot. And there are always new jumps to attempt.

  4. No worries. Figure skating seems to turn out super hetero masculine assholes just as well as anything, from what I observe.

  5. Capcha was "gangsta." I SWEAR you plan these.

  6. "At least once a week I will hear some mom or dad decry the application of figure skates to their son's feet. "It's only until you get the basics," or "We'll switch you to real skates soon," or "You will skate in hockey skates or we will leave!""

    I used to get that sort of crap all the time when I was in middle and high school. Except usually it included the word "fag". I haven't experienced much like that since I left home at 16. I always assumed that was because I had left the bible belt, but perhaps the real reason is that homophobes only express their views around children because they're afraid of getting called out. I guess it's good news for boys that when they're older people won't bother them about gender roles so much.

  7. lol - I don't! if Chris Bowman isn't enough proof that skating can turn out Hetero Masculine Super Dudes, I don't know what is.

  8. You've taken away my anonymous posting. I'm sad. But I imagine the trolls may have started to get a bit thick on the ground?

  9. Never mind. Now I can post anonymously again. Must have been a glich. I feel silly for having made an account.


  10. When I was Stitch's age (maybe a bit younger, it was I long time ago) I used to try walking around the kitchen in my Mom's umpteen pairs of high-heels. They were different from any other shoes in the house, and they made a great tap sound on the kitchen floor. My shoes didn't do that, and my Father's shoes wouldn't stay on my feet (looking back, I guess the heels stayed on because they came to a point).

    As I got older, I asked my Mom to teach me how to sew (by hand. Never did learn how to use a machine). I used to sew for hours.

    Then I started acting, followed by working in theatre.

    Sometime in my teens I tried on nail polish (clear), just to see what the big deal was.

    I learned to skate in figure skates, from my Dad, in figure skates. He bought us all figure skates, and he's still a better skater than I am (though Stitch skates circles around him, too).

    And despite all that in my past, as well as continuing to work in a field well known to have quite a few gay people working in it (and I've been hit on by more men than women in my lifetime), I'm straight. Very straight (as Skate Mom can attest). None of those previous (or continuing) experiences made me gay, because I'm not gay. If I was gay, I would have been gay regardless of having those experiences or not.