Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Feminist's Defense of Men's Gymnastics

As many of you know, I am a former gymnast.  I spent my entire childhood doing the gymnastics thing.    Dude gymnasts, especially during their formative years, often deal with criticism, ridicule, and belittling comments from folks who don't understand the greatness of men's gymnastics.  So, even though I am retired and my gymnastics days are over, I still try to enlighten others about the awesomeness of artistic men's gymnastics.  Recently, I sent a couple of youtube clips of a couple of American gymnasts to a wonderful woman, and proud feminist, named Sonia.  Sonia does not like sports so I assumed she would completely disregard these videos.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by her response and would like to share it with you.  Please note that while I am a sports fan and don't agree with all her views, I found her defense of men's gymnastics to be brilliant and witty.  Here it is:

I know you think I despise all sports; however, I do not hate gymnastics for the following reasons:
1. Obviously my first reason will be that women can compete (sexualized as their bodies may be)
2. I feel like gymnastics requires at the very least some sort of opposed to other sports men participate in (i.e. football) where you just need massive bodies and minimal hand-eye-ball coordination 
3. It is not violent (how many wife beating gymnasts have you come across?)
4. Other more hypermasculine sports rely largely on the ability to invade the personal space of other men, use profanity, and have your performance depend upon aggressive behavior (even though there was an svu episode of a teenage gymnast who killed another female gymnast cuz she wanted her out of the way so she could be "the best")
5. Interestingly enough, I find it to be one of the least homoerotic men's sports
6. One of my friends growing up was a gymnast, and I like him (even though he is a gay conservative)
7. In the first video, the commentator stated "Seriously, just mounting the rings is difficult"

Oh, and here are the videos I sent her because if you appreciate grace, strength, and artistry, then you'll like this and this.

No comments:

Post a Comment