Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Isiaf » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 01:34:13


This is a complex area with numerous facets.  Here is one:

Since the male culture ice skating conflict is a big part of my daily
existence.  I started with these chapters.  I made the assertions here on this
newsgroup years ago that culture is a major issue for males in ice skating.  In
these well written chapters a question became quite clear to me:

If an emphasis on the "artistic" is a problem for the male participants, then
why does an organization that professes to serve people not resolve the
conflict between expections of society and the demands of the rules?  

In other words, if the artistic demands of skating rules place male skaters in
conflict with the overall culture, why not change the rules?  If the male
skater could vote, would they vote to revise the rules of the sport.  Why is it
that most sports that males participate within don't have this conflict?

Maybe some of the answer to the above is in other parts of the book.

As a recreational male skater I have accidently created a kind of experimental
versus control group situation.  One of my groups of sports friends know that I
ice skate and one does not.  This has been an interesting experience.

I will point out that the author is a woman writing a book that will be read by
other women for the most part.  However, I will wait until I read the chapters
devoted to women before I comment further on this.

Finally, let me say that my ideal is to exchange views and gain understanding
by reading posts by people that are willing to present an interpretation with
supporting reasons.  Ideally, the value is in discussing rather than arguing.
One is cooperative and the other is a competitive power struggle.  The key from
my training is the ability to develop good open ended questions.  I have
presented one question, but I would give it a C-, the best I can do at the
moment.

Sling Skate

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by geowenc » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 01:42:14

Quote:

> In other words, if the artistic demands of skating rules place male skaters in
> conflict with the overall culture, why not change the rules?  If the male
> skater could vote, would they vote to revise the rules of the sport.  Why is it
> that most sports that males participate within don't have this conflict?

Actually I suspect that most *female* skaters would vote to change the
rules as well -- for instance the rules insist on a skirt, instead of
allowing leggings or a unitard or pants (in eligible competition).  Are
there venues in other sports for the participants to have a say?

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Joel » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 02:00:10

Quote:
>In other words, if the artistic demands of skating rules place male skaters
>in
>conflict with the overall culture, why not change the rules

Gee I dunno, if playing basketball or soccor makes women seem "unfeminine" and
puts them in conflict with society's expectation for them, why not change the
rules of basketball so it will be more feminine?

Quote:
>If the male
>skater could vote, would they vote to revise the rules of the sport.

Um, male skaters can vote.

 Why is

Quote:
>it
>that most sports that males participate within don't have this conflict?

They do.  You never heard what they call girls and women who play so called
masculine sports?

Quote:
>Ideally, the value is in discussing rather than arguing.

In other words, don't argue with me.

Joelle
If you want to make God laugh, tell him what you are doing tomorrow
Father Mike

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Wes4de » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 04:59:09

Ice skating has always attracted men with a feminine or artistic side who enjoy
costuming and music-it is show biz folks!. I mean, hockey type guys just are
not attracted to being in ice skating. The only one who seems masculine in
Stojko. Male ice skating is nice to watch but face it-it attracts men that are
not super macho and it has a you-know-what stereotype. As a woman, I enjoy
watching male ice skating more than female ice skating cuz they do harder
moves.
 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Joel » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 06:29:06

Quote:
>why not change
>the
>> rules of basketball so it will be more feminine?
>We did .. in the '50s, the girls could only dribble the
>ball 3 times, and then they had to stop and pass

I don't think that was what the girls wanted.  I don't hear women saying "Make
this game more feminine for me!" So it sounds a little wierd to hear men (only
a few) whine "Make skating more masculine for me!"

Joelle
If you want to make God laugh, tell him what you are doing tomorrow
Father Mike

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Isiaf » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 06:29:20

Quote:

>Ice skating has always attracted men with a feminine or artistic side who
>enjoy
>costuming and music-it is show biz folks!.

Why do you think this is true?  Consider*** Button for example.

I promise you that I, a male, was not attracted to ice skating because of art
or costumes.

Quote:
>Male ice skating is nice to watch but face it-it attracts men that are
>not super macho

Consider for a moment that men that you know.  How many are super macho?

Sling Skate

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Isiaf » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 10:41:51

Okay, I have read a great deal of the much longer chapters dealing with the
female culture issues in skating.

I find it interesting that skating rewarded females venturing into
non-traditional area of athletic value during a time when this female culture
taboo was just changing in society.  Yet at the same time skating hampers male
skating participation by putting the millstone of artistry upon their necks.

I recall attending a skating clinic for ***s.  The instructors talk about
artistry for the women.  This part flowed easily.  Next, they attempt to handle
artistry for the males.  This was awkward, one instructor deferred to the
other.  I franky did not buy their presentation as masculine artistry.

Random thoughts on this:

- Prior to Title IX - skating would have been one of the few outlets for
athletic women even if they had to live within the artistic contraints of the
times. Now females can paticipate in a wide variety of sports.  Female sports
carry a great deal of power in public school sports.

- By having a system that requires something of males that is inheritantly
counterculture, skating keeps a status quo of a female majority.  

- I would be very curious about the power structure of skating.  Is it an old
girls network with token males?

Sling Skate

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by janet swan hi » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 22:45:06

Quote:
>- I would be very curious about the power structure of skating.  Is it an old
>girls network with token males?

I haven't studied the matter, but it's my firm impression based on "looking
around" and following the administrative side of things that the number and
position of men in power in figure skating is far greater, proportionally than
their numbers in the sport as a whole.

janet

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Isiaf » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 23:37:36

Quote:

>I haven't studied the matter, but it's my firm impression based on "looking
>around" and following the administrative side of things that the number and
>position of men in power in figure skating is far greater, proportionally
>than
>their numbers in the sport as a whole.

Well, more information about the decision making process would be revealing.

In the book Culture on Ice, there is certainly a discomfort among elite male
skaters about the artisty demands.  Why they would not try to change the
situation seems very curious to me.  It could be that they have not thought of
it or that they don't see their own power as participants or they are
completely powerless with regards to the skating  establishment.

I wonder at what maintains a status quo that puts the average male in cultural
conflict.  Using a frame of reference of corporate culture with regards to race
and gender, you would expect to find root guards.  These are people that
strongly belief in the traditional system and would harm anyone threatening
that system.  The classic example would be the old boys network.

The skating power system must have a strong belief in maintaining the status
quo.  The primary people benefiting from keeping men in the minority would
include women that want control and gay men that enjoy the relative protected
environment of the skating scene.  Parents of females, the money engine of much
of skating, might well be most comfortable with female instructors and gay male
instructors.

Sling Skate

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by cmh.. » Tue, 10 Jun 2003 22:57:12



Quote:
>This is a complex area with numerous facets.  Here is one:
>Since the male culture ice skating conflict is a big part of my daily
>existence.  I started with these chapters.  I made the assertions here on
>this newsgroup years ago that culture is a major issue for males in ice
>skating.  In these well written chapters a question became quite clear to
>me:
>If an emphasis on the "artistic" is a problem for the male participants,
>then why does an organization that professes to serve people not resolve
>the conflict between expections of society and the demands of the rules?

snip

Well, I can't address this from the skater perspective, but as a skater
Dad, I sure have experienced the anti-male environment first hand. I've
been kicked out of several locker rooms by angry Moms, even though I was
the only one present to help my daughter (and nobody was getting changed).
When I help out with local competitions and people have to e-mail me, they
automatically assume I'm female. The decision making and cultural
environment is definitely an all female club, although I do know some
pretty decent women who can suppress instincts long enough to talk to me
as an almost insider ;-)  The role of the skating Dad is often summed up
by: "Drive, shut up, and sign the check". Most skater Dad's just keep
their heads down and their mouths shut.

Having said all that, the biggest problem is with the male community
itself making it tough on boys who want to skate. The USFSA and local
clubs actively try to recruit boys: it's affirmative action for males!
But, I know of promising young skaters who got out because they could not
take the merciless teasing. I think the problem there is male perception
of the sport rather than the sport itself. It's part ignorance, but part
self-fulfilling expectation. Tinkering with the rules won't change this
much, I'm afraid. And how does one change a culture? Here's a thought: try
being more welcoming to skater Dads, who just might pass along the word
that figures skating is OK.

--
Chris M. Hall, Associate Research Scientist
Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan

"Iraq has already achieved victory - apart from some technicalities"
Mohsen Kalil, Iraq ambassador to the Arab League

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Darby Wiggin » Wed, 11 Jun 2003 00:08:16

Chris,
I truly wish my dad had played a more involved role in my skating like you
are. He was basically the funding behind it. While it wasn't' until many years
later that I realized how much money they were pouring into skating, the fact
that I always wondered if my dad would show for a compitition was a far
greater concern than if we could afford to pay the coach this month.
Unfortunately, my father was never able to really see my skating progress on a
day to day level, or even a month to month level. He'd come to a competition
and see me do XYZ jumps and spins and then at the next comp I would do ABC
jumps and spins. Because he was not involved other than paying for it, which I
greatly appreciated, he never knew how hard I had to work to be able to do ABC
jumps and spins.

Having said that, my mother and I have a very special bond when it comes to
skating. She spent countless hours sitting in cold rinks watching me skate. I
use to wonder why and again, not until I got older did I realize that she took
great joy in watching me get lost in skating. Even today, there is a unspoken
bond we have. She gets "it". "It" being the release and joy that I have when I
skate.

Keep up the good work and when one of those women shoe you out, tell them you
have just as much right to be there to support your child as they do.

Darby

Quote:



> >This is a complex area with numerous facets.  Here is one:

> >Since the male culture ice skating conflict is a big part of my daily
> >existence.  I started with these chapters.  I made the assertions here on
> >this newsgroup years ago that culture is a major issue for males in ice
> >skating.  In these well written chapters a question became quite clear to
> >me:

> >If an emphasis on the "artistic" is a problem for the male participants,
> >then why does an organization that professes to serve people not resolve
> >the conflict between expections of society and the demands of the rules?

> snip

> Well, I can't address this from the skater perspective, but as a skater
> Dad, I sure have experienced the anti-male environment first hand. I've
> been kicked out of several locker rooms by angry Moms, even though I was
> the only one present to help my daughter (and nobody was getting changed).
> When I help out with local competitions and people have to e-mail me, they
> automatically assume I'm female. The decision making and cultural
> environment is definitely an all female club, although I do know some
> pretty decent women who can suppress instincts long enough to talk to me
> as an almost insider ;-)  The role of the skating Dad is often summed up
> by: "Drive, shut up, and sign the check". Most skater Dad's just keep
> their heads down and their mouths shut.

> Having said all that, the biggest problem is with the male community
> itself making it tough on boys who want to skate. The USFSA and local
> clubs actively try to recruit boys: it's affirmative action for males!
> But, I know of promising young skaters who got out because they could not
> take the merciless teasing. I think the problem there is male perception
> of the sport rather than the sport itself. It's part ignorance, but part
> self-fulfilling expectation. Tinkering with the rules won't change this
> much, I'm afraid. And how does one change a culture? Here's a thought: try
> being more welcoming to skater Dads, who just might pass along the word
> that figures skating is OK.

> --
> Chris M. Hall, Associate Research Scientist
> Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan

> "Iraq has already achieved victory - apart from some technicalities"
> Mohsen Kalil, Iraq ambassador to the Arab League

  dwiggin3.vcf
< 1K Download
 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Joel » Wed, 11 Jun 2003 00:32:45

Quote:
>The role of the skating Dad is often summed up
>by: "Drive, shut up, and sign the check"

That's too bad if that was your experience.  In our club, one of the dad's was
responsible for make up and hair for all the little girls.  And no, he wasn't
gay.

Joelle
If you want to make God laugh, tell him what you are doing tomorrow
Father Mike

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by janet swan hi » Wed, 11 Jun 2003 01:17:00

Quote:
>ere's a thought: try
>being more welcoming to skater Dads, who just might pass along the word
>that figures skating is OK.

Well, speaking only for myself, I do.  Skating Dads can be a treasure, a
valuable resource, and a wonderful addition to the landscape.

janet

 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Darby Wiggin » Wed, 11 Jun 2003 01:42:05

Oddly enough, I can see the girls hair and makeup looking great...maybe even
better than if "mom" did it. And not because "dad" would be too conservative to
let his "little girl" out looking like that....sometimes we women far
underestimate how much men appreciate hair and makeup....and understand it

Good for this guy!

Darby

Quote:

> >The role of the skating Dad is often summed up
> >by: "Drive, shut up, and sign the check"

> That's too bad if that was your experience.  In our club, one of the dad's was
> responsible for make up and hair for all the little girls.  And no, he wasn't
> gay.

> Joelle
> If you want to make God laugh, tell him what you are doing tomorrow
> Father Mike

  dwiggin3.vcf
< 1K Download
 
 
 

Culture on Ice: The Male Culture Chapters

Post by Penpoin » Wed, 11 Jun 2003 02:15:51


Quote:
>In the book Culture on Ice, there is certainly a discomfort among elite male
>skaters about the artisty demands.  Why they would not try to change the
>situation seems very curious to me.  It could be that they have not thought of
>it or that they don't see their own power as participants or they are
>completely powerless with regards to the skating  establishment.

>Sling Skate

I haven't read the book so I'm responding only to what you are saying
about artistry demands on male skaters.  I don't know what this means.
Are you or the author saying that males cannot be artistic, are not
naturally artistic, or don't want to bring artistry to their skating?
And so the sport should be changed to abandon the presentation skills?
None of this makes sense to me.  It's like saying that the arts are a
femine domain--a stereotype without basis in history.  In fact, from a
historical perspective, just the opposite is true--but then perhaps
historically women were not allowed to make serious contributions to
the arts.

One other question comes to mind: Is this "male culture/artistry
demands" problem something that exists only in the United States?  It
almost sounds like something that would come from the Bush regime
mentality.

--Penpoint