so i saw a performance of sf ballet last week (reviewed here) that really had me thinking about men in ballet and the standards of masculinity. this quote is pulled from my sisâ€™s blog:â€œMen in tights on the football field battling each other with calculated brutality and jumping into each othersâ€™ embrace with screams of orgiastic pleasure whenever a point is scored are presumed to be heterosexual models for American youth. On the other hand, men in tights on the stage romantically dancing with women, tenderly carrying them overhead in apparently effortless lifts [in ballet], are presumed to be gay.â€œ
why is that? culture seems to look down on â€œgentlemanlinessâ€, which should be true masculinity – responsibility, sacrifice, courage, initiative, and forgiveness. thatâ€™s true strength. my friend who was watching ballet with me, said that her friend whoâ€™s in hip hop culture talked about the standards of masculinity there – where being too attentive to your significant other is considered a sign of weakness, because if youâ€™re a â€œreal manâ€, the women are supposed to fawn over the man. It has to be mutual – if a guy can treat me with respect, that would automatically happen. where did culture go so wrong, that standards of common decency are excluded from women, and this is encouraged by saying thatâ€™s the manly thing to do? if a guy treated me with the deference shown on stage in ballet, it would be so easy to fawn over that, than being ignored and being expected to do so.
â€œThe world cries for men who are strong â€” strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer. I pray that you will be that kind of man.â€ -elisabeth elliot