Author Topic: Boy in ballet, he must be....  (Read 13361 times)

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MOM21SON

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 09:48:58 PM »
You have my respect. I would lose my mind if someone was commenting on my preschooler's sexuality. 1) Who cares and 2) are people really sexualizing children so blantantly?

(I do realize sexual identity isn't always sexual but clods like this most likely won't make those distinctions).

Why anyone comments on ANYONES sexuality is beyone me.

m2kbug

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2013, 10:02:12 PM »
I think my approach would be "no big deal" and to the other person, the notion that they are completely insane.  The boy is 3 years old for crying out loud.  Let him explore his interests, and who cares if it doesn't fit the gender mold.  My son played dolls and kitchen way more than his vagina-toting counterpart at that age.  And the thing is, I don't care if either of them are g@y.  Ballet, yes, has that "stigma," but it's an old, tired one.  I think we've all heard about the beefy, masculine, football players taking ballet to improve agility.  Dear lord, you're not locking the boy into a gender-specific-boy-box, you must be a horrible parent. <--sarcasm in case that got missed.

I think I would just approach it overall as these people are NUTS.  Why wouldn't they put their boys in ballet?  Are you CRAZY?  He likes it.  Next year it might be tackle football.  Or kooking for kinders...whatever he chooses.  What's the big deal?  Because it really isn't.

I guess in other words, my responses would be as they would if a daughter were taking ballet.  I would probably not be eHell approved if the discussion were taken further.  It only becomes a big deal when someone makes it a big deal.  He's a boy who likes football (ballet).  <---see what I did there?

Venus193

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 10:50:59 PM »
Matadors take ballet to become more graceful under fire, as it were.

Really, you've gotten some good replies on this one.  And along with Mikhail Barishnikov they can also ask Peter Martins, Edward Villella, and Jacques D'Amboise.

doodlemor

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 11:03:32 PM »
From what I've read, many professional athletes train with ballet exercises. 

I suspect that none of these people have actually attended a ballet, and seen the strength of the male dancers in action.  I remember one man who held a ballerina over his head on one hand, with his arm fully extended.  And he did it gracefully, too, with no audible grunts.

Acadianna

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2013, 01:56:44 AM »
Why anyone comments on ANYONES sexuality is beyone me.

I'm going with MOM21SON's answer, and this is one area where I would refuse to respond to any such remarks and innuendo, except perhaps with a raised eyebrow or even a cool stare.  Boys who enjoy ballet -- and their parents -- don't need to justify the choice.

Redsoil

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2013, 02:43:01 AM »
Turn it into a positive.  Tell them "I LOVE the fact that in this day and age, both boys and girls can do any activity they want.  It's wonderful to know my son isn't limited in any choices."
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PurpleFrog

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2013, 03:11:37 AM »
We're coming up against somthing similar Froglet (3.5) is begging to start ballroom (he wants to e on strictlycome dancing LOL),  so far my responsis have varied:

Yep, cos that's how it works.

Too late to worry I bought him a doll and pram.

After avnightshift so possibly no Shell approved: Good I like shoe shopping and stereotypes.

Or just looking at them daft them carrying on the conversation.


I cannot believe that people still think and say such utter rubbish.
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poundcake

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2013, 03:31:06 AM »
When someone says, "Well, in my day, a boy in ballet would be ..." say, "Would be what?"  Force them to say it out loud.  Then ask, "Do you really think ballet lessons have the power to do that?"  Let them own the ridiculousness of their comments.

And if they do push it and say, "Well, you don't want him to turn out that way, do you," this is a good opportunity to say, "I'm going to love my son regardless of any preferences, so I'm not sure why you're concerned."

These responses are perfect! Stuff like this makes me so angry. It's 2013! Are people really still this stupid and ignorant??

sweetonsno

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2013, 03:58:47 AM »

So it comes down to being prepared and -

Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

OR

Should I just stick to the 'Hmmm, how interesting of you to think that way' and move on. Which I know is easier but I kind of want people (family) to realize what it is they're actually saying and, even if they really feel that way, that I disagree with them.

This is funny. My personal experiences have obviously colored my response, but my first impression when I read your boss' comment was that it translated to: "Aren't you worried that people might think he's gay/feminine?" The "and make fun of him/give him a hard time" is implicit. It would not even occur to me that someone would suggest that a childhood recreational activity would have any bearing whatsoever on someone's sexual orientation. (To me, it makes about as much sense as someone seriously suggesting that the moon is made of cheese or that babies come from the cabbage patch.)

I bring this up not because I think that it's okay to make that sort of comment, but because I think this may be less that they're worried about your son's sexuality and more worried about the fact that society can be cruel. For those reasons, I'd favor Redsoil's response over one that immediately assumes that the speaker buys into the silly stereotype. Even if they do, your cheerful explanation that society is moving on from those ridiculous beliefs will get your message across quite nicely.

It's certainly silly to think that an activity will cause someone to have a particular sexual orientation. It's also sad that some people see particular sexual orientations as something to avoid. However, you'd probably agree that having a child who is routinely bullied would be unfortunate. Unless your family, friends, and co-workers routinely make other types of homophobic remarks, I'd treat this less as  "What if he turns out gay?" and more as a "What if the other kids make fun of him?" I think that especially if these people are folks that you see frequently, you should try to assume the best.

However, if these folks routinely make other types of homophobic remarks (or they directly come out and ask if you're worried that dancing will make him "that way"), then I vote for calling them out. For comments in the former vein (dance classes will magically determine sexuality), I vote for amused disbelief. "Wait, you don't actually believe that childhood activities might have an impact on my son's sexual orientation, do you?" If it's more in the second vein (it would be bad if your son was gay), I vote for disbelief with a heap of ice: "I hope you don't think so little of me that you believe my love for my children would be dependent upon who they fall in love with."

I hope he does enjoy the classes! Ballet never really appealed to me. I was more of a slime and GI Joes kind of girl.

Snowy Owl

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2013, 06:29:51 AM »
We're coming up against somthing similar Froglet (3.5) is begging to start ballroom (he wants to e on strictlycome dancing LOL),  so far my responsis have varied:

Yep, cos that's how it works.

Too late to worry I bought him a doll and pram.

After avnightshift so possibly no Shell approved: Good I like shoe shopping and stereotypes.

Or just looking at them daft them carrying on the conversation.


I cannot believe that people still think and say such utter rubbish.

Agreed. I like any of those especially the one about shoe shopping and stereotypes.

By the way Froglet will be very popular with the girls when he grows up if he takes up the dancing early and sticks with it.  As a Latin dancer one of the most annoying things to me is the shortage of men in most classes.  Accordingly guys who can and will dance are very popular indeed and usually outnumbered by the women 2 to 1.  This is (in many cases) the reason they want to learn. 

Personally I think it's lovely for boys to get into dance when they're too young to be self conscious, worry about stereotypes and are willing to go with the music and be alive to it.

 
And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.

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Venus193

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2013, 06:34:36 AM »
I took Latin dance in college and there were 3 guys to 21 girls.  My flamenco class was all female for most of the eight years I took that.

Stereotypes and men + dance = "you know" have a long road to their death.

Amava

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2013, 06:53:00 AM »
Busybody: "He might turn out to be gay."
Response: "So?"

cicero

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2013, 07:34:11 AM »
Egads! do people *still* believe in this garbage?

I think my (probably not e-hell sanctioned) response would probably be to burst into laughter because those kind of sentiments are sooo ridiculous. and my next reponse would be "so?"

(and just so I get it clear, are these the same kind of people who believe that women should go into social work and teaching and leave the sciences, law, and business to *the men"? [not that there is anything wrong with social work or teaching, but I hate those gender-based divisions. people should choose their careers based on their intellect, passion and personalities, *not* becuase they are a girl/boy]).


'Ello!

Oh my gosh, it's has been a while in here (thankfully). For those who remember, I have a son, Little J, who is now between 3 and 4. Little J is doing wonderfully and we've been looking at starting him on a few organized activities. One of those activities is ballet.

Almost next door to my work is a ballet school. It looks well run, I've heard good things, and I like the discussions I had with the instructors. The teacher in charge of the small children seems lovely and I think Little J would really enjoy it. We've been offered several free class sessions to get him introduced and we're looking forward to trying it out. The problem comes from the comments, which are starting. A boy in ballet? Mmmhmm....

Normally I'd just ignore it, I've gotten comments from coworkers when I said I was looking into it, but now I've got people like my boss commenting. Specifically that in his day a boy joining ballet would mean ((significant look)) the boy was 'you know'. I went with the 'Hmm isn't that nice sure is cold out today' but I strongly suspect that as the news gets around people (older family) are going to voice similar opinions.

So it comes down to being prepared and -

Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

OR

Should I just stick to the 'Hmmm, how interesting of you to think that way' and move on. Which I know is easier but I kind of want people (family) to realize what it is they're actually saying and, even if they really feel that way, that I disagree with them.

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D-Banana

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2013, 07:49:42 AM »


(and just so I get it clear, are these the same kind of people who believe that women should go into social work and teaching and leave the sciences, law, and business to *the men"? [not that there is anything wrong with social work or teaching, but I hate those gender-based divisions. people should choose their careers based on their intellect, passion and personalities, *not* becuase they are a girl/boy]).

I work in a law office where, when the lawyer on maternity leave comes back, the ratio will be 75% women. No, I think their cause for concern is both the 'children can be cruel' and also that it might make my son lean towards the 'feminine'. It's a bit of the 'Girl empowerment is okay but OH TEH NOES a boy wants to do stuff that women tend to dominate in!" He will clearly be mocked, turn 'that way' or both! It's a real frustration to me that, while there's no real resistance anymore to girls doing things outside the traditional, a boy going outside the mold is still treated with concern.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2013, 09:02:55 AM »
My oldest son wanted to take Irish dancing a few years ago but I wasn't able to find anywhere that taught it near us that didn't cost an arm and a leg. So instead I got a DVD for $20 that would teach him.   

But along somewhat similar lines, when he was a toddler he liked to help me clean by grabbing the broom or he'd wipe a table just with a paper towel so I got him a little set of Mr. Clean kids mop and broom that came with plastic bottles that looked like the Mr. Clean floor solution.  My dad saw that and deemed it a "girl toy"  ::)  About a year later we moved back east and at one point my dad, sons and I went to visit my grandparents and at the time the boys and I stayed with my aunt and uncle and their two.   Their daughter, then 6 I think, had these Disney Princess dresses and talked her little brother (not yet 3), Pirateboy 1 (3) and Pirateboy 2 (18 months) into wearing them and doing a fashion show. 

So down the stairs the 3 little boys come, giggling and twirling in the little gowns just like they were shown, and posing for pictures.  Everyone thought it was hilarious while my dad was begging me "delete that picture, come on, can we get them into normal clothes?"  I don't remember deleting the picture, but I don't have it anymore so either I did delete it (didn't have much of a backbone then) or he got a hold of my phone and deleted it for me.

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