16 February 2010

I Love Figure Skating And I'm Not Sorry

OK, so I've broken my vow not to watch TV. But it's not TV that I'm watching: It's the Olympics.

Specifically, I'm following the skaters. Last night, the pairs competed; tonight it's individual male skaters.

Now I have to admit to being disgustingly politically correct: I feel the urge to apologize for the fact that I'm watching the skaters. Why is that? Well, I can almost hear the voice of some gender studies graduate student reminding me that skating competitions reinforce gender roles. In one of the pairs, the girl looked young enough to be the guy's daughter, or at least his niece. And, of course, one of the ways in which figure skating resembles so much ballet is that the man picks up the woman, twirls her around and lowers her onto the ice in exactly the right position so that she can do a twirl or spin of her own.

My inner '70's feminist recoils or screams, depending on her mood, in horror at the spectacle. Yet I'm loving every second of that spectacle. Does that make me some kind of horrible reactionary? Have I become a Bourgeois Bitch?

Well, truth be told, I was always something of a BB. I mean, I like comfort and pretty things, and I seek refinement and relate to the world through my emotions.

OK, so I've established my credentials for the first "B." So what gives me the right to call myself the "b" that rhymes with "witch?" Well, other people have called me that, but I've long since learned that what other people say about you doesn't make you what you are.

Rather, I now realize that I am a "bee-yatch" because, it seems to me, that the unspoken, unwritten definition of one is a woman who does what she needs and wants to do, and doesn't apologize for it.

And I don't apologize for the fact that I'm enjoying the couples who skate their way into traditional gender roles and male figure skaters who are, well, male figure skaters. And, yes, the female figure skaters, too.

But I'm not really watching TV. Really!