Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ballet rant

Can I just tell you, I met the dumbest people at ballet the other day?

(Harry was totally awesome in class, by the way-- he totally remembered his skillz).

Now I get that my ballet experience is not the norm. It's "supposed" to be a bubbly pink princess tutu wrapped experience. I get that. But holy hell, we have never encountered anything like these women (outside of crazy internet message boards anyway).

Before class, I was shoving Harry's dance shoes on his fat little feet when I heard a DS-playing brother of one of the pink girls ask his mom, "Do BOYS take ballet?"

"No," she replied.

Harry looked up, shocked, one ballet slipper on, one one clutched in his hand. "Actually," I said, trying not to sound aggressive, "In professional troupes, half of the dancers are men."

"Huh," said the DS player's mom.

"Really?" asked a woman next to her.

"Oh! Like the Nutcracker!" said a third.

During class, they proceeded to have the stupidest conversation about gender stereotypes I have ever heard in my life (and no, they didn't use the phrase gender stereotype because I am sure they've never heard that before or stopped to question things like ballet class and play kitchens. Feck). The highlight? One mom saying that her niece is not into Disney princesses or anything pink, that she's JUST LIKE A BOY, and that there might be something wrong with her. OMFG.

I am never leaving campus again.

On a brighter note, Ben and I took Jack on a date last night, and it was awesome. He was adorable and well-behaved and so excited to be out with us. Jack and I started the evening at a reception for my department, and then we met Ben at his office. Then we walked downtown and ate a place with no kids' menus or plastic cups-- risky. We ended the evening at Toys R Us, where Jack picked out something for Harry, too. A picture perfect date. That I did't really take any pictures of. Except these.


  1. I always go straight to the, "You know, Hall of Fame Bears running back Walter Payton took ballet lessons." But maybe those cheeseheads aren't secure enough in their manhood for a move like that. Their loss...

  2. I "Love" reading people rant on one site about how some things are too girlie. One thing was a brown and green polka dot chair for a baby! Now, I am not going to get pink things for AJU6, but I am also not going to tell him he can't wear one of her hand-me-downs if he so chooses later on.

    Personally, I am a huge fan of gender neutral things - keeps life so much easier :)

  3. Dude. Last year a 3rd grader told my 1st grade daughter that she must be a boy because Elisabeth had a Star Wars back pack.

    I was livid.

    My mom is the worst about it. She has major gender stereotype issues. Honest to god, she'd have been one of those women. But, that's a whole different issue and one I'd need lots of wine to discuss.

  4. It's really hard to believe that people make it to adulthood without realizing there are male ballet dancers. WTH?

    She'd have had a stroke if she'd seen Charlie nursing a stuffed animal in Ikea today.

    I'm proud that my kids go from "fathering" their stuffed animals to digging worms in the garden to baking to making incredibly loud fake fart noises in restaurants (well maybe I'm no so proud of that). (Of course even saying that is acknowledging those activities as unique to one gender or another).

    People are so ignorant.

    Love the date with Jack!! How sweet.

  5. I'm surprised you were able to keep quiet during that conversation! I can't believe that idiot mom had the nerve to say "no" right in front of Harry and you. That is so terrible. I think it's awesome that Harry is taking ballet!

  6. We just signed Blake up for a dance class through daycare (during the day) and we got THE STUPIDEST remarks about it from the inlaws. I can't even remember the stupidity because I was trying to hard not to scream.

  7. please, I had a cousin ask me why Ethan was taking a cooking class instead of something like hockey.

    And I agree w/ Becca--how do people make it to adulthood without realizing there are male ballet dancers???!!! Staggering ignorance.

  8. I am already so sick of gender stereotypes regarding my still-in-utero baby. It almost makes me wish we had waited until the birth to find out what we are having. I seriously don't know what people are thinking. The ballet class comment is unbelievable!

  9. I was a dancer for almost 20 years (ie, most of my life, until this whole academia thing happened). The men I partnered with were some of the strongest, most athletic, HOTTEST guys I've ever known--regardless of sexual orientation.

    But, when it gets really bad and you can't imagine another ridiculous conversation with the crazy women in the waiting room, just tell them that professional football players are required to take ballet. That should shut them up. One of my friends (now a professional with Atlanta Ballet) used to tell his friends that...all the way through high school...