Masculinity of the Month (Winter Olympics Edition): Johnny Weir

And the (oh so slightly late) masculinity of the month for February goes to USA Olympic Figure Skater Johnny Weir.

What makes Johnny Weir such a great example of masculinity in my books is how he dealt with his own masculinity being very publicly criticised.  Being in Australia I first noticed this example, from two of our nations un-fineset personalities. Another example of nasty homophobia, courtesy of a Canadian Sports channel can be found –  here.

While I personally don’t find these attitudes or comments surprising in the slightest, I was very impressed by how Weir handled it, calmly and with maturity and humour.  For example, in relation to the Canadian commentators;

“It wasn’t these two men criticizing my skating, it was them criticizing me as a person, and that was something that really, frankly, pissed me off,” Weir told reporters. “Nobody knows me. … I think masculinity is what you believe it to be.”

(Which was sourced from here)

I’d also highly recommend you watch this press conference Mr Weir held, where he speaks really well and intelligently about opportunity, inclusion and acceptance. The clear articulation of self the Weir has demonstrated in response to the lowest common denominator homophobia of some commentators to me clearly demonstrates that his masculine identity is beyond question, and I hope that I would react in a similar way if I was ever criticised in such a way.

(Late addition: this Feministing article is well worth a read too)

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7 Comments on “Masculinity of the Month (Winter Olympics Edition): Johnny Weir”

  1. kristy Says:

    JW IS SO SEXY! What a beautiful photo of a rather lovely young man. (Perhaps Mick Molloy and Eddie McGuire recognised this in their frumpy, middle-aged man hearts and this partly explains why they attempted to ridicule him…).

  2. Deborah Says:

    Johnny Weir has been ignored by NBC, he has lost competititions to other not so talented skaters and he has been ridiculed by many. But what he has proven is that he is genuine, selfless, loving, helpful, sensitive and entertaining and he doesn’t retaliate against them. He is all man in my book. Some people will never realize what being a man is all about. Johnny has really matured in the last four years and he should be commended for that not criticized.

  3. Nio Says:

    Oh wow just last night I was thinking that I should suggest you write about him. There’s a good infomania bit on him in the “That’s Gay” segment ( a regular segment that pokes fun at the stupid ways gay is represented in the media);

    Anyway, yeah, this man is sexy, brave, talented, awesome and inspirational. I think you made an absolutely perfect pick for this Masculinity of the Month.

  4. […] a regular segment he does called “Masculinity of the Month” and this month he has chosen figure skater, Johnny Weir. I’d like to suggest you check out the Critical Masculinities post and learn a bit more about […]

  5. Kian Says:

    I’m not sure why you are celebrating his masculinity when its actually his femininity that stands out. If you called him masculine, I think he’d laugh at the ridiculousness of the idea. Are you trying to redefine masculinity, because I don’t see the connection? Personally I am a very effeminate trans man and I chafe at the idea that my gender is somehow masculine, when it clearly isn’t.

    • Hi Kian,

      I am celebrating his masculinity, and I don’t think it’s particularly ridiculous because as far as I know he IDs as male. Sure, his expression of masculinity isn’t stereotypical, and there are some feminine aspects there, but I don’t think that makes his masculine expression any less valid or ridiculous.

      And as to redefining masculinity, I’ve got a very broad understandings of masculinity, and a key aspect of that is that there is no one single masculine identity. I certainly think that there needs to be some redefinition of mainstream understandings of masculine identity and expression, and I guess that’s a large part of why I write this. One example of my further thoughts on this can be found below.

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