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)