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Male role models not enough on TV dance shows

Popular reality television shows are providing male role models for boys who are interested in dance. But some feminist scholars…

By Stephanie Hallett , in Culture , on December 2, 2009

Popular reality television shows are providing male role models for boys who are interested in dance. But some feminist scholars say this isn’t enough.

  • Mary Louise Adams, a sports sociologist, said these shows strengthen traditional masculinity and do nothing to produce a liberated form of femininity.
  • For example, female figure skaters are an accessory to their masculine companions on Battle of the Blades. Their presence assures the audience that the ice dancing hockey players are heterosexual, and they will return to being ‘real men’ when the show is over.
  • Doug Risner, a dance scholar, says that heterosexism and homophobia in Western culture contribute to the lack of boys in dance. Boys who do want to dance have only one acceptable, masculine option – hip hop.
  • On shows like So You Think You Can Dance, masculine dancers are celebrated and others are told to dance “more like men.”

Related: More Vancouver boys leap into dance

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