February 22, 2010

Winter Olympics: guns, bikinis, and really cool sunglasses

I was shocked--shocked, I tell you!--last night when my younger son declared that the Biathlon was the least exciting winter Olympics sport to watch.  Considering that my two boys have more airsoft weaponry than most third world countries have actual guns, this declaration woke me up.  (I had fallen asleep, you see, because "ice dancing" was on the TV.)

I figured that anything involving shooting would keep my boys rapt.  Skiing and shooting.  Skating and shooting.  Hot dog eating and shooting.  Lawnmowing and shooting.  What could be more exciting, apart from maybe watching someone strap on skis and fling himself sixty feet skyward in a windmill tornado tumbling exhibition?  (OK, possibly if the skier were in fact doing this jump behind the biathlon shooting targets.)

So my boys eschewed the manliest of winter sports, the one involving the gun.  (By the way, I think women's biathlon should be moved to the summer games, and moved to the beach. It'd be like women's beach volleyball, only with bullets instead of a ball.  Girls, guns, and bikinis.  The IOC is missing a major ratings opportunity here.  But I digress.)

It got me thinking about other Olympic sports, though.

Curling.  OK, I kind of like it in the way I like ping pong and lawn bowling.  All three are well designed for the integration of beer.  But that whole broom thing... kinda girly, doncha think?  I mean, manly men don't do competitive sweeping.  When have you seen a Swiffer ad with a man doing the housework?  All they need is to add a guy at the end to pick up the stone, rinse it off, and put it in a dishwasher.  Emasculation complete.

Ice dancing.  Do we even need to go there?  This is the rhythmic gymnastics of winter.  This is figure skating for men who can't jump, and for women who are too big and fat to be thrown in the air like a high school cheerleader.  They should change this sport to incorporate some of the rules of the dance marathons of the 1930s.  Have all the couples on the ice at the same time.  Instead of sitting off in safety writing down random scores, judges would have to be on the ice, too, and tap the dancers on the shoulder when they've been eliminated.  And it would be a 12 hour marathon; if after 12 hours, more than one couple was still dancing, the judges could award style points to declare the winner.

Doubles luge.  WTF?  I mean, seriously?

I actually do enjoy watching some of the sports, if I've got nothing better to do like pick lint out of my navel or draw lines on the whiskey bottle to make sure the 10 year old isn't mooching.  Somehow I missed the US vs Canada hockey game, which is probably the one thing I would have sat down to watch in its entirety.  The downhill ski races are a bit like NASCAR in that there's almost certainly going to be a spectacular wipeout at some point, and that's OK because NBC in prime time tape delay won't show any actual serious injuries.  Cross country skiing is unfortunately like long distance running--truly an athletic competition, but fundamentally awful television.  I can allow figure skating because there's a manliness to tossing a petite girl into the air while zooming around on miniature swords strapped to your feet.  And speed skating--the one activity in all of humanity where a woman benefits from having enormous thighs.  Plus, as my son who is bored by the biathlon said, they get to wear really cool sunglasses.

So I guess the winter Olympics isn't all bad.  It's got guns, spectacular wipeouts, and really cool sunglasses.  The only thing it's missing is bikinis.


Jane D. said...

on Curling...I think it would be more interesting if one member from each team was allowed to take his broom and try to interfere with the other teams...no only would they use the brooms for sweeping but they would have to also use them for fighting off the opposing teams interfering players. That would liven things up. They could have a "no head shots" rule and a "no jabbing rule" to keep people from getting mortally wounded. Oh and maybe, "no kidney or neck whacks".

BTW - has Maria whacked you with the broom, yet?

As for the doubles luge - is that photo a picture of dudes?

Sarah Laurenson said...




You're right. You deserve some crap for this one.

Sarah Laurenson said...

And do all men have only dirty dishes in the house? And dirty floors? Do you not know how to clean up after yourself? You know, take care of yourself like a real adult?

PJD said...

Jane D: Yes, that's two boys. On a sled. Together. In pink tights. But I do love your idea of the broom fight. It definitely has real comedic possibility.

Sarah: I think you were joking, but the truth is that without a woman to instruct and train, men in fact do live among dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and dust. If the inventor of paper plates was a woman, she came up with the idea because she was sick of cleaning up men's dirty dishes. If the inventor was a man, it was because the idea of washing the dirty dishes had never occurred to him. And hey, he needed to eat and there were no clean dishes.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yeah, I was joking - sort of.

The thing is you've got so many stereotypes - both of men and women - in this post, that it's hard to know where to start.

But I will put this out there - those two guys in pink tights sliding down an ice track at 90 mph on nothing more than a tiny piece of metal have a lot more guts than your average stereotype male.

PJD said...

Oh, Sarah, I agree totally. You'd have to have a TON of guts to wear those pink tights. Especially with those hideous yellow boots.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Don't forget the "on International TV" part.

Robin B. said...

I've hardly been watching. Hate the figure skating taken seriously as a sport. That said, I did see some downhill this weekend, and it rocked.

Merry Monteleone said...

Okay, I kinda like Jane's idea for curling... kind of like hockey, but with brooms... hmmmm...

I don't get the curling thing, myself. It's just not fun to watch. I'm also not much on the ice dancing but I definitely wouldn't go as far as you did - I don't think it's a good idea to call a woman overweight when she's wearing sharpened blades of metal on her feet.

Laurel said...


Oh. Is it the Olympics again? Hmm. I'm checked out until August when college football starts back up.

Pete, I find stereotypes pretty funny in all seriousness. I don't object as long as people acknowledge that stereotypes aren't where every last one of us lies on the spectrum. (And yes. I have been told POINT BLANK by the nephew of the owner of the company that the reason they were not hiring me for the job was that I was female and the guy who was head of that division was not comfortable with that.)

Trailing over from Sarah's blog what gets under my skin is the use of diminutives toward one gender and not the other. It is absolutely a power technique in person and should not be employed, even inadvertently, by a professional. Just like I can call my girlfriends b*tches (I don't, but I could) and the men we know absolutely cannot.

If the men are men, the women are women. I can have lunch with the girls any time but at their jobs, they are WOMEN.

But I still think stereotypes are funny. Check out my comment over at Sarah's regarding "asking for my hand in marriage." I am my very own stereotype. Really. You have no idea.