Thank God for sites like the Blog of Hilarity keeping track of gender bias in America. For too long males in the United States have been relegated to running the country and major corporations. It’s time men were treated as equals.
Case and point, synchronized swimmer Kenyon Smith. Smith won’t be making the trip to the Beijing Olympics because men aren’t allowed in synchronized swimming. For once I’m in support of discrimination. As men, we can’t have our images ruined by other guys in one piece swimsuits doing upside down splits in the pool.
Knowing that he wouldn’t be allowed to compete in the summer Olympics didn’t stop Kenyon Smith from trying out for the team.
The body that governs Olympic water sports maintains that it’s unfair for men to compete against women—even though men can go head-to-head with women in U.S. meets. “We cannot allow men in a women’s sport,” says Ginny Jasontek, the president of United States Synchronized Swimming and an Olympic official. “Men don’t compete against women in gymnastics.” And there simply aren’t enough male synchronized swimmers in the world for there to be an event for them.
Despite the rules, Smith tried out for the group going to Beijing. At the Olympic trials in December 2006, he had made it through the second-to-last cut when his coach was told he was disqualified. Smith says he’ll still cheer for the eight girls in high-cut sparkly suits and bejeweled ponytail holders who will represent the United States. “It will be in the back of my head that I could have made that team,” he says. “If I could have gone, I would have been on the team.”
At least the guy is taking his sport serious even if the rest of us consider him a huge joke. Get ready for all of the Kenyon Smith you can handle in 2012.
And in the meantime, there’s a Hooters gig waiting for him.