View Full Version : Red Nails, Black Skates: Gender, Cash, and Pleasure On and Off the Ice.

04-19-2012, 03:01 AM
Has anyone read this book "Red Nails, Black Skates: Gender, Cash, and Pleasure on and off the Ice"?


Book review here

04-19-2012, 03:33 AM
Seems like a really interesting read. Have never heard of it.

AJ Skatefan
04-19-2012, 02:33 PM
That looks like an interesting read. I think I'll look for it.

04-20-2012, 08:25 PM
It does look interesting!

04-21-2012, 12:44 AM
Definitely sounds well worth reading, and obviously it is a scholarly work as Rand (as mentioned in the link) is a Professor of Art & Visual Culture and of Women and Gender Studies. Since Rand has also been a competitive skater in the adult ranks, her views both theoretical and practical might be illuminating. I hope the writing proves to be witty and wry and not too academic and dry.

The book is up on Amazon.com for pre-order.

05-13-2012, 03:31 PM
Q&A with the author, Erica Rand: http://www.pressherald.com/life/audience/cool-attraction_2012-05-13.html

Rand, a professor of art and visual culture and of women and gender studies at Bates College in Lewiston, did more than just learn a few tricks on the ice. She immersed herself in the world of showy little skirts and professional blade sharpeners. She competed in the Gay Games and at the U.S. Adult National Figure Skating Championships.

... Rand explores in short essays themes such as gender issues in sports, the economics of skating competitions, and the need to make figure skating more inclusive. There's even a chapter explaining in detail the complicated scoring system used by figure skating judges.
A: ... So I think males are asked to avoid certain kinds of behaviors or movements that would look feminine. I think it's partly anti-gay prejudice, but I think it's also anti-feminine.

Q: That's tough because you have to be graceful in skating, and a lot of things that could be interpreted as feminine might just be adding grace to your movement.

A: Exactly. And the whole idea that grace should be feminine, that's a problem. It's a problem with the sport being considered a sport. Should it really be the case that if you are graceful you are not being athletic? That's ridiculous.

05-13-2012, 04:51 PM
^^ Thanks for posting, Sylvia.

Absolutely, it is "ridiculous" for anyone to assume that "if you are graceful you are not being athletic..." It helps athletes in all sports, including football, basketball, and baseball to train in any and all kinds of dance (as it helps give them grace and more body awareness).

In this same vein, check out the recent GSD thread with Barb Underhill working with hockey players -- there is a video in that thread showing how she helped a very tall hockey player to improve his blade skills and overall body awareness, which helped save and further his career -- b/c he improved so much after working with Barb. Really it's about time the rest of the world understood what a terrific sport/ art is figure skating... A crucible for life, and for improving lives in many many ways.

05-18-2012, 05:44 AM
The book is now available in Kindle format for 9.99, and less than 20 as paperback. So I'm going to give it a try. Will report back

05-18-2012, 03:30 PM
I've always been curious/wondering about how these concepts-gender, race, cultural aspect, play in figure skating. Maybe this book could be my solution book?

05-22-2012, 03:49 AM
I bought the book in Kindle format, and I must say it's not easy to skimp through this with my mini-I-touch. The writing style is academic-ish, but it's written for a general audience who don't follow skating closely but with an interest in gender studies. There're parts of the book that are definitely opinion pieces, like what she says about Elvis Stojko's comments about quads. (That chapter caught my eye so I started reading that instead of from the beginning)
Eta But some parts are informational, like the partabout skating costs, which are based on personal experience plus some anecdotes. That part is also less academic ish

I think this book is for a really niche audience though. It's either for people with an interest in sports and gender biases or someone who likes skating.

05-22-2012, 08:49 PM
jlai - thank you for the tip. I just bought the book as a lecture during my vacation which is going to start soon. Just hope it will arrive in time. :)