Home / News / Tonya Harding Finds Redemption as a Feminist Anti-Hero for 2017

Tonya Harding Finds Redemption as a Feminist Anti-Hero for 2017


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My first suspicion on walking out of “I, Tonya,” the recently-released indie film starring Margot Robbie as ashamed figure skater Tonya Harding, was: Tonya was wronged. My second suspicion was that “I, Tonya” is the biggest sports film I’ve ever seen.

Most sports films, even the classics, have two things in common: They’re about men and they buy uncritically into the romantic account about the athlete’s tour to find himself by the onslaught toward greatness.

“I, Tonya” breaks the mold, not just by revelation the story of the story of disaster and loss, but by grappling with the role that gender and sexism played in ruining a lady who may at one time have been the biggest figure skater in the world. Regardless of either you trust Harding played a role in formulation the attack on associate skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994 (I privately don’t consider she did), what is apparent some 23 years after the fact is how good Harding’s story symbolizes the way that the universe treats women who ask for something some-more out of life than being pacifist objects.

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“You didn’t need to have taken women’s studies to see how nasty the coverage of Tonya was and how it just went by the playbook of every singular bad thing you can call a woman,” pronounced Lynn Harris, a author and comedian who founded Gold Comedy, a school that teaches stand-up comedy skills to girls.

Even by complicated TMZ-style standards, the media playground around Harding in 1994 was ridiculous. (The stage in which a publication publisher vandalizes Harding’s lorry so he can get angry photos of her is 100 percent formed on the truth.) Harris, who was not only a figure skater herself but a passed ringer for Harding, finished up spending much of that year operative as a Harding impersonator, and actually won a luminary impersonation contest on Geraldo Rivera’s speak show.

“You didn’t need to have taken women’s studies to see how nasty the coverage of Tonya was and how it just went by the playbook of every singular bad thing you can call a woman,” pronounced Lynn Harris, a author and comedian who founded Gold Comedy, a school that teaches stand-up comedy skills to girls.

Even by complicated TMZ-style standards, the media playground around Harding in 1994 was ridiculous. (The stage in which a publication publisher vandalizes Harding’s lorry so he can get angry photos of her is 100 percent formed on the truth.) Harris, who was not only a figure skater herself but a passed ringer for Harding, finished up spending much of that year operative as a Harding impersonator, and actually won a luminary impersonation contest on Geraldo Rivera’s speak show.

 

Amanda Marcotte is a politics author for Salon. She’s on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte. 



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