Last night, NBC Washington tweeted out a link to a story about freestyle skiing halfpipe gold medalist David Wise:
David Wise's alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold: http://t.co/JRk7dtcmyi pic.twitter.com/hxOHHVuQRt
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) February 19, 2014
The link goes to a story on NBC headlined “David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold.”
Before we check out the exact nature of his “alternative” lifestyle, let’s get on the same page about what that term means. Wikipedia should do:
An alternative lifestyle is a lifestyle diverse in respect to mainstream ones, or generally perceived to be outside the cultural norm... Not all minority lifestyles are held to be "alternative"; the term tends to imply newer forms of lifestyle, often based upon enlarged freedoms....
So what could it be? Is he pangendered? Is he polygamous? Is he dwelling in a commune eating only raw foods? Is he living off the grid and existing on the barter system? What could it be?
At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexander, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada. At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.
Now it is true that David Wise credits his lifestyle with helping him win gold. To wit:
“I think my lifestyle — the fact that I have a little girl to take care of and a wife — really takes the pressure off of my skiing, because first and foremost I have to be a good husband and father.
But isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle?
I’m glad David Wise won gold, but if this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.