Just this week, Hooping.org and the hooping community at large celebrated its 5th year of honoring our own with The 2012 Hoopie Awards. And I’ve personally followed every single year with anticipation. It goes without saying that a lot has changed over the years as well. This year, I had the feeling that there were more male nominees than ever before. Since you know I like to have the data to back up my instincts, I dusted off a calculator, rolled up my sleeves, and got down to some serious number-crunching. The men did show up in record numbers amongst the nominees this year. Let’s take a closer look. And I’ve got more masculine-inspired numbers and fun facts for you, too.
Only two men have ever been nominated for Fire Hooper of The Year. Barry Clement (2008) and Brandon Huston (2008 and 2009). No man has ever claimed the category, though.
The Newbie of the Year category has seen a male nominee every year. And a man has taken the prize twice, or 40% of the time: Nick Matyas and Nick Guzzardo.
Only 116 individual hoopers have ever been nominated for a Hoopie in a category that could be won by one person alone. 36, or 31.03%, of these honorees have been men. Men garnered 22.8% of total solo-category nominations over all five years and boasted 22.41% of the solo-category nominations in 2012. But overall, a man has taken home the hallowed Hoopie Win, excluding the Male Hooper of The Year category, only 7 times in the history of the Hoopies (I gave Rich Porter half a point for each of the two times he won alongside Spiral). When both the Male and Female of the Year categories are excluded, the hooping community has awarded a grand total of exactly 50 Hoopies over 5 years. That means that a man outside the gender-specific categories has won a Hoopie 14% of the time.
So what’s all this mean? Hell, I don’t know. Technically – and to sum up – men make up roughly 31% of the solo-category nominating pool, are nominated roughly 23% of the time and win 14% of the non-gendered categories. Those are the numbers. What they mean is something left to interpretation and something I hope will spark a lively and productive discussion amongst us.
A 31% male nominee rate is objectively impressive given that the man hooper was a rare, beautiful, and exotic bird when I started hooping, five years before the first Hoopies were awarded. This year, there was a male nominee in every single category (except Fire Hooper and Female Hooper, of course). In its first year, The Hooper Hall of Fame nominees were 57% male. A man won Hooping Idol in this, its inaugural, year. A man hooper was up for Hooping Soundtrack this year. These are meaningful things, too.
Statistics invite evaluation and inspire projections as well. But you don’t need statistics to predict that we’ll be seeing more of the masculine in the hooping community. I, for one, am pretty darned psyched about that.
As a final note, I leave with you a few other interesting facts I gleaned while compiling my data: Two hoopers have been nominated in one or more categories every year of the awards, but have never taken home the prize. Our “Susan Luccis” of The Hoopies are: Natasha “Hoopsie Daisy” Young and Sharna Rose. The only person to be nominated every year with wins is Spiral. Though Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach (our 2012 Hall of Fame winner), was not nominated in any category in the Hoopies first year (2008), she is our most honored hooper with a whopping 10 total nominations over 4 years and 3 wins. The most honored man in the history of The Hoopie Awards is Baxter, with 7 nominations in 4 years and 2 wins.
As the Hoopies remind us every year in its evolving process, if you’re a hooper, you’re already a winner. Our community is hardly the sum of the awards it bestows each year. Not by a long shot. No sirree. But, whoa, is it cool that there are so many of us that we can even host awards! Gentlemen, warm up those hips and ready your cameras. And ladies, prepare yourselves for 2013. I predict it will be The Year of The Man Hooper.
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group and Forum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.