There’s a lot I have to say about what came up in yesterday’s post. Those who asked for a longer essay might get it, when I have more time, which may be when I’m dead. But I think I should at least clarify a few things in the meantime:
– I was, in fact, not thinking only of or even primarily about burlesque.
– Burlesque is one of the tropes I’m thinking of, but again, not the only one.
– Women get objectified. Period. Whether we’re dancing on a box at Pop Roxx or are on a stage at Hubba Hubba Revue. The difference? How we use that space, how we subvert that objectification. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that burlesque is just about naked girls.
– I was thinking also of some of the reasons I didn’t go to the Femme Conference a couple years ago–I don’t feel particularly reflected in that identity as I’ve seen it defined, discussed, or presented.
– I remember going to the Great Dickens Fair with </a></strong></a>whittles and being disappointed during The French Postcards that the whole theme was about imperialism and exploitation of the “exotics” of the East. I mean, yes, in Victorian London, that would have made sense, but honestly–at this point, can’t people come up with something smarter, wittier, more subversive, especially in a national climate where people from the Middle East and South Asia are already being exoticized and dehumanized?
– One of the problems with things retro is that shit used to be a lot more blatantly racist and sexist. So, if you can’t find a way around that, you might want to leave the past in the past.
– I’m thinking of conversations I’ve had with trans women about other trans women who they didn’t think “worked hard enough” to pass–by not doing things I don’t do, not because I don’t “have” to or haven’t been told to but because that’s not how I choose to construct my identity as a woman, especially when it means denying my identity as a black woman.
– I participated in the Big Bad Blond Wig Bar Crawl… in the Marina a few months ago. It was fun, and as much as I thought I’d feel like a punchline wearing a Marilyn Monroe wig, I didn’t. I rocked that shit.
– And while I respect Dorothy Dandridge and Josephine Baker for what they accomplished when they accomplished it, I also am aware of the sacrifices they made. I don’t want to straighten my hair, lighten my skin, or wear a skirt of bananas. And in 2008, I shouldn’t have to.
– I really, really, really wish Harlem Shake Burlesque were still an active troupe. I do look forward to seeing how Alotta Boutte interprets the 80s theme at the next HHR.
– I have an idea for a Diana Ross act.Tweet
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