Sunday, February 3, 2008

burlesque is best

first, i must say that teaching - my convenient excuse for everything these days - has been taking over my life and this is why my productivity level for pumping out posts has, in fact, been pitiful. however, in order to come back with a bang, i am going to write about my fabulous friday night when i experienced a burlesque show for the very first time. needless to say, i now aspire to be a burlesque performer despite the fact that i know this will never happen. still, one can dream.

you might remember my foray into pole-dancing not too long ago. this experience was, at best, conflicted, and fraught with dissonances between what it meant to be "sexy" for the gaze of (an)"other" - that is, a man. burlesque on the other hand, kicks the shit out of this notion of the gaze. mostly, in a intensely sexy juxtaposition, you feel object to the bodies on stage. as if your only function is to enjoy the beautiful sexuality that forcefully, aggressively, and uber-sexually demands your attention. you will not look away. feel squeamish. or objectified. you will, in fact, enjoy yourself. because, it just so happens, that burlesque is best.

before i went, i experienced some anxiety around the idea that this was - allegedly - a female-centric, feminist-inspired, expression of women's bodies. i was, in fact, afraid it would be mishandled. mistaken. misappropriated. and essentially be akin to stripping with a greater acceptance of the diversity of women's bodies. but still. a smidge-y ummm...dirty. and not dirty in the puritanical sense. but dirty in the male-defined and focused sexuality way. on the other hand, i was also fearful of it being an expression of our goddesses within. our inner femaleness. our connection to the moon. and excuse me while i puke, but i can't handle my inner goddess. it reduces me far too simply to my vagina.

shockingly, neither of these two worst-case-scenarios played out. instead burlesque ended up surpassing any expectation of predefined sexualities or (biological) determinants. essentially - and quintessentially - it was sexy. really friggin' sexy. and the power of the women on stage was palpable. visceral. and intense.

so what can we learn about the importance of pasties and pussies? well perhaps that the performance of different varieties of female sexuality needn't be predetermined or presumptuous. but that burlesque demonstrates that it is perfect in the power it affords women over their own representation. their (em)power(ment) within their bodies. their clearly defined and articulated agency. and that by wearing the once pariah-producing brand "slut," these harlots can kick the shit out of what it means to be a "properly" sexual woman.

this post was brought to you by the letter P. which apparently i am in love with.

this post is also tangentially related to something hilarious i stumbled upon in my blog travels - i give you the mostly hilarious sarah silverman in her music video producing debut (with special guest appearance by matt damon) entitled "f*cking matt damon."

sarah silverman's f*cking matt matt damon


1 comment:

Shells said...

Give me a call when you debut!