For the Girls

4 thoughts on “For the Girls”

  1. Interesting you should mention this. I went to a burlesque show on Saturday night. It was a fundraiser for a non-profit that I’m working with – which supports and advocates for the rights of sex trade workers. I found it disturbingly contradictory.

    I know that modern burlesque performers say they are celebrating the female form in all its shapes and sizes, but to me the basic fact remains that it is an art form that glorifies the objectification of the female body. It objectifies ALL female bodies, which is an improvement on Hollywood culture, but it is still about the spectator looking upon and being entertained by a woman taking her clothes off.

    I think the most feminist act I’ve seen lately is my friend Clamb who has joined/started a “Boylesque” group – men doing burlesque. If we’re going to have fun taking our clothes off, it should be both genders!

    Jen Watkiss Reply:

    I do think there’s a place for Burlesque, promoting a body-positive form of entertainment in an environment full of consenting and informed adults. Extreme prudishness isn’t the way to go either. It seems appropriate for something promoting the rights of sex-trade workers: safe and sex-positive entertainment.

    But I don’t think the place for objectification is the pages of a family paper, or as examples set for impressionable kids who are still figuring out their sense of self and how they relate to others – nevermind the body awkwardness going along with that.

    Oh, and I am all for fancy dancing by anyone of any gender!

  2. I totally agree, but believe that just as (if not more) important as the anti-bullying campaign is the promotion of self-esteem among young people; there will always be bad, mean & nasty people, so why not teach kids that what others say to & about you doesn’t need to affect your self-worth? While eliminating bullying sounds like a great idea, isn’t it a bit of a bandaid solution to an underlying mental-health wound?

    Jen Watkiss Reply:

    I am so with you there. I’ve always thought the anti-bullying movement is a bit misguided in its focus on “tell the bullies to stop.” If that worked, wouldn’t they have stopped by now? I think it should focus far more on the thing people being bulled *can* control – their own reactions to and feelings about the incident. Bullies will generally continue to be assholes. And focusing anti-bullying on them gives them even more attention. But those being bullied can rise above with the support of their peers and allies, if they are given the tools and support to do so.

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