Gawd, remember that hipster burlesque crap from the 90’s? I thought it was over, but no, it lives on. An article in today’s Kansas City Star about a “neo-burlesque” show in town is headlined thusly: “Burlesque’s practitioners find humor, art and feminism in their risqué shows”.
Fun feminism, that is.”Neo” burlesque is funny and ironic, see. So it’s rebellious and iconoclastic and artsy. The Star runs a photo to illustrate the pertinent bits of the story. The photo is of neo-burlesque practitioner Honey Valentine’s headless, enbustiered torso.
Burlesque practitioner and funfeminist Lola Van Ella says “[What’s happening now is a feminist movement in burlesque] because it’s women saying, ‘I can be ultra feminine and I can shave and wear makeup and red lipstick and G-strings and pasties. Men may or may not enjoy it, but I’m doing it for myself.’”
How is fun-feminism different from regular feminism? Not at all, except that it’s antifeminist. It’s when you capitulate to, participate in, embrace, and openly promote rape culture in exchange for approval, claiming that it empowerfulizes you.
Van Ella said that contemporary burlesque appeals to both genders and that she has as many female fans as guys. And there’s a reason: Modern burlesque performers are clearly in charge of their own destiny.
“I have nothing against commercial stripping as a business, but it is that,” she said. “It’s a sales job. But burlesque is a tease, and that is the big difference. The woman doing it is completely in control of her own sexuality. She decides. And she says, ‘I’m gonna give you this much but not any more and if you want more you’ll have to beg.’”
Are you fucking kidding me?
It sorely chaps the Twisty hide when women get all cutesy with pornulation, misconstruing irony for agency.
The idea that women’s public sexuality can so precisely mirror traditional male fantasy while simultaneously existing in a kind of pro-woman, I-do-it-for-myself alternate universe is the cornerstone of funfeminist “thought.” The flaw in this reasoning is that all women must participate in patriarchy regardless of what they say motivates their participation; patriarchy is the dominant culture, and there is no opting out. Which means there is no opting in, either. Do it for me, do it for you, whatever; the primary beneficiaries of women’s participation — willing or unwilling, ironic or sincere — in patriarchy, are men.