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Feb 22 2010

Is your pout plump enough?

Oh my fucking god, behold yet another story in a major American newspaper wherein the writer gets all verklempt about this wack new burlesque craze, just fifteen short years after the first quasi-transgressive hipsters disentombed it from its well-deserved mothball crypt in the misogynist perv-pile. Any excuse to interview a semi-nude chick with a stripper name, I guess. These Yay! Burlesque! stories seem to appear every couple of months. They always present burlesque as some kind of exciting new art form the practitioners of which are all empowered feminists who are totally in touch with their sexuality.

Here is what Miss Lily Verlaine, Seattle burlesque artist, has to say about about feminism.

“I enjoy the trappings of femininity. I enjoy wearing dresses, I like silk and I like high heels, eyelashes and big hair. It’s fun for me. I don’t think it’s un-feminist or that I’m any more or less of a woman for accentuating certain aspects of my femininity.”

I choose femininity! For me! Because what could be more feminist than choosing something?

“I find it very feminist and very exciting when a woman decides how to portray herself. Any woman being her own agent, being her own director, being her own stylist and her own voice is always feminist.”

What could be more exciting than a woman deciding to portray herself as something? Especially when she decides to portray herself as a male fantasy, am I right?

“‘For a long time, I wasn’t interested in nail-polish and makeup and all that stuff because I could be spending my time doing things in the community,’ she recalls. However, Verlaine found that once the dresses, furs, heels and makeup followed her offstage, people began to treat her better, men especially.”

Well, whaddya know. Appeasing the oppressor vs. “doing things in the community”: it’s a no-brainer!

“‘If I have my drag on, people compliment me. They say kind things. The interactions are night and day,’ she says.”

People: “We didn’t think much of you, Miss Lily Verlaine, before you started dressing like a hooker. But now that you’ve demonstrated your willingness to conform by defining yourself in terms of male desire, we think you’re awesome. Can we buy you a Scotch?”

Miss Lily Verlaine: “Gosh, thanks! This beats the shit out of trying to be taken seriously!”

Pull yourself together, woman! Not even the hipsters think burlesque is hip anymore. And even if it were, femininity is unenlightened, and also dumb. And even if it weren’t, all that makeup crap totally causes cancer! There’s mercury in mascara!

But maybe life just isn’t worth living if men don’t want to fuck you; what’s a little cancer compared to the infinite rewards of sex appeal?

Speaking of makeup, I just found out there exists a species of cosmetic called “lip plumper.” Lip plumper is an irritant that, when applied to one’s “pout,” makes it swell up, the better to affect that sexy, just-been-punched-in-the-face look that dudes love. This poor girl, apparently of her own volition, makes her own lip plumper out of cayenne and infant butt-cream.

Kill me now.

______________________
Photo: still from “How To Make Homemade Lip Plumper” by SecretLifeOfABioNerd on YouTube.

117 comments

1 ping

  1. Laughingrat

    Jesus Christ on a chariot-driven crutch. That whole “It’s totes feminist to portray yourself as a fictional concept of Woman that just so happens to reinforce patriarchal mores” thing drives me straight up the wall.

    Once a troll biffed over to my blog and yammered at me about how burlesque is especially feminist because it allows fat women, or other women not traditionally considered to be high-class sex objects, the chance to finally, at last, become high-class sex objects. I thought feminism was about how women are people, not about how women of all sizes and appearances can now be equal-opportunity meat envelopes.

  2. dr_igloo

    Q: How many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb.

    A: It’s a really obscure number, you probably haven’t heard of it.

  3. dr_igloo

    GAH, mispunctuated!

  4. Jill

    Ha!

  5. Kiuku

    Of course as long as the woman is making a “choice” it’s Feminism!

    yea notice that people treat her better when she is dressed up; is it really a choice to want people to treat you well?

  6. slythwolf

    What these advocates of the “choice” to perform femininity always seem to overlook is that it’s not that people treat women better when we pornify ourselves, it’s that they treat us worse for having the temerity not to.

  7. yttik

    Burlesque?? Why, that’s downright empowering! You should see the pole dancing studios that have sprung up all over. Or the nearly naked baristas, because hey, what women doesn’t want to work a job half naked in 40 degree weather?

    In the good old days we fought for equal pay for equal work and minimum wage standards. Today we tell women they are empowered because they get to work naked. They’re so empowered, instead of getting paid, they often get to pay the establishment out of their tips, for the privilege of working there.

  8. Cheryl

    Funny how certain aspects of feminism (free love, sexy clothes) catch on more widely than others (free childcare, unsexy clothes).

  9. Jill

    A lot worse, in some cases. But don’t forget the corollary: there’s that point at which they treat you bad for self-pornifying incorrectly. Such as when you wear a tight skirt and have a few drinks and think you have the right to say “no.” Ha. You’re in for a rude one.

  10. Jill

    Yeah, it’s almost as though men were doing the deciding! Hmm.

  11. k8

    I get it. But I also get that we have to live here. We do what we have to do to survive sometimes.

  12. roesmoker

    That’s like women saying, “But I choose BDSM, therefore it’s okay and totally feminist! Get your politics out of my bedroom!”

    Fuck that noise. But Twisty I learned from you not to blame the woman. I find some other bloggers of the female persuasion who shall not be named sometimes harsh my blamin’ with mean-spiritedness towards the women pornifying themselves for their own empowerfulment.

    BTW, nice blog upgrade! Always a fan of threaded comments.

  13. roesmoker

    PS: Apologies for the lack of punctuation in my 3rd sentence.

    *wants edit capability*

  14. Jill

    “*wants edit capability*”

    You and everybody else. Fat chance, though. We’re keepin it real, and that’s final.

  15. roesmoker

    I know, I know! The last thing we need is people deleting any incendiary comments after the fact.

  16. Jill

    Oh no! We’ve run out of nesting levels already!

    I was gonna add that, since ill-considered, knee-jerk commentary is such a fundamental aspect of blogging, it would be morally wrong to permit editing. I feel for those who merely want to correct a typo or a syntax boner, but let’s face it; sometimes the typos are the best part.

  17. Jill

    The necessity of burlesque to women’s survival is as yet unproven to me.

  18. ashley

    that’s honestly the first time I’ve heard that there’s mercury in mascara.

    ugh.

  19. ashley

    p.s. I like your new reply feature.

  20. RKMK

    Comment love!

  21. Larkspur

    I like pushing the nesting levels. I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever felt any nesting inclination.

    Also, don’t you just love the ladyspeak of “plumping one’s pout” or “de-fuzzing one’s underarms”? I also love how they tend to refer to body parts in a singular, detached way, like how a strong lip ought to be paired with a neutral eye, or some such. And how cool is a strappy sandal? (Not as cool as TWO strappy sandals.)

    Also, you know what? I am still thinking about the VitaMix machine. I just read this cool SF steampunk novel by Cherie Priest called “Boneshaker”. The Boneshaker was this remarkable new tundra-splitting machine that went amok in downtown Seattle, and when it stopped, Seattle lay in ruins and a terrible gaseous blight seeped out of the earth, and eventually they had to put a huge wall around Seattle (the gas was heavy), and that’s where the story begins. Now: see, I think a VitaMix running amok has real dramatic potential.

  22. AileenWuornos

    There’s nothing more empowering than acting out a fifties fantasy I always say. Far fucking out.

  23. Pinko Punko

    Didn’t I e-mail you special women’s earplugs? Unfortunately, in the wrong hands, they are used by those that don’t want their pink choices criticized. They are empowerful earplugs!

  24. thebewilderness

    There is a beat up 1920s accordion file that exists in every corporate media room in the land that contains file stories that must be updated and published by the sales agents of the patriarchy no more than twelve days apart in a continuing cycle.

    There is on on how women are leaving the workforce in droves in response to the demands of their biological clock.

    One on how eager women are to give up independence for the sake of a fancy wedding.

    One on how being a public meatsock is a career girls dream job.

    One on how women are admitting that they can’t “have it all”, whatever the hell that is.

    You know the ones I mean. They publish the same things over and over. Most of them turn out never to have been true, but they just keep recycling the myths.
    Where’s tinfoil hattie when you need her?

  25. alicepaul

    I think I have the opposite experience as this woman; when I “dress up” men are more likely to harass, stare, catcall, and threaten me. Although this happens occasionally no matter what I wear.

    Women can’t win.

  26. Lady K

    Dude.
    All these fun-feminists need to whip out their Merriam-Websters, because to “empower” and to “make equal” are two totes different concepts. I imagine you might feel pretty damn empowered if you started beating up homeless people, but a feminist act this does not make.

  27. nails

    Advertising gets lost when that file isn’t utilized properly. Advertising getting lost means your publication is gone, or you get fired and someone smart enough to play along gets put in. The real product of entertainment and media is an audience. We are sold to advertisers, the magazine markets a predictable audience of consumer bots to attract revenue.

  28. nails

    A commenter on my blog recently talked about how lucky she was to have genetics that fit the patriarchy’s version of beauty, and how earning a lot because of that makes her work as a prostitute empowering. She said her guy friends wished that they were as lucky as her.

  29. Kiuku

    seriously

    And while men decide for women what Feminism is and isn’t, and how women are empowered..

    And why do men insist on deluding themselves, and insist on claiming to be Feminist? They’re not Feminist.

    Men: You’re not Feminist.

  30. Kiuku

    They throw the word “choice” in there and all of a sudden it’s Feminism! I define Feminism as my right to be free from sex. To be treated with dignity and respect, if I do not break the law. To be treated fairly. And to have a right to earn a living under the above terms;fairness, and free from sex.

  31. Kiuku

    (of course I can see the male brain trying to grasp this concept as I must be a superior moral woman in a burka. And that Feminism should be about women dressing modestly, to be free from sex. Having to dress any certain way depending on the sexual attitude of men is not freedom)

  32. Kiuku

    hahahaha. Yes. And the obligatory article on “stress” and how it’s just so bad for women. “Hey it’s about time to run another article on how women have realized they can’t have it all, and how much happier and stress free they are as a result.”

    Weren’t the men having it all for a while? I’m pretty sure they were. I’m pretty sure one job, with one salary, was usually enough for one man to buy a wife and a couple kids, while she changed his diaper and cleaned his pen everynight. I’m pretty sure that’s having it all. I’m pretty sure men still have it all.

  33. FemmeForever

    I knew a high school girl of 17 who had that Disney wholesome look. She was a receptionist part time in my office. One day I was sad to learn she was quitting her job. I inquired what her plans were. She and a friend were going to do scantily-clad waitressing in a bar. She was stressed about being perfectly-toned for the Playboy-Bunny-type uniform.

    Silly me. Just assumed a girl of 17 wouldn’t want strange old men slobbering all over her. Still shocked a girl that young, living at home, would exchange a “straight” job for a sleazy one, no matter how much better the money.

  34. Peri Bathos

    Hate it. Was obliged to go to a show a few years ago (and pay £75 for the privilege) for a pre-wedding celebration for a (female) friend of mine and I couldn’t figure out how to refuse. (I tried, I tried and then I folded.)

    What gave me a bizarre amount of pleasure was the outrage of the organizer of our group’s little outing at a number of men in the audience who weren’t behaving “properly.” (The catcalling etc. was raucous in a way that felt really unpleasant and inevitably, dangerous.) Didn’t they understand, she asked, that this was “transgressive” (oh please, seriously? seriously?), that this was “art,” that it was “ironic,” that these women were choosing to present themselves in a particular way and were therefore not, for heaven’s sake strippers?! Except of course they were, with sugar-coating and glitter on top. It’s unsophisticated to think that just because women are in full drag, wiggling provocatively and removing their clothing, it might be something other than the same old, same old! After all, a few of them sang and told jokes and there was no pole in sight! And one of them was fat! How transgressive and modern is that!

    Maybe the thing that was supposed to be transgressive was that a group of women willingly(ish—I found out afterward that I wasn’t the only one trying to get out of it) went to a place in which another group of (mainly) women were self-objectifying, whereas clever, sophisticated us were there to… share the male gaze? Emulate the male gaze? Whatever else the fuck we were supposed to be doing there or making of it I can’t imagine. I can’t even imagine the theory of what we were supposed to be doing there. Proving that we thought stripping was amusing? That stripping wasn’t stripping as long as it was a parody of stripping rather than straight stripping? And that we could tell the difference between stripping “ironically” or as parody and regular stripping? That objectification was totally cool with us provided that… provided that what? I still don’t know. Blech.

    Ghastly night. Detestable as it was, I found the reaction of the group of men the most honest thing about it.

  35. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    When the “choice” is reduced to, say, office temping at $8.50/hr. vs. pole-dancing at however much slobbering, leering assholes feel like stuffing into your g-string as you grind away in 4″ heels, what kinda choice is that? Whichever way you go, you serve the oppressor. No choice at all.

    As for being treated “better” when dressed in full femme drag, it’s a question of how you define “better”. If it’s a choice between being paid the same as a male who does the same job or having dorks grin at me as they check out my ass while going through the door they’re holding open for me, the bigger paycheck seems “better” to me.

  36. Kiuku

    I forgot to add that he was also able to pay for a prostituted woman on the side.

    But childcare for a working woman? Forget about it. That’s having it all.

  37. niki

    It is so nice to see this post. It sounds like the old Twisty, the fire-eyed ‘I don’t care if you don’t like me’ punkrocker that drew me to this blog originally. I have been afraid to criticize the empowerful thing for many moons now due to prior mass quashing of perceived ‘women hating’ perspectives. I don’t hate girls who love being feminine, but I also don’t feel guilty for thinking that maybe they’re a little deluded.

  38. speedbudget

    I think that behavior is what this woman considers a benefit, not a flaw. It’s amazing to me how many women act like NOT getting catcalled and generally degraded by men in public is something to worry about.

  39. speedbudget

    Speaking of referring to body parts in a singular, detached way, biff on over the Shakesville. They had a post up about a NYT article called “The Breast Whisperer.” It was about a lactation consultant. Oh, my stomach. If I were laughing, I would think that’s what was causing the burn.

  40. kurukurushoujo

    A funny definition of power she must have.
    Seriously, her power is completely dependent on men paying her for sex. That’s they way she earns the ressources she later uses. She cannot threaten them in any way to give her money and she has no direct control over the ressources given to her.
    Men make the decision to go to her. Men have made the rules to allow her success. Men make the decision to spend their money on her. The only decision she ever made is to get into a job that she is sure to succeed in because of rules she has no direct control over. She’s a clever marketing and PR agent for her product, that was it. It’s the consumer who has power not her, the seller and product in one person.

  41. kurukurushoujo

    “‘For a long time, I wasn’t interested in nail-polish and makeup and all that stuff because I could be spending my time doing things in the community,’ she recalls. However, Verlaine found that once the dresses, furs, heels and makeup followed her offstage, people began to treat her better, men especially.”

    I think it’s a sad testament to her self-esteem that she thinks that men treating her better because of a costume is more rewarding than actually doing something for the community.

  42. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Piffle. This is what happens when I eat hummus. Seriously. Animals with hooves paw the ground and whimper.

  43. llywelyn

    My only comment is that no one would consider the SeattlePI a “Major newspaper.” It’s a few people publishing a blog that happens to have the same name as a very old very crotchety Hearst paper that died a year ago. And of course it was written by a “special” reporter.

    Alas, there is really no news outlet in Seattle that tells a good story.

  44. scaser

    Someone shared your article on our facebook page Twisty for the scottish coalition against sexual exploitation, here:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scottish-Coalition-Against-Sexual-Exploitation/175173580913
    Very glad they did and it’d be great if you’d like to become a ‘fan’ of our page. We’re trying to connect with activists and individuals nationally and internationally to challenge all forms of commercial sexual exploitation, share information & resources, and, ideas for activism. Thanks for all your good work!
    In fact, we hope all blamers might want to visit our page. We’re also collating info on Delicious here:
    http://delicious.com/scottishcoalitionagainstsexualexploitation

  45. allhellsloose

    Time to quote glorybox (Portishead)

    I wonder when Verlaine will start singing

    ‘So tired of playing,
    Playing with this bow and arrow
    Going to give my heart away
    Leave it to the other girls to play

    Give me a reason to love you
    Give me a reason to be a woman
    I just want to be a woman.’

    It’ll come one day. Perhaps then she can pick up the mantle of community work she’s shunning for the attention of men, because how in hell can we women, sorry girls, exist without this attention?

  46. ToastBat

    “Women can’t win.”

    Ah, now you understand the point of the game.

  47. enflared

    Burlesque (as opposed to stripping) actually doesn’t pay that well. Most women who become burlesque performers do so not out of economic necessity (most of the ones I know are college educated and have day jobs that more than cover the bills) but because it gives them a “feeling” of power over the male gaze; they claim they are “taking control” of their own objectification.

    “Choosing one’s choice” is, among other things, code for having unexamined class privilege.

  48. Laughingrat

    This, this, this! The degree of class privilege in the assertion that sex-work is awesome sexyfuntiemz is staggering. And of course the fun-feminists always have a friend, or a cousin, or other anecdotal woman for whom prostitution or pole-dancing has been the best thing that ever happened to them (and lucrative, too!), and they use those anecdotes to negate the experiences of the majority of sex-workers.

    And burlesque–well, as you say, it’s a whole different kettle of privilege than run-of-the-mill sex work, no? It’s like sex work for society ladies, or sex work for dilettantes, or something. These women have the privilege to engage in only this safest and most “respectable” form of sex work, and, generally, have the option to stop if they want to without fear of being knifed by a pimp or dying of hunger or exposure. And they can reap the meager “benefits” of performing femininity–a temporary boost of confidence because hey, men hooted and stared at them! they got some approval!–while incurring, for themselves, few of the negative effects. The negative effects wind up getting pushed onto the other women the creeps in the audience encounter, because they’ve just had their patriarchal privilege reinforced and will act in the world accordingly. So much for burlesque performers’ being edgy and undermining the dominant paradigm.

  49. Laughingrat

    All excellent points against the whole “prostitution as empowerment” spiel. I’ll be keeping this to hand for when I have to have that argument yet again.

  50. Jill

    ““Choosing one’s choice” is, among other things, code for having unexamined class privilege.”

    Amen, sister.

    And what Laughingrat says.

  51. enflared

    Yes, absolutely. And, if what I remember from my burlesque-viewing days is still true, audiences are generally mixed and don’t, as a rule, harass the performers–the hooting and staring is done in a playfully appreciative, unthreatening way, as befits the hipster breed. (Hipster dudes are too cool to ogle unironically.) This only serves to further insulate these sex-work dilettantes (love that term, btw) from the oppressive reality on which their “art form” is based.

  52. Givesgoodemail

    “Kill me now.”

    Oh, NO, you don’t. You don’t get away from the torment that easily.

  53. feral

    “However, Verlaine found that once the dresses, furs, heels and makeup followed her offstage, people began to treat her better, men especially.”

    I could not have asked for a more literal description of the patriarchal dividend. It’s privilege, Verlaine, and that empowers no one but yourself.

  54. smmo

    Will the hipster porn people please stop now? About the last thing shaking your ass in public is is transgressive. What’s next? Transgressive capitalists? Transgressive Christians? Oh, wait.

    So a blamer friend and I were just talking about Betty Broderick the other day (http://www.10news.com/news/22638888/detail.html) and engaging in a little “yeah, one for our team” down and dirty talk. But her parole was denied. Damn.

  55. stickypaws

    This post really makes me miss Peridot Ash’s blog. So much of the same crap.

  56. kurukurushoujo

    Hey, thanks for the compliment!

    You know, it’s astonishing how otherwise educated people are unable to understand power as dependent on control (over ressources and other human beings) when it comes to topics they are heavily emotionally invested in.

    I think especially Max Weber’s definition of power can be really helpful when debating patriarchal phenomena: he says that power is being able to realize your will, even against the will of others. So that means that a sex worker might have the power to enter into her profession but she has no power whatsoever over the men paying money for her services because she cannot force them to.

  57. lawbitch

    Burlesque reminds me of my skeevy uncle, who, back in the day, had porcelain figurines of naked women with red crystals glued in their tits. Gawd rest his tacky soul.

  58. random_anomaly

    In my experience, the harassment happens either way. If I dress up there is constant sexual harassment/threats/unwanted touching; if I don’t (or if I do it “wrong”), I’m constantly asked “are you a man or a woman?” and subjected to various homophobic comments and personal questions.

  59. Carolyn

    If I can’t have my tube of Benefit Lip Venom I’ll have to opt out of the revolution…I like the tingling in my lips and it smells like the kind of bubblegum I used to love as a kid but you can’t get now except at obscure retro-candy kinds of places. I rarely wear it out in public, though; I just keep it by the computer for a little pick-me-up every now and then.

  60. S

    You’ve probably already read it, but I found that Ariel Levy’s *Female Chauvinist Pigs* covers this issue nicely. Being okay with female objectification by pretending to be “one of the boys” belittles us all. They won’t respect you well enough as a woman, so you have to take on the trappings of a sexist man? Great idea.

    I remember trying this mentality on when I was a high school girl, and it makes me sad to think about now.

  61. Ciccina

    “Silly me. Just assumed a girl of 17 wouldn’t want strange old men slobbering all over her. Still shocked a girl that young, living at home, would exchange a “straight” job for a sleazy one, no matter how much better the money.”

    It sounds as though somewhere along the line she learned that being slobbered on by nasty old men is normal and acceptable. I think we can safely assume that that “somewhere” was a very bad place to be.

    Put two and two together, where there’s smoke there’s fire, etc.

  62. Ciccina

    “The real product of entertainment and media is an audience.”

    *That* was a very helpful reminder. Must be kept in mind at all times.

    I think there are two stories missing from the master file list:

    One on a new scientific study that proves patriarchal stereotypes are biologically-driven universal constants (“Women like pink because prehistoric berries were pink!”)

    One on a new scientific study that shows women are happier and healthier when fulfilling patriarchal stereotypes (women who marry are one-tenth of one percent less fat than women who are single!)

  63. Ciccina

    Indeed.

    How ironic… no, ironic is not the word… how depressingly appropriate is it that the article I was reading immediately before deciding to take a break and click over here was this:

    “For an impoverished beauty queen, a stark choice: sex work or no work”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jan/30/international.mainsection

  64. Jill

    Yup, the heteronormative gender-binary Studies are definitely a staple in the rotation.

  65. Pulsar

    This is the pinnacle of white middle-to-upper-class privileged funfeminism. There is nothing sophisticated, avant-garde, or boundary-challenging about burlesque. A fun hobby for them is the horrifying everyday of prostituted women. Why is burlesque “empowering”? Brainwashed by the patriarchy into having an abysmal self-image, instead of rejecting ridiculous beauty standards, they seek the approval of that which demeans them by pandering to its tastes. And when they gain that approval they feel “empowered”. All the while ignoring that this approval is doled out at the will of the patriarchy. On the subject of toxic cosmetics, most lotions (e.g. Bath and Body works) are pretty toxic too. A good rule is don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.

  66. littlesister

    i like to hold the door open for men, confuses the crap outta them.

  67. Lady K

    What a pity that all the smart girls seem to become FCPs in their young adulthood. I think a unit on gender politics in high school might do them kids as good as a tall glass of milk, I do I do.

  68. mearl

    Great, big, dirty jesus! Guess who has chosen to do a final project for her History of Art and Dance class on burlesque?

    I must say, I am so very happy to see that other people still share my opinion on this “taking charge of the gaze and subverting it” bullshit. It is such a relief to see Jill’s and everyone’s comments: I thought I was the only feminist who hadn’t grasped the enlightenment of the Third Wave, and I was just being stubborn, old-fashioned, and contrary, even though I qualify in many ways as a hipster.

    The factors that drove me to choose burlesque as a research topic are as follows:

    1) My prof is a hardcore second-wave feminist and is unapologetic about it while teaching, yet seems to favour the whole Laura Mulvey/Luce Iragiray/Julia Kristeva train of thought.

    2) One of my co-hosts on my uni’s feminist radio show DOES burlesque, and she recently starred in a film short about our city’s burlesque scene (which, incidentally, doesn’t look as much like feminism as it does like a hurrah-for-patriarchy titty show)

    3) The abovementioned co-host’s performance in the film short has SO captivated our city’s most famous film director that he asked her to audition for his upcoming movie. They now hang out all the time, although he is roughly 25 years older than her and is apparently dating Isabella Rossellini. “He’s not like that at all,” my co-host insists.”He’s a nice guy.”

    This director, along with his film professor buddies at uni, is notorious for dating early-20s students and hopeful female actors. He’s been doing it since a friend of my friend was dating him TEN YEARS AGO, secretly, when he was a sessional instructor in film studies and she was an undergrad student of his (again, large age difference, power dynamic, shades of Woody Allen going on).

    But I am a BIG OLD MISERABLE KILLJOY for mentioning that maybe, just maybe, his interest in her talents could have anything to do with her blond, young, big-blinky-eyed heteronormative attractiveness, her lipstick lesbian bisexuality, and her frequent bouts of public toplessness. Sure, she does other things as an actor, takes women’s studies courses, and gender-bends (according to her). I’m skeptical, however, that the director’s interest in her ISN’T sexual.

    Which brings me to my critique of burlesque (or any of this ‘subvert the gaze’ business): is a woman in patriarchal society subverting the male gaze when the male gaze responds with typical patriarchy?

    Any suggestions for my paper are welcome. Jill, please let me know if it’s okay to quote your blog. I am just so fucking sick and tired of hearing the words “subvert,” “problematize,” “question,” “interpret,” “deconstruct,” and “re-envision.” I want to scream, “HOW ABOUT STOP BEING A PAWN? TRAIN YOUR GAZE ON MEN, NOT YOURSELF! SHOW THEM AS THE SLIMY PERVERTS THEY CAN BE, OR OBJECTIFY THEM! WHY DOESN’T ANYONE GAZE AT AND EXPOSE THE MEN? FUCK!”

    IBTP.

  69. kristyn

    Scream it, mearl.

    It’s a very similar scene in music and in writing. Older men taking ”road wives” under the guise of ”nurturing talent”. Of course, all of these women are very young, very het-pretty, and very malleable — and not very many of them are exceptionally talented, because rarely if ever will a man want that kind of relationship with a woman who is more talented than he is.

    However, those of us who quite talented but neither conventionally pretty nor into feminine drag still encounter men who want to sleep with us in order to colonize, own, take credit for us and what we can do — and then they get pissy if we won’t play by that game.
    Another woman, who is in the ”stunning, scorchingly skilled, but not P2K-compliant” boat, suggested — and I agree — that men in the biz feel threatened by us and want to neutralize that threat with their dicks. To fuck us into submission, like everywhere else. Or to at least pacify themselves — if they can’t be better than us, at least they can get some orgasms out of it and maybe go to sleep without the wolves of inadequacy howling at their doors.

    Just tonight I learned that one of the men I had previously respected for not doing this kind of thing is, in fact, doing exactly this kind of thing. With -biracial- women, and biracial women who are also vulnerable and/or down on their luck, no less. Makes me pretty glad he DIDN’T decide to become my ”mentor” and ”older brother” as had been suggested. Just makes me feel dirty that for once I let my guard down and allowed myself to be naive.

    So scream it, mearl and everyone, and scream it loud. Probably nobody outside the blametariat is going to listen, but it still needs to be said. For all of us.

  70. kristyn

    - those of us who ARE. Damn, I can’t seem to not typo, no matter how hard I proofread.

    Also, to clarify, a ”road wife” is a woman who a married man sleeps with when he is on tour and his wife is elsewhere, usually at home.
    Performers often have a different ”road wife” in every town, like the old songs talk about. Although some like to bring their ”road wives” with them on tour, under the guise of ”supporting acts”, ”backing members”, etc.
    This is slightly different than ”band tail” or ”groupie”, though, in that it is more or less what passes for a ”relationship.” One can blur the boundaries of ”road wife” as one pleases, though, as oppression and deception are oppression and deception by any goddamned name.

  71. Kiuku

    I read that article and wonder

    Why do the men have money? If it’s so poor that it is either hook or nothing, then how do the men have money? Are they foreign tourists? I blame the Patriarchy.

  72. Kiuku

    IF men did not have any money, I’m pretty sure all “the world’s” problems would be solved.

  73. speedbudget

    They are as poor as the women. This is why microloans are mainly given to women. They don’t waste the money on sex, drugs, and alcohol.

  74. Saphire

    I love how female tools of the patriarchy stick empowerment tightly with ‘the things men approve of’.

    Lipstick, heels, bleech – empowerment! Beating down the P, hairy legs – miserable bitches. Just hop along ladies. If a less attractive woman were to run around naked, can you imagine her given chance to speak of power? She’s certainly not given the platform to flirtingly utter the word ‘empowerment’ like it’s a nail varnish collection.

  75. LisaB

    Don’t forget “feminism is dead” every couple years.

  76. LisaB

    This reminds me of the movie Guinevere (1999). Sarah Polley plays a young woman having an affair with a slimy, old artiste (played by Stephen Rea), who it turns out has had a long strong of affairs with young women. There’s a great scene where the woman’s mother (the awesome Jean Smart) asks him what he gets out of these relationships. He tries to say that the women make him feel young, but she puts him in his pathetic place — it’s their “awe” of him that he craves, she explains. More experienced women know the score and they don’t admire him the way these just-blossoming women do. A weird movie, but great for that one scene.

  77. nails

    Ugh yes, I did this in high school too. Shameful.

    In defense of my past self, it was not easy or socially acceptable to find critiques of pornography that didn’t involve jesus in some way, and I wasn’t having any of that.

  78. nails

    The crap thing is that if you actually do manage to do something that is subversive or is any of the other buzzwords mentioned, most people don’t get it (or hate it, in addition to not getting it). I heard some moronic noise at work about how District Nine was “poking fun at the south african government”, the group was totally ignorant of other camps for racial groups or the significance of the group being aliens. Or, holy shit, people who think Patrick Bateman is supposed to be cool and worthy of emulation. Rorschach of Watchmen is considered a hero by many morons as well. There is a tv tropes article about misaimed fandom that should make even the most convinced burlesque defender understand how worthless naked dancing is as feminism.

  79. Athena

    I do not love this book I am about to cite, nor its author, “a third wave pro-sex pro-porn feminist” (which designation she re-asserted every ten minutes when we were in school together). I once had a giant argument with her about the empowerfulness of stripping. I told her if she wanted to be empowered she should spend the fucking summer stripping in New Orleans, where anybody, even indie tattooed girls, can get a gig, and THEN come back and tell me how empowered she was. She declined to take on the challenge, but she did stop yammering about how she wanted to be a stripper, except she was “too short”. Anyhoo.

    However, your prof may be pleased if you cite it, and the bibliography may come in handy.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/452163.Pin_up_Grrrls_Feminism_Sexuality_Popular_Culture

    If the book is anything like her grad school papers, it will be a dense thicket of problematized blah blah.

  80. Athena

    Oh, also, this:

    “1) My prof is a hardcore second-wave feminist and is unapologetic about it while teaching, yet seems to favour the whole Laura Mulvey/Luce Iragiray/Julia Kristeva train of thought.”

    I don’t think this is a contradictory stance. Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure & Narrative Cinema” is, what, 1972 or 72? Right there in the second wave. Irigaray & Kristeva are also second wave.

  81. Laughingrat

    Mearl, “Great, big, dirty jesus!” is totally my new favorite swear. Also, would you be from Winnipeg? Would this famous director have the initials “GM”? Or do you feel like you can’t answer that?

  82. alicepaul

    I completely agree about the class privilege, but your last paragraph seems to blame the women who dance for bad male behavior:

    “The negative effects wind up getting pushed onto the other women the creeps in the audience encounter, because they’ve just had their patriarchal privilege reinforced and will act in the world accordingly.”

    Did I misunderstand?

  83. mearl

    Nails, do you have a link to that article? I’d be interested to see it.

    Athena, thanks for the link. You’re right: Mulvey, Iragiray and Kristeva are all Second Wave, but too often I see that their concepts have been twisted so far out of proportion to the point where these days everyone thinks it’s subversive to dance naked as long as you then do something “unexpected” that “exposes the oppression” of the act and “problematizes it” so as to force the viewer to think about the oppression they are witnessing. Whoopteefuckingshit. How about doing something entirely different? How about something that’s not been done a thousand times before? It’s really not hard to do, except that one has to deal with the fallout from the uproar it usually causes.

    I tend to rate subversion on the amount of uproar it receives from dominant members of the P. Porn and burlesque = very little uproar. Surprise, surprise. BDSM and polygamy, ditto. Betty Page revival, no arguments from the P. on that one. Stripperobics: two erections up. MILFs and Desperate Housewives: yippee skippee. Women in any previously male-dominated area of life: acceptable PROVIDED that they’re under 40, not feminists, and hawt. Lipstick lesbianism: a crowd favourite.

    Women in politics: scary (when wielding real power) or a joke (when P2K-attractive). Women in business: scary, or a challenge. Women in science: extra scary! Diesel dykes: unthinkable! Women who really don’t give a fuck what men think of them: off the radar, if not something to measure the sweet little wifey against with a sigh of relief that the wifey isn’t like THAT. Women in media who aren’t P2K compliant: roundly denigrated or insane, if they get any attention paid to them in the first place. Smart, articulate women in general: man-haters or cold, calculating career bitches.

    I live by the mantra that if you’ve caused an uproar in the dominant patriarchal classes, you’re doing feminism proud.

    Laughingrat, bingo on both counts.

  84. FemmeForever

    because rarely if ever will a man want that kind of relationship with a woman who is more talented than he is.

    men who want to sleep with us in order to colonize, own, take credit for us and what we can do

    feel threatened by us and want to neutralize that threat with their dicks. To fuck us into submission, like everywhere else.

    All applicable to male/female relationships in general and a huge reason marriages fail. Plain, old, pathetic, green-eyed envy.

    BTW, love, love, love colonize. I will be stealing it.

    kristyn: Saaay, Hallelujah

  85. Level Best

    This post has generated some A-1 blaming. Thanks, Jill and other blamers!

  86. Ciccina

    You hit the nail on the head when you wrote the word “pawn,” because that’s essentially what’s going on – your friend, and Ms. Verlaine, are being played. Both are receiving rewards (in your friends case, a substantial reward in the form of access, vs. Verlaine’s paltry reward in the form of compliments) in exchange for acquiescing to a system of oppression. Think in terms of the function of rewards for good behavior selectively doled out to prison inmates.

    Here’s some advice for your paper, from a former lit & film theory and crit major: read up on system justification theory and the theories of complementary and ‘benevolent’ sexism. Specifically, DO check out the work of social psychologist Dr. John T. Jost and his lab at NYU. You can start from these pages –

    http://www.psych.nyu.edu/jost/ (research overview)
    http://www.psych.nyu.edu/jostlab/ (Jost lab members areas of speciality)

    [begin quote]“System justification theory addresses the holding of attitudes that are often contrary to one’s own self-interest and therefore contrary to what one would expect on the basis of theories of self-enhancement or rational self-interest. Thus, our research focuses on counter-intuitive outcomes, such as the internalization of unfavorable stereotypes about one’s own group, nonconscious biases that perpetuate inequality, attitudinal ambivalence directed at fellow ingroup members who challenge the system, opposition to equality among members of disadvantaged groups, rationalization of anticipated social and political outcomes, and tendencies among members of powerless groups to subjectively enhance the legitimacy of their powerlessness and, in some cases, to show greater support for the system than do members of powerful groups.

    Current research interests include the study of complementary stereotypes in which members of high and low status groups are seen as possessing distinct sets of advantages and disadvantages. Gender stereotypes, which stress that women are communal but not agentic, whereas men are agentic but not communal, represent one important example of complementary stereotypes that may serve to preserve support for the status quo…” [end quote]

    You may find the discussion at the front end of this paper (“Exposure to Benevolent Sexism and Complementary Gender Stereotypes:
    Consequences for Specific and Diffuse Forms of System Justification”) to be helpful:
    http://www.psych.nyu.edu/jost/Jost%20&%20Kay%20(2005)%20Exposure%20to%20Benevolent%20Sexism%20and%20Complem.pdf

    And this paper –

    “An ambivalent alliance. Hostile and benevolent sexism as complementary justifications for gender inequality.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11279804?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed

    [begin quote] “Benevolent sexism (a subjectively favorable, chivalrous ideology that offers protection and affection to women who embrace conventional roles) coexists with hostile sexism (antipathy toward women who are viewed as usurping men’s power). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, first validated in U.S. samples, has been administered to over 15,000 men and women in 19 nations. Hostile and benevolent sexism are complementary, cross-culturally prevalent ideologies, both of which predict gender inequality. Women, as compared with men, consistently reject hostile sexism but often endorse benevolent sexism (especially in the most sexist cultures). By rewarding women for conforming to a patriarchal status quo, benevolent sexism inhibits gender equality. More generally, affect toward minority groups is often ambivalent, but subjectively positive stereotypes are not necessarily benign.” [end quote]

    Per your question “is a woman in patriarchal society subverting the male gaze when the male gaze responds with typical patriarchy?” with regard to burlesque or “ironic” stripping, the answer is “no.” That’s not subversion, its the opposite of subversion: its selling out.

    One last thing, Mearl – don’t expect your friend, and more importantly, your advisor, to reward you for (implicitly or explicitly) calling them out on being pawns / sell-outs — mind the whole telling-it-like-it-is vs. getting-a-good-grade thing. In keeping with the theme of this thead, you are more likely to be rewarded for telling them what they want to hear than for attempting to subvert their beliefs.

  87. somebody42

    “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE GAZE AT AND EXPOSE THE MEN?”

    Thank. You.

    Men don’t get naked to entertain women. There is a reason for that.

    These pro-sex-work “feminists” almost never talk about why “feminist” sex work is still about women getting naked, not men. It’s about women sexually servicing men. It’s never about men sexually servicing women.

  88. somebody42

    Oh, and check out “Women’s Images of Men” by Sarah Kent and Jacqueline Morreau. It’s about what happens when women create and display erotic images of men.

  89. mearl

    LisaB, I LOVE that scene in Guinevere. The mother telling the guy that he’s going after her daughter because any woman his own age wouldn’t put up with his juvenile shit for even a second: priceless. Too bad there aren’t more scenes like this in more movies. Instead we have everyone rallying behind Celine Dion and her lovely marriage to a man she met when she was 12 and he was 38. Eeeeewwwwwww.

  90. Kiuku

    I don’t know if they are as poor as the women. I mean, they are not hooking, obviously, and they have money, yet the women must hook or perish. I mean, yea,, the men are probably spending their last earnings on hookers and alcohol. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have extra money to spend. I just see men’s economy; what it creates. If this world were women’s economy, I think we would have sewing bars and trade centers, instead of alcohol bars.

  91. Kiuku

    and there is just no need for men to have money. I mean they basically started money as a means of ownership, to attain things that nature did not physically give them: access to offspring, and access to a uterus. It’s also a product of their violence.

    They keep saying women have this natural instinct to nurture and provide. I believe that. I believe the men don’t, though, by virtue of their economy. So if women had the money, or there was no more money at all for the men, the money would automatically go to society. It would end all world hunger.

  92. kristyn

    Thankin’ ya kindly! I learned it all here.

    It’s bad enough when a man is a sexist, and the odds are almost 100 percent that he will be. But [following ellipses for effect and also intended as correct usage] when he crosses over into racism as well … which, again, the odds are pretty high …

    It goes from, cough, ‘merely’ skeevy and amoral behavior based upon the politics of sexual oppression, into the realm of ”sexist, racist, colonizing fuckwittery with a fetish thrown in.”
    Add ”and a messiah complex” after ”a fetish” for men like the one I described above.

    They are so scared of us. Of women. That if someone hears a woman’s full force of talent, then maybe someone will wake up to the oppression she and all other women face, ask themselves why they weren’t listening to women all along, and the white men will ”lose” — because, as others have pointed out, it’s always a zero-sum game to them.

    Add the politics of race to this, and in his mind the white man has even more to lose. So he has to go back to being the slave master. If he fancies himself a sensitive soul, he must do it Thomas Jefferson style, convince himself that she would want him even if she weren’t forced into subservience to him in the first place, that he’s ”saving” her from something worse.

    And in this situation, racial politics or none — whenever someone hears of her, they hear of him too. Whenever she is in public sharing her gift, he is there too, even if in the background or by association.
    If she is less talented than he is, then he can put himself out there as her charitable master, and everyone understands that it is he who gave her this opportunity.
    If she is more so, then he must play at humility, pretend to see her as an equal. But he must walk the careful line not to let her outshine him, unless he completely and fully owns her in the eye of the land. He must make it clear that they are working together, that he is ”helping her” to ”gain exposure.”

    But even then he’s not safe — look at Ike and Tina Turner. She can still eclipse him, she can even still leave. So he is constantly afraid. He must keep her brainwashed with burlesque. Keep her grateful. Keep her enslaved.

    It must be so exhausting for these men, so soul-deadening to be unable to appreciate other people at all.

  93. kristyn

    A-woman! This is the logic fail that people make when they claim radfems are prudes.

    We aren’t opposed to the human body or the sight of a human body. We oppose its conflation with power, for the very reason you just stated.

    I, for example, like my body just fine, when you come right down to it. But I’m not going to run around naked or do burlesque, even though I’ve been told I could (vomit), because that is not actual power. It is a sick, twisted dominance game, and the woman is never actually ”dominant”.
    The fucked-upness of desiring dominance over anyone else is another complicated issue that I probably don’t even need to touch upon. Other than to say it is fucked up, and probably borne of the fear of losing privilege.

    Until everyone, regardless of their P2K compliance, can be in any stage of undress whenever they wish, without the word ”power” getting bandied about at all — I’m wearing trousers and keeping my blouse buttoned all the way up, thank you. And not because I’m a prude.

  94. Carpenter

    Fuck Hipsters. In my urban life I have attended 3 Burlesque shows-only one of whichever had a male act in it,and only one male act at that. The male part of the audience was absurdly tense at said male act, not at all down with the female gaze, and generally homophobic about the entire thing. Transgression my ass.
    Fuck Hipsterism in general. I’m pretty sick of irony, probably because it gives everyone an excuse to be disgustingly apolitical and un-introspective. Subculture is mass culture that has been niche marketed.

  95. Lara

    Just became a fan. :) Thanks scaser!

  96. Lara

    What does “P2K” mean?

  97. kristyn

    Patriarchy-2K.

    Also known as Beauty Standards Compliance-2K or merely Beauty2K, and related to the Fuckability Mandate.

  98. Lara

    I hate hipsterdom, too. Unfortunately I live in Boston, the happyland of white middle-upper class privileged hipsters… :: sigh :: And I’ve also been to a burlesque show, years ago. I asked the young woman at the ticket booth/entrance if it was a strip show, and she clarified that “It is NOT a strip show, it is a BURLESQUE performance.”

    I saw it.

    It was stripping. Plain and simple. I don’t care if the woman is pasty, has a Betty Paige haircut, a college education, and a few extra pounds. It’s the same old shit in a punk/indie bra.
    IN FACT, this performance I went to included a story telling gig by a gay male, and I guess transgender, prostitute/performer who made jokes about a previous client’s wishes that he “make them little girl sounds” while working as a phone sex operator. This total trivialization of misogynist pedophilia made everyone in the oh-so-feminist audience laugh hysterically. I felt like barfing. The only reference to the “industry’s” “dark side” was a female former sex-worker reading from a book she wrote on her experiences as a stripper/prostitute. While half the audience got up in boredom for a bathroom break, mind you.
    Oh, and the person MC’ing for the burlesque performance referred to pornography and stripping as “sex.” Literally. Surprise, surprise.

  99. FemmeForever

    mearl,

    Eeeeewwwwwww is right. I have been disgusted by that marriage from the get go. She never had a chance to date anyone in her life because he was hovering and grooming her every move. He stole a young girl’s love life from her so that he would never have any competition. And we all know what that makes him. Of course he ended up convincing her that he was the one she wanted. It is tragically sad. But despite her hijacked life, I love Celine.

  100. nails

    Here mearl-

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MisaimedFandom

    The examples are at the bottom. It is endless. American History X is popular with skinheads.

  101. Jill

    Céline Dion! I always want to kidnap her away from that cradle-robbing Svengali and tell her, “it’s OK, Céline, you can stop making that godawful racket now.”

    She seems like a nice kid, but seldom is mediocrity as empty, vapid, and bombastic as in a Céline Dion song.

  102. nayo

    http://www.theluxuryspot.com/2010/02/23/i-got-vajazzled-and-had-a-camera-crew/

    Twisty,

    This is sad and so unsettling. Have you heard of this? I’m beyond WTF.

    IBTP!

  103. mearl

    I thought to myself, “Dammit, Self, you’re a selfish thread-Bogarter for asking everyone to help you find references for your paper/project” and was about to give myself a stern talking-to. Then I realised that it’s actually a mitzvah: everyone else who wants to read the suggested links can do it as well, not just me. Those are some damn good reads, so thanks to the wise Blametariat for the links and suggestions.

    There are SO many reasons to love this blog – one being that you can come here to get some much-needed relief from those who toe the trendyfeminist party line.

  104. mearl

    Unless you want to go get frickin’ VAJAZZLED: nayo, you won’t be lonely in that beyond-WTF area you’re in. I’m there. IBTP!

  105. kristyn

    Yeah, if we’re really at the stage where women people must not only have their pubic hairs ripped out by the roots, but also turn their mons/vulvular regions into fuckin’ DISCO BALLS, in order to feel good about themselves/appease men …

    do I really need to continue with this thought? Because it is really depressing.

  106. speedbudget

    I see a future wherein a woman can get needles tastefully implanted in her mons pubis (hey, that’s not yer vagina! I blame Bush’s sex ed). Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

  107. Frumious B.

    A pout is highly over-rated when compared to a scowl, a lip-curling sneer, or a tight-lipped, narrowed-eye glare. No coincidence that all of the latter are difficult to achieve with puffy lips.

    I find the vajazzle to be freaking hysterical. I would even do it if it weren’t for the ripping-out-hair-by-the-roots and putting-glue-on-privates aspects of it. Just think of the hilarity that would ensue in the locker room when you pull off your skivvies! Gold, man, pure gold.

  108. Saphire

    ‘You are a vapid idiot with a glittery vagina.’

    Hahah. Too funny.

  109. Isabel

    Nayo, that link was indeed depressing, however the comments ranged from frightening to enlightening to downright entertaining:

    “# Sorsha on February 26th, 2010 at 2:22 pm:

    This reminded me of that parody video floating around a while ago.

    Clitter.

    Anyone?

    “Turn your labia into a Yay-bia!”
    or
    “Now, instead of a yeast infection, I have a jewel collection!”

  110. drsnacks

    “He stole a young girl’s love life from her so that he would never have any competition. And we all know what that makes him. Of course he ended up convincing her that he was the one she wanted. It is tragically sad.”

    Is that a properly feminist contention? Whether she was groomed for and purchased by a unique buyer or was allowed to shop herself on the free market of sexual objectification makes no difference. The former is probably more satisfying between the two choices. Or do I misunderstand blaming 101?

  111. FemmeForever

    The former is probably more satisfying between the two choices.

    The former is absolutely more satisfying to pedophiles and supporters of pedophiles.

    To everyone else a young girl has the RIGHT to a normal, exploratory, unobstructed love life of HER choosing so she can discover for herself just exactly to whom she is attracted.

    shop herself

    Whut? We’re not talking about a 52-year-old divorcee, here. We’re talking about a pre-teen to teenage girl. Did you miss the part about she was 12 and he was 38 when they met?

  112. speedbudget

    Gee, I don’t know. Having agency, to me, seems like the best of choices. I think the answer to your question is, no.

  113. Amananta

    Some years back I tried to inject some reality into the “debate” over how much porn and stripping empowerfulizes women, by mentioning that yes, I had a lot of friends who were strippers, and they were all teen runaways with no other choices in life, and/or drug addicts with no other options in life. Usually the first group became the second group. And none of them felt “empowered”. They all hated their jobs, feared and loathed their bosses, feared, despised and mocked their “customers”. So I tried to explain that, you know the strip clubs knowingly hire children and make fake IDs for them so that when the cops come to check them out, they check the girls IDs and pretend they are straight up, then leave. I got a response of mingled disbelief and anger, along with a bunch of patronizing remarks about how those girls should totally go to the police and tell them what is really happening, because you know, abused runaway girls have so much reason to believe the authorities will do the right thing.
    Then to hear someone say in a wondering tone “Wow, men treated me better when I dressed like what the culture agrees is sexy!” – well I just find that really irritating. You know, feminists have pointed this out before. It isn’t news. We all know that when we conform to the patriarchal beauty standard, they give us a little tiny cookie of approval. That’s not the point.

  114. Kelsey

    I love this thread.

    I’m a MassArt student in Boston, and there’s a “feminism” club on campus that is funfeminist crap. Seems like there are some other young Boston folks on here… might I use IBTP to make… FRIENDS? A… READING GROUP EVEN. Oh god.

    Because I can’t seem to find many like minds at school or work.

  115. mearl

    Thanks again to Athena, Ciccina, and nails for the links. And everyone else for your bang-on comments.

    I have that emetic, I mean, BOOK by Maria Elena Buszek in my possession (I’m looking at it right now and getting ill), and it would be going directly into the fire pit out back if it weren’t the property of the university. What a straight-up load of gibberish. The only good thing about it is that it actually provides some decent history on pin-ups, dance, stage acting, ballet, and convention-floutin’ women from the 19th and early 20th century. I just can’t believe Buszek has the temerity to reference Shulamith Firestone and Camille Paglia as though their thinking was TOTALLY on the same page.

    I had a grand old time bashing neo-Burlesque. I expect that my paper will probably cause my prof to make distressed faces and chastise me in the margins about my closemindedness. Whoo-hoo!

    Hey, Kelsey, you’re a lucky duck: Boston is where they hold the annual Anti-Porn Conference organised by Gail Dines, at Wheelock. I’ve been wanting to go to that for YEARS.

  116. The Nutcracker

    I occasionally come to this blog and lurk,read. Sometimes I just miss a lot of good entries. I sighed in relief when reading this thread. I thought I was the only female in the world who realized this “If we beat men to the punch-we win!” is complete phallocentric bull. It’s just making their job easier -I would love to see oodles of men who cry about being “exposed” due to this “sex-positive” attitude some trendfems have. I’ve never heard of a man shedding a single tear when some woman chose to wiggle her ass near his lap that wasn’t tears of joy. Sadly I am of the generation where funfeminism is rampant and it’s shameful,prudish to mention anything of the sort amongst peers.

    Oh, how the manfunfems would “bitchslap” you by saying because you don’t care for funfem theories,that you are insecure with your sexuality. At that point ,between being barked at by sexual leeches (the men who are just trying to Preserve the Privelege of Patriarchy under the disguse as being a sex-pos feminist), and the funfems-I just get tired and stop saying anything.

    Thank you all for posting these things because I thought I was the only person who felt this way.

  117. taryn

    I thought I was the *only one* who thought that “OMG I’m so empowered by being considered a hot piece of ass by TEH MENZ because it’s my choice so it’s feminist, and if you don’t like it, well, you’re just an ugly jealous cunt who can’t get a mannnn!” was total horseshit. THANK YOU, this blog is a tiny corner of sanity in a world that has become Orwellian in respect to gender issues. (“Oppression=Freedom”, apparently). Oh, and I live in Southern California College Town Hell and I can’t go into a restaurant without hearing both “stripping is totes empowering” and “vajayjays are grossi and icki” all around me from “the ladies”, while their doodz laugh joyfully. Of course, it’s so much easier to dominate someone when they are conditioned to think that said domination is, in case a. “empowering”, and in case b, the inevitable result of their own self-hatred. Of course the bonerz are laughing all the way to the bedroom, where the “empowered ladies” will no doubt do whatever the hell he wants (and fake orgasm as well). I’m gonna do a search to see if there are any posts on gay male misogyny, because this has become *endemic* in my opinion–fish jokes while all the girls laugh and say how much they love their gay boy “besties” *gags*.

    I know this post is old but I couldn’t help commenting at my joy in discovering this blog.

  1. Molly Cameron | The importance of being proper:

    [...] With that said, Adam tipped me off to this blog a while back. And, it is brilliant feminism, in words, on the web. I am really appreciating the intelligent criticism of burlesque in Twisty’s latest post. [...]

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