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to think that burlesque is not 'empowering'

(301 Posts)
bauhausfan Sat 06-Dec-14 12:03:33

...but just women having been brainwashed into thinking that being sexy (ie fitting into that male stereotype of frilly undies, sexual availability, coyness etc) is their choice when actually it is just brain washing by the patriarchy. Just like breast implants -'I'm doing it for myself' - well, no, you're not. You're doing it so you can feel happier because you now fit society's pre-conceived idea of sexy/attractive.

I feel really depressed by the number of intelligent women I know who are buying into this bullshit. If I'm going to celebrate feminine power, I'd rather it was through women who have worked their way into the top echelons of society - not someone called Kitty or Dita waving their baps around. I feel despair - what happened to the 70s feminist dream?

SunnyBaudelaire Sat 06-Dec-14 12:06:20

" not someone called Kitty or Dita waving their baps around."

hahahaha you have a great turn of phrase! and yes you are right - female Nobel Prize winners, now that is 'empowering'.

LegoAdventCalendar Sat 06-Dec-14 12:10:17

It's stripping. It's like how some women call themselves escorts. They are still just prossies.

WorraLiberty Sat 06-Dec-14 12:10:46

They're earning money the way they choose - that is empowering whether you approve of their choice or not.

perplexedpirate Sat 06-Dec-14 12:11:09

We've had this before, quite a while ago when I'd just started out really.
I've had an amazing year as a performer and things are looking better and better going into 2015.
I find burlesque positive, witty and, yes, empowering.
If you've been to shows where this wasn't the case I can't imagine it was very successful.

Branleuse Sat 06-Dec-14 12:11:32

does it have to be empowering or can it just be something some women are into cos they like it

NiceCupOfTeaAndAPartyRing Sat 06-Dec-14 12:12:58

I am inclined to agree OP. You will probably get a good few who don't though.
A lot of my friends have recently really got into this, under the guise of 'empowerment'. Some of it can be empowering in that it turns sexuality on its head, but most of it is just a form of posh, retro stripping.
Can't remember who said it but I heard a guy in a film once say
'The Battle of the Sexes was won when women started doing Pole dancing for excercise'
Can't help but think he's right...

TheCowThatLaughs Sat 06-Dec-14 12:13:34

Yes completely agree. As you say it's funny how "empowered" has been redefined to be what feminists were fighting against in the first place hmm

formerbabe Sat 06-Dec-14 12:15:51

Do men even find burlesque sexy? It always comes across to me as something women are more interested in than an art form sort of way rather than titillation iyswim?

perplexedpirate Sat 06-Dec-14 12:15:58

That pole dancing quote gets trotted out quite a lot but thankfully I don't get my feminist ideology from romcoms, preferring to read books and things instead.

AuntieStella Sat 06-Dec-14 12:16:20

Empowering means gaining power, and I suppose influence.

Having an income is indeed empowering. That does not mean all means of getting income are OK.

BackOnlyBriefly Sat 06-Dec-14 12:19:17

Doesn't really sound empowering does it.

On the other hand if you say to an adult woman "we're not letting you have the choice. As a woman you're not really up to deciding for yourself" how does that sound?

bauhausfan Sat 06-Dec-14 12:23:21

WorraLiberty - earning money doesn't mean you are empowered. A black maid in pre-civil rights USA may have earned money (as opposed to a previous existence as an unpaid slave) but it would not mean she was empowered. Prostitutes earn money - they are not empowered.

I don't think feminism defines female liberation as women doing something to earn their own cash - it is about being viewed equally. Burlesque just buys into the sexual objectification of women which in turn is responsible for the horrors of rape/FGM/under representation of women in positions of power etc.

misskangaandroo2014 Sat 06-Dec-14 12:23:27

The women (2) I know who do this will bang on and on (and on) about how they are in charge and comfortable with expressing their sexuality. Yet, will bitch and whine that anyone who doesn't flaunt themselves is repressed / out of touch with their body. It's ridiculous they cannot accept maybe they're massive exhibitionists and some (a lot) of people are not. I am very happy with my sexuality and am pretty fucked off with their implications I am not because I like to keep my lingerie as UNDERwear. I guess this situation makes me biased. But I have this niggling feeling not every empowered woman wants to have a roomful of people seeing her skimpies (no matter how pretty they are).

bauhausfan Sat 06-Dec-14 12:24:18

I wouldn't stop anyone doing burlesque - I just wish women could see it for what it is. I don't understand how we seem to be going backwards.

MyEmpireOfDirt Sat 06-Dec-14 12:24:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheCowThatLaughs Sat 06-Dec-14 12:24:48

It wouldn't sound as unempowering if women had as much power in our society as men do, and also if men danced in giant martini glasses wearing frilly knickers.

Lillieshill Sat 06-Dec-14 12:25:03

I've been to a couple of burlesque shows and, believe me, the performers did most certainly NOT conform to societies notion of sexiness/ attractiveness. There were morbidly obese performers, pancake chested performers, pudgy performers with fat overhang, plenty of performers who stayed fully clothed throughout and a skinny male performer. I actually did think it as kinda cool to see so many varieties of the female body presented as attractive. It is the only place I have ever seen this. I am kinda tired of mega corps presenting a size 16 model who has all the perfect proportions of a regular model and claiming they are celebrating all types of female beauty when all they have is a larger size of a typical model. I don't think I would go so far as to call burlesque empowering, but I do think it is quite good to have a space where genuinely all types of bodies get on stage and say, look at meeeee! I'm great.
Obviously having a Nobel prize trumps this, but if that is the bar you set for empowerment pretty much no one is empowered.

AnyFucker Sat 06-Dec-14 12:26:01

I've heard that burlesque is simply stripping for chubby middle aged women with glasses. I couldn't possibly comment smile

MyEmpireOfDirt Sat 06-Dec-14 12:27:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wowfudge Sat 06-Dec-14 12:27:59

I once went to a hen do which included a burlesque class. It was deeply uncomfortable for me - I don't need to do that to be in tune with my sexuality or to feel empowered. It's just old-fashioned stripping when it comes down to it. I've got friends who are into it - it's all 'look at me in a corset with my boobs hoiked up under my chin'. I really don't get it.

SunnyBaudelaire Sat 06-Dec-14 12:28:14

spot on empireofdirt, good nick too

BOFster Sat 06-Dec-14 12:28:38

"Stripping for fat goths" is what I heard, Anyfucker grin.

WorraLiberty Sat 06-Dec-14 12:28:58

WorraLiberty - earning money doesn't mean you are empowered. A black maid in pre-civil rights USA may have earned money (as opposed to a previous existence as an unpaid slave) but it would not mean she was empowered. Prostitutes earn money - they are not empowered.

I'm sorry I thought we were talking about burlesque performers? confused

I certainly was anyway.

If they enjoy it, they're 100% happy to do it and they can earn a decent living from it...providing for their families and paying their rent/mortgage etc - that's empowerment.

Bragadocia Sat 06-Dec-14 12:29:23

Middle Class stripping, isn't it?

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