Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Feminine Mystique

I am- a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lover, a provider, an equal, a thinker, a dancer, a writer, a friend, a woman.

I know this through and through, and yet sometimes I wonder what it is the world sees. I wonder what the world sees when it is face to face with women in general. I've decided to post this particular blog after looking at videos of burlesque online. I do it for inspiration, for lessons in what to do and what not to do, for originality, etc. It's part of my homework in creating an act, so to speak. Anyway, I came across a video of a troupe of mothers who took their act to "America's Got Talent" and after I watched it I went on to read the comments. What I found was purely disheartening. The act itself wasn't (in my humble opinion) a very good representation of burlesque at it's best, it also wasn't choreographed very well, but I disregarded that and felt these women deserved a pat on the back because it isn't easy. It's not easy at all to put yourself out there, both intimately and on-stage, and in burlesque both of those things are very prevalent. You're presenting a piece of yourself and you're presenting it to many people in a moment that is both personal yet accessible. Just like any art form, be it a song, a painting, a sculpture the artist, when presenting their work, becomes a catchall for opinions be they bad or good.
And the opinions (because EVERYBODY has one) that I read were not pretty. I could have been offended, since I myself am a mother that is also in the burlesque scene, but more than anything I became sad. Not just for dancers or mothers but for women as a whole. We've evolved so much, and yet some people fail to see it. Some people believe that once a woman becomes a mother she is immediately stripped of all sexual desires or identity, she must give up her pursuits, become a martyr for the sake of her children. Or-

"What whores!"
"I can't believe that!"
"I'd be ashamed!"
"...bad parenting!"

And this doesn't stop at only mothers, it extends to young women, older women, tall, thick, thin, black, white, asian, hispanic, gay, straight women. The judgement is relentless and the ignorance is frightening. We live in a society where as much as women can be equals in a board room they are also pegged as merely sex objects. It breaks my heart. I wish it was different, and try to do unto others as I'd have others do unto me, but it just isn't enough. For every time I pat a woman on the back for empowering herself someone is turning around and calling her a "skank".

So I beg, if there are people reading this blog, please know that I want this to be a safe place. A place for women to read and feel kindredness. Because in this world, though I'll battle labels and eyes daily, though we'll ALL battle labels and eyes daily, I want this place to be a tiny corner of the world where everything is okay and we are free to be. We are all human. We all belong here.


1 comment:

Emilie said...

Thank you, Amanda. I really appreciate this post.