Not Your Muse, Not Your Pawn, Not Your Babe

(Note: This post often addresses gender as a male-female binary, which is a wholly limited and incorrect scope of gender and I fully acknowledge that there are more than two genders; the gender binary is referenced here to address the ways in which much of the mainstream dance world addresses gender.)

Here’s what I’m tired of: gender roles in general but specifically at this moment, the male-centered narrative that allows men to wear women as their accessories, to see them as vessels to the man’s desired end.  You see this in movies, in how roles in a household are constructed, in the workplace, and, to my eternal disappointment, very blatantly in the dance world.  Many factions of the dance world, and particularly the mainstream dance world, love to care a whole lot about centering men.  And not just centering them, but idolizing them.  They are the creators, the curators, the writers of bodies.  And women are often, at best, resigned to being their muses. Continue reading “Not Your Muse, Not Your Pawn, Not Your Babe”

Not My Problem: The Feminization of Emotional Labor

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how I allocate my time and how this can and should be affected by the way that people respect or disrespect the time, energy, and expertise I put into my endeavors.  For me, this has a lot to do with emotional labor.  Emotional labor is, essentially, lending your emotional capacity to ameliorate someone else’s emotional distress or just to serve someone else’s perceived emotional needs.  This often goes without acknowledgement, compensation, etc. and it is coded as very feminine.  Women, feminine-presenting people, and people taking on traditionally feminized positions are trained from day one to offer themselves as people who are present to listen and to help, which has a lot to do with the ways gender roles are constructed in our society.  Women, and consequently feminized roles, are coded as being positions of support.  Some classic examples of this are the secretary and the nurse, which are both highly feminized professions that are considered to be support for higher up executives and doctors, respectively.  This stems from a long, deep-seeded history of conflating femininity with weakness and also conflating emotional sensitivity with weakness. Continue reading “Not My Problem: The Feminization of Emotional Labor”

Cracks in the Castle Walls: Why I’d Read My Kids Dystopias, Not Fairytales

I’d like to open by saying that when I refer to “my kids” in the title, these are very very very theoretical children.  As in I don’t intend to have kids.  Certainly not in the near future.  Quite possibly not ever.  So this is, by no means, a commentary on parenting style.  What it is is a commentary on the shortcomings and the deep-seeded problems with the stories fed to our kids from day one.  It’s also important to note that the fairytales I’m talking about here are the Disney-rendered modern versions of the stories, not the Brothers Grim originals, as these have very different intentions and often different plots. Continue reading “Cracks in the Castle Walls: Why I’d Read My Kids Dystopias, Not Fairytales”