Tag Archives: Gender Essentialism

Prancing about in pink skirts

29 Sep

I just took my daughter to ballet and discovered a definite niche in the market: feminist ballet. Does this exist already?

In my version, the three-year-olds would not be told to stretch their arms to reach ‘beautiful princess dresses’ or ‘wave at Prince Charming’, and neither would the teacher pretend to be Princess Fiona from ‘Shrek’. Instead, they would ‘use their strong bodies’ to ‘reach their potential’. Or something. I was unprepared for the princess-indoctrination. Although daughter seems to have enjoyed it and was praised for her beautiful twirling, I feel kind of dirty now.

I checked out toddler rugby, but it’s prohibitively expensive, and the football is too far away. Perhaps she’ll want to join the great musical theatre group in our city when she’s a bit older. For the next term, prancing about in skirts it is.

The Gaga Palaver

28 Sep

I like some of Lady Gaga’s songs, she has some ‘banging tunes’ to quote my crazy ex-neighbour. But somehow it has always struck me as problematic how she portrays herself/is portrayed – almost as if she should be a sort of feminist icon, but just isn’t. Maybe she is, I haven’t examined what she does/sings/wears/says in any great detail at all really, but I am usually intrigued by analyses of famous women’s role in society.

Then I went to a great talk on a generally feminist topic, a quick google-stalk of the speaker brought up this paper, and all became clear. Taking apart Lady Gaga as a person/woman/fashion icon probably won’t do anyone any good or get us anywhere, so this paper deals with some of her lyrics.

“While Stefani Germanotta’s performance of Gaga reveals the constructedness and artifice of identity in true postmodern style, the lexical choices in Born This Way mobilise a conception of sexual identity that is rooted within essentialism.”