Member Login

Lost your password?

Registration is closed

Sorry, you are not allowed to register by yourself on this site!


Brains and Booty

Dear Chaps, syringe

 

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken.  Come to that, gynecologist
it’s been a while since your trowel last tilled my lady-garden. But, discussion of my area, or “Ground Zero” as it is known to my therapist, is for another, more private time.  For the moment, we’re going to talk about you.

More honestly, we’re going to talk about me; or, we’re going to talk about my gender as it relates to yours.  No. Don’t worry.  There will be no whiny “You Go Girl” drivel about A Woman’s Right to Shoes.  I hate that shit.

 

In fact, there’s a lot of stuff about perky women that makes me long to grow a penis.  I don’t like their fascination with handbags and cupcakes.  I don’t like the way they keep scrapbooks. I don’t like it when they say “women are really good at multitasking” and demonstrate this through buying kitten-heels, scrapbooking and ramming cupcakes in their pie-holes all at once. I mean, if you’re so good at multitasking, stop buying things, shut the hell up and become an urban planner.  Don’t waste your neurological gifts whining “blah blah blah women are so much smarter than men” but doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to bear this out in civic life. Our foremothers did not throw themselves in front of horses so you could buy the Gossip Girl boxed-set, you self-centred, over-spending bint.  Shut up and measure housing density and re-route the traffic; I’ve had it with your moaning.

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

There is a critical thing you should know about women which is rarely discussed. To wit: they have an aching need to be told that they’re hideous. I know this seems odd. Given the dollars and energy women expend in bra and diet technology and the horseshit they produce like “All women want to be thought of as beautiful”, you might reasonably think that all women want to be thought of as beautiful.  Not so.  From about the age of fourteen, nearly all women will do whatever they can to get you to call them ugly or, even better, fat.

This strange feminie urge is universal and generally proceeds something like,

Helen: “What do you think of this new chemise?”

Man: “I want to fly my love-plane into Ground Zero this very minute! You look really hot and curvy! ”

Helen: “Are you calling me fat?”

 

Or,

Man: “Wow.  Your arse looks great in those jeans.”

Helen: “Are you calling me fat?”

Or,

Man: “I believe public response to the proposed Carbon Tax has been negative and extreme.”

Helen: “Yes. Excise could be an effective way of cutting emissions and showing leadership in the region.”

Man: “Moderate reform for middle-income earners is good, too.”

Helen: “Are you calling me fat?”

Are you calling me fat? I have absolutely no advice in addressing this question; particularly given that I have asked it myself many times.  You could, of course, try saying, “no, no, no my darling.  You are so svelte of silhouette and lissom of limb as to make Katy Perry appear portly.  If we painted you Mission Brown, you could be mistaken for a paling. Darling, you could use dental floss to wipe your tiny butt.” Yes, you could.

Or, you could help put an end to all of this coddling and call our bluff.  I mean, if somebody wants to engage in self-destructive behaviour, there’s not a thing you can do about it.  It’s certainly not your job to make people feel crappy about themselves, but nor is it your job to fix their crazy shit.

There is a lesson I learnt when I was a resident of Kings Cross, Sydney.  Every day on Ward Avenue, a bloke called Spoons asked me for money for “food”.  I gave it to him, chiefly because his name was so inspired. But, when I’d got to around the thousand dollar mark, I’d had jack of it.   One day, Spoons offered the usual, “Can I have some money for food, sister?” and it struck me that I could say, “You can have some money. But only if you promise to spend it on heroin.” He never asked again and I was free to use my spare change to buy cupcakes and scrapbooking materials.

My point is, the drama of nearly being called fat is a kind of illicit drug to women. Actually daring your boyfriend to call you less-than-Angelina has all the thrill of smack. So, cut off the supply NOW. If, when asked, more men said, “Yes. I am calling you fat”, then perhaps more women would acknowledge how pig-bonkingly stupid the question is, stop asking it and get on with something important. Like urban planning.

It may help you to know that many women have violent conflict with their looks.  And they are not at all content to keep this war civil; they’re looking to fight on other fronts. From the interior, soldiers of self-loathing march toward you, the unwilling ally, with the battle-cry ““Are you calling me fat?”.   There’s no winning, so don’t fight. Gentlemen, lay down your arms and practice nonviolent resistance. It worked for Gandhi.

Chicks. When it comes to their bodies, they’re certifiable.

Having said this, I don’t have much truck with this “Battle of the Sexes” crap; it’s a boring stoush that belongs on breakfast radio.  Instead of focusing on our differences, we should be focusing on (a) urban planning and (b) interesting things to do with our genitals.

Are you calling me fat?

Regards,

Helen

 This was written for the dapper chaps at FHM Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Dear Chaps, malady

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken.  Come to that, cheap
it’s been a while since your trowel last tilled my lady-garden. But, decease
discussion of my area, or “Ground Zero” as it is known to my therapist, is for another, more private time.  For the moment, we’re going to talk about you.

More honestly, we’re going to talk about me; or, we’re going to talk about my gender as it relates to yours.  No. Don’t worry.  There will be no whiny “You Go Girl” drivel about A Woman’s Right to Shoes.  I hate that shit.

 

In fact, there’s a lot of stuff about perky women that makes me long to grow a penis.  I don’t like their fascination with handbags and cupcakes.  I don’t like the way they keep scrapbooks. I don’t like it when they say “women are really good at multitasking” and demonstrate this through buying kitten-heels, scrapbooking and ramming cupcakes in their pie-holes all at once. I mean, if you’re so good at multitasking, stop buying things, shut the hell up and become an urban planner.  Don’t waste your neurological gifts whining “blah blah blah women are so much smarter than men” but doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to bear this out in civic life. Our foremothers did not throw themselves in front of horses so you could buy the Gossip Girl boxed-set, you self-centred, over-spending bint.  Shut up and measure housing density and re-route the traffic; I’ve had it with your moaning.

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

There is a critical thing you should know about women which is rarely discussed. To wit: they have an aching need to be told that they’re hideous. I know this seems odd. Given the dollars and energy women expend in bra and diet technology and the horseshit they produce like “All women want to be thought of as beautiful”, you might reasonably think that all women want to be thought of as beautiful.  Not so.  From about the age of fourteen, nearly all women will do whatever they can to get you to call them ugly or, even better, fat.

This strange feminie urge is universal and generally proceeds something like,

Helen: “What do you think of this new chemise?”

Man: “I want to fly my love-plane into Ground Zero this very minute! You look really hot and curvy! ”

Helen: “Are you calling me fat?”

 

Or,

Man: “Wow.  Your arse looks great in those jeans.”

Helen: “Are you calling me fat?”

Or,

Man: “I believe public response to the proposed Carbon Tax has been negative and extreme.”

Helen: “Yes. Excise could be an effective way of cutting emissions and showing leadership in the region.”

Man: “Moderate reform for middle-income earners is good, too.”

Helen: “Are you calling me fat?”

Are you calling me fat? I have absolutely no advice in addressing this question; particularly given that I have asked it myself many times.  You could, of course, try saying, “no, no, no my darling.  You are so svelte of silhouette and lissom of limb as to make Katy Perry appear portly.  If we painted you Mission Brown, you could be mistaken for a paling. Darling, you could use dental floss to wipe your tiny butt.” Yes, you could.

Or, you could help put an end to all of this coddling and call our bluff.  I mean, if somebody wants to engage in self-destructive behaviour, there’s not a thing you can do about it.  It’s certainly not your job to make people feel crappy about themselves, but nor is it your job to fix their crazy shit.

There is a lesson I learnt when I was a resident of Kings Cross, Sydney.  Every day on Ward Avenue, a bloke called Spoons asked me for money for “food”.  I gave it to him, chiefly because his name was so inspired. But, when I’d got to around the thousand dollar mark, I’d had jack of it.   One day, Spoons offered the usual, “Can I have some money for food, sister?” and it struck me that I could say, “You can have some money. But only if you promise to spend it on heroin.” He never asked again and I was free to use my spare change to buy cupcakes and scrapbooking materials.

My point is, the drama of nearly being called fat is a kind of illicit drug to women. Actually daring your boyfriend to call you less-than-Angelina has all the thrill of smack. So, cut off the supply NOW. If, when asked, more men said, “Yes. I am calling you fat”, then perhaps more women would acknowledge how pig-bonkingly stupid the question is, stop asking it and get on with something important. Like urban planning.

It may help you to know that many women have violent conflict with their looks.  And they are not at all content to keep this war civil; they’re looking to fight on other fronts. From the interior, soldiers of self-loathing march toward you, the unwilling ally, with the battle-cry ““Are you calling me fat?”.   There’s no winning, so don’t fight. Gentlemen, lay down your arms and practice nonviolent resistance. It worked for Gandhi.

Chicks. When it comes to their bodies, they’re certifiable.

Having said this, I don’t have much truck with this “Battle of the Sexes” crap; it’s a boring stoush that belongs on breakfast radio.  Instead of focusing on our differences, we should be focusing on (a) urban planning and (b) interesting things to do with our genitals.

Are you calling me fat?

Regards,

Helen

 This was written for the dapper chaps at FHM Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
In 2010, viagra order
a theater writer set out to Scotland’s famous Edinburgh Fringe.   When it came to the traditions of burlesque, side effects
critic Sally Scott would find no fun.  Except, perhaps, that in the creation of similes.  “Somewhere between a crack addict and a blown-up sex doll” was Scott’s published impression of the gaze of a burlesque performer.

An occasional theater writer myself, I recognize this sketch. Personally I’d often place the burlesque dancer’s expression somewhere between Cthulhu and Rachel Zoe.  Rachel Zoe right after a particularly wet air-kiss from Tom Ford. However, ours is not to quibble with facial degrees of numb-but-sensual conceit.  Rather, it is to learn about the criticism of burlesque in Scotland and beyond.

In a compendium review, Scott awarded the several “ironic” strippers she had seen no more than three stars apiece; in Edinburgh, a charge of mediocrity is more damaging than slaughter.  So, the day the reviews appeared, performers donned their nylons early and marched, or minced, to occupy the offices of The Scotsman.

Tempest Rose, a professed “showgirl sensation”, led the complaint against the reviewer.  She and her fellows, it seems, were worked-up by Scott’s failure to appreciate everything the burlesque revival had done for women.

Rose was acting, she said in a statement, on behalf of “a community” angered by the assertion that her burlesque was about nothing more than tassels and tar-tars. Burlesque, said Rose, “promotes the idea that a woman can be intelligent and powerful as well as expressing and enjoying their sensuality”.

“Women can have brains and beauty,” said Rose.

This is the sort of pish one might excuse from a pageant contestant.  Perhaps if a woman other than Miss Norway believes that this is a point worth making publicly, then she has no real place making art.

But, this is the point that drives a good deal of burlesque: women can be intelligent and sexy and in charge of removing their very own clothing.  Zzzz.

Certainly, the view that a bright woman need not forfeit her libido is one with which I have no quarrel.  But, there is a good deal of burlesque that is performed by women who show much sexual hunger but nothing that makes them seem especially bright.

It is, of course, no crime to be dim. If it were, then our prisons would be full of the off-cuts from Reality TV.  It is not a crime but it is a sin to press a terribly useful thing like feminism into the service of under-done theater.

If I’ve seen one lass in an animal-print tutu drop her boop-a-doop and give us the late-breaking news that women are capable of thought and tassels, I’ve seen a hundred.  Or, at least a dozen since the New Burlesque hit town a little more than ten years ago.

Across this past decade, burlesque has developed a few different subspecies and functions.  First, it was an “empowerment” exercise that, regrettably, took root in licensed premises.   One can spot these performers by checking the ladies for (a) feather headdress and (b) frequent use of the phrase “brains and beauty.”

Then, it became a project of those who have read books.  One can spot these performers by checking the ladies for (a) tattoos and (b) frequent use of the phrase “performativity.”

So, burlesque has been largely practiced and informed by Personal Development or Gender Studies hobbyists.  Which helps us understand both why it’s so bad and so absolutely, cultishly sure of itself.

As burlesque shows no sign of setting down its brains-and-beauty, the time has certainly come for critique. It’s time to alert the community of corsets that their burlesque can no longer rely on a feminist fan dance to save it from review.  Perhaps we could invite the critics of Scotland over to take the ladies’ boop-a-doop away.

Or, perhaps we could make our own efforts as connoisseurs.   A good start, is in seeing something good; something that does not crave approbation for its “beauty and brains” but seeks, instead, to jolt.

The tradition of burlesque can offer us something wonderful.  The idea of identity as a costume that is worn, not a biology that is fixed, can be so boldly illustrated in the sideshow arts. But, most of the time, it is not.  The most sincere artistic wish of many local practitioners is not to detonate gender or beauty or the fabric of identity.  Instead, it is to purchase cute, shiny outfits and take them off in a Brooklyn speakeasy. To an uncritical audience that lacks a Sally Scott.

 

 

This piece is adapted from a thingie I wrote for The Age newspaper

Leave a Reply