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  1. #1
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Default Solo Dance in the Ottoman Period by Jane C Sugarman

    Interesting that in the 1600's it is believed there were three types of public dancer; Kochek, Tavsan Oglan and Chegi, all male except for chengi which could be either male or female.

    The onus on public in that everyone was free to see and there report, where what happened in harems was private. Is this the origin of the myths that males copied female dancing ?

    Music and Gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean - Google Books

    And later in the nineteenth century the kochek kicked out of Turkey emigrated around the region to where they were accepted so they could ply their trade again, did males kick off belly dance in other regions ?

    Or was it already established given everywhere I know it exists used to be subject to the Ottoman empire?




    I am not trying to remove belly dance from women, that is not my design, what I am after is the truth not fantasy, for believe me I have heard so many interpretations which border on fantasy or indeed wishtory where I as a male phenotype dancer, I have come up against feminists who have tried to deny my place in this dance, where they don't realise with what I am, for genotypically I am a bridge between sexes, where motivated I would like to aid in healing the rifts that others create for we can be equal as all it takes is education.

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    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    From what I can tell in my research, hip-oriented dancing has been in Africa a very long time. Some people from the Levant claim that their research shows that dancing we'd recognize as belly dance originated with the Phoenicians - I haven't seen their research, so I can't comment on that myself. Either way, I believe that the precursors to what we'd recognize as belly dancing existed in Africa (Egypt) and the Levant long before the Ottoman empire arrived in those regions.

    However, that said, I think it's perfectly legitimate for men to learn this dance if they want to, and legitimate for them to perform it. I enjoy teaching my male students, and I appreciate the effort they put in to progressing. It makes me sad to think that in some places, feminists try to deny men the opportunity to learn this dance.

    I wonder if this article would help you open conversations about your genotype with some of these obstructionist people? Autostraddle ? Claudia Is Intersex, Let?s Talk About It

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    A genuine feminist would not deny dance to anyone based on gender. My goal as a feminist has always been to open up the world of opportunity not to close it down.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    A genuine feminist would not deny dance to anyone based on gender. My goal as a feminist has always been to open up the world of opportunity not to close it down.
    Although I agree limiting people is not my goal either, the word "feminist" actually needs an adjective to define type (eg Existential, Goddess Centred, Lesbian Separatist, Liberal, Marxist, Postmodern, Radical, Socialist, etc) . There are as many types of feminists as belly dancers and each is consistant within its own definition. Most would not limit the dance; many would see it as irrelevant; and one or two might claim it as womyn's space

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    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Wymen's space is the usual reason I get, something males back up because males have their own space where males are expected to be, but unfortunately I don't get on with male space and believe me I have tried for years even lied to be accepted but always existed unhappily on the fringe, careful of myself which is where I exist with women's space as well out on the fringe- accepted but not completely where I have considered announcing homosexuality to appear as no threat but that wouldn't be right or true to myself. It's an odd place where I can be accepted amongst males if I don't be myself but what's the point being anywhere if one can't be natural in what one is. I am in contact with many of what I am and although we are all different common ground is being accepted in what we physically are mostly where some actually identify as female where there are female variants as well.

    As it is my mind is all over the place where I am aware at last at what it's doing, bipolar someone suggested in the past but it's not that, not in a mental sense as what it's doing is switching between genders- X inactivation I think it's called where it seems the chromosomes argue, and this is exemplified in class where hey I can do this stuff and then the mind switches and I stuff it up, where I think the remedy is to somehow turn the mind off, but that all depends on how confident I am before I go where sometimes I have to force myself to go as I know everything will be right thereafter once dancing. But there is another place I try to centre on and that is neutrality where I find peace, it's a fine line where I am very easily tipped over, but since the diagnosis, I am aware the male I put on to exist amongst male is falling away and the feminine I heavily oppressed within myself is now being allowed but with it is coming interests in transgender as society makes it plain one cannot be somewhere in the middle, one has to be one thing or the other where trans are visually accepted but inter sex has a long way to go as it's often not the obvious identity society would like, but I intend to work to stay in the middle as I can't be female through being well phenotypically male although genotypically I'm there already.

    But the promotion of female only belly dance, what is it if it's not pandering to the male gaze, where I would have thought activists would be keen to level playing fields and perhaps create a female gaze where equality could happily exist but it seems perhaps some would like their cake and eat it.

    As to Turkish style, I have been taking classes and am finding I like it where oddly I am remembering choreos from one week to the next where that doesn't happen with the Egyptian I have been doing the last five years. Where Turkish style appears extrovert compared to the Egyptians introvert where perhaps I am introvert enough already. But I am back studying the Ottoman empire looking for something pertaining to what I am where in history there is much mention of effeminate males where I wonder who they were. And so I find male dancers in the sixteenth century at least which gives me a place in the present through historical precedence. Performance still scares me but at least I now know confidence and self expression issue are typical of xxy but it's coming where I feel it could be in Turkish style as I am looking at making costumes again.

    But you know it annoys me to come here these days because all I do it seems is whinge and for sure I feel people may be getting fed up with it where it is in my mind to join again under a new name to rid a past I am uncomfortable with, but a past that aided in finding out who I truly am.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    As it is my mind is all over the place where I am aware at last at what it's doing, bipolar someone suggested in the past but it's not that, not in a mental sense as what it's doing is switching between genders- X inactivation I think it's called where it seems the chromosomes argue
    I'm sure you have done a lot of research into this - but it doesn't gell with the academic work I have done with gender identity. Chromosomes don't think. They may affect hormones/emotions but maybe not as much as some believe. Early socialization has huge impacts (and at least one study has shown even those who say they don't believe in gender stereotyping when given a chance to play with small children re-inforce stereotypes - and report back what they expect to see even though they were lead to believe they were playing with girls when they were boys and vice versa). ANother huge influence is early trauma.

    Basically if you are talking dance everyone has a conflict between the higher brain which we control and need to learn new skills and the lower brain that is actually where we dance. Two mechanisms I have been told include counting or chanting which switches off the thinking bit that gets in teh way; and singing - which also relaxes the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    But the promotion of female only belly dance, what is it if it's not pandering to the male gaze, where I would have thought activists would be keen to level playing fields and perhaps create a female gaze where equality could happily exist but it seems perhaps some would like their cake and eat it.
    Yeah - but female gaze on the female - not the male :-) The whole By Womyn for Womyn thing is heavily influenced by Lesbian Separatist Theology (straight women are looked own on as poor unaware fools and bisexual women are traitors to the Cause)

    There is so musch variation in humans it is incredible that people still try and shoehorn people into simplistic boxes. Nothing is that simple. (Said by someone who spent her education mostly among men from 16 and most of her working life ditto - electrical enginner working on construction sites etc for many years then heavy duty software engineering)

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Although I agree limiting people is not my goal either, the word "feminist" actually needs an adjective to define type (eg Existential, Goddess Centred, Lesbian Separatist, Liberal, Marxist, Postmodern, Radical, Socialist, etc) . There are as many types of feminists as belly dancers and each is consistant within its own definition. Most would not limit the dance; many would see it as irrelevant; and one or two might claim it as womyn's space
    I take your point but from its earliest roots feminism has been the advocation of political, social, economic, and legal rights for women that are equal to those of men: equal to, not superior to or separate from. Without advocation of equal rights, it is not feminism, whatever adjective one attaches to it.

    It's kinda like throwing a couple of hip articulations into an act involving flaming poi balls, hip-hop music, and stilts: calling it post modern radical belly dance doesn't make it belly dance.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 10-29-2013 at 08:21 AM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    But I am back studying the Ottoman empire looking for something pertaining to what I am where in history there is much mention of effeminate males where I wonder who they were. And so I find male dancers in the sixteenth century at least which gives me a place in the present through historical precedence.
    Maybe you could post some more of your findings? And openly invite comment and debate? Its an area of dance I know little about, but feel sure others on here have valuable viewpoints and knowledge to share.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I take your point but from its earliest roots feminism has been the advocation of political, social, economic, and legal rights for women that are equal to those of men: equal to, not superior to or separate from. Without advocation of equal rights, it is not feminism, whatever adjective one attaches to it.
    Not as it is used in academia. My BA (incomplete) was in Feminist Studies - and there are a wide range of Feminisms - not all of which fits that definition.

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    ... this is exemplified in class where hey I can do this stuff and then the mind switches and I stuff it up, where I think the remedy is to somehow turn the mind off, but that all depends on how confident I am ...
    I thought that was normal for anyone learning dance! It certainly is for me; the brain regularly stuffs it up for me.

    But the promotion of female only belly dance, what is it if it's not pandering to the male gaze, where I would have thought activists would be keen to level playing fields and perhaps create a female gaze where equality could happily exist but it seems perhaps some would like their cake and eat it.
    IMO the "by women for women no men" attitude is all about the female gaze; male gazes and male dancers are both going to be problematic in groups like that. In my experience the belly dance scene is almost entirely about the female gaze, with a few supportive husbands and boyfriends feeling more or less comfortable about being there.

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