Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 43
  1. #21
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England, U.S.A. / Paris, France
    Posts
    545
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    As a woman of Hispanic heritage, I don't get my tortillas burned when I see people of other races dancing Latino/Hispanic dances.
    I think this is a very lovely way of summing up how I feel about this article. And yes, Randa's tone was not "counter-racist" or "reverse-racist" or any fancy sounding things like that...it's just racist.

    I think my problem with her article is that she does have very legitimate things to say...it's just hidden under unpleasant things she had to say about "white" women. Those things, those generalizations, and those accusations probably vented her steam, but that kind of venting is best done to your best friend at the end of a long day, not in a public venue. I have my own particular opinions on bellydance, Middle Eastern dance, raqs sharqi, tribal, race, politics. Sometimes these opinions are very strong. I don't try to make my opinions politically correct or completely inoffensive. But I don't air everything publicly! I realize, unlike Randa, not everybody wants to hear all the emotions and reactions that I have.

    That being said, I agree with this writer (THAT Article, or, Bellydance - We Need To Talk Belly dance with EmmaBelly dance with Emma) when she says:
    "Sure, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but we are talking about emotive subjects (identity, history, religion, culture, oppression) and to expect everyone to couch their opinions in the dry prose of a scientific paper is unrealistic. Besides, why is it wrong to feel and express strong emotion?"
    I still feel that her article should not be disregarded because of her anger. I think it's important to sit back and understand that some Arab audiences of bellydance will legitimately and understandably be annoyed by certain presentations, because some dancers really aren't knowledgeable enough. I certainly did a couple performances when I was just beginning that were not appropriate or, even though they weren't offensive, were just ignorant (in terms of lyrics, costuming choice in particular). We have to acknowledge that there are dancers around that are into it just because of the costumes and sparkly things. I certainly learned my lesson, and know that there is more to learn. If you reject completely the woman who thinks a bellydance class will make her seem more sexy to her boyfriend, you will never get the chance to educate her and teach her the other side of things.

    And no, it's never okay to simply wear something because it's fun, if it's drawn from a cultural or racial stereotype. Much as I get annoyed and honestly mostly weirded out when foreigners dress up as cowboys and pretend to ride 'em cowboy, I think it's justifiable for someone to be annoyed or weirded out to see the millionth person dressed up as a pocahantas or a harem girl or a "gypsy" foreign teller, particularly if it plays up exciting, "exotic", brown sexuality. (People in general should do some research to find out what Native American attire actually was, or what harems actually were, or that the word "gypsy" to many Roma, is akin to saying "nigger". Suddenly "gypsy costume" doesn't have the same ring to it).

    But--- I think Randa only scratches the surface, while pretending to have a deep understanding. She has seen these dancers that don't seem too serious and seem like they are prancing around in arab face. Has she met and had a respectful discussion with non-arab men and women that have been studying Middle Eastern dances for half of their lives, listen to Oum Kalsoum in their spare time, and legitimately just love Middle Eastern music and want to learn? If she has, clearly she has chosen to ignore them. I understand that, people do it all the time. It makes the world simpler and easier to understand if one group of people are "good" and oppressed, and one group is "bad" and oppressing. Sorry, Randa, the world is a complicated, messy heap of people who are all capable of great things and evil things.

    I'm starting to get long-winded, but here's another thing that merits discussion: what is meant when we say "white"? (or "black" or "brown" or any other silly term like that). Because race is made up, in the scientific sense. It doesn't even have that much hold over appearance. There are some people who would be called "white", who have a pretty dark complexion and hair. There are people who would be called "black" who have lighter skin tones than me with my summer tan. The terms have more to do with culture...but, on the flip (and ugly) side of the coin, they are terms that are pretty much always used to distinguish between cultures in a negative way. Calling someone "white" or "black" is ignorant, and it just allows one to put someone else neatly in a category so you don't have to think too hard or empathize with them or understand their family or culture. Likewise, the term "Arab" is used pretty willy-nilly, and often you'll find that there's more of a political history behind the term than one would expect.

    ...sigh. It's just ignorance.

    (Just realized I have Amerie playing in my playlist. Uh oh. Maybe Randa Jarrar will think I'm a racist for belting RnB in the kitchen. I should find another form of self-expression that's not appropriating "blacks". Guess I'll only listen to Bach from now on.)

  2. #22
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kyabram, Vic
    Posts
    4,471
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roshanna View Post
    I think you'll find it's the 'dressing up as a racial stereotype' part that most people have a problem with, period.
    It's the part that I personally have a problem with (as I stated in the post above her original post).

    I think that bellybabies are frequently guilty of it (I certainly was in the haram-fantasy way!) until/unless they are guided away from it by their peers or teachers. Loudly proclaiming that it's a good thing to do it is totally not cool, in my opinion.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  3. #23
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,069
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I wonder if she find it's bad if people in Africa do ballet, or if people in China belly dance, she only mentioned 'white' people. Wonder if she hates it when Arab people want to learn Latin dance etc. She could indeed have written about people doing poor interpretations of belly dance instead, about people prancing around in cheap Halloween costumes and getting hired as 'belly dancer', that would have made much more sense. Instead she is alienating people who she could actually share her love for dance with.

  4. #24
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    In the heartland of the USA
    Posts
    4,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That IS sad, and true, Amulya. She is missing out on so many opportunities to make new friends, and share in one another's cultures. Sad to say, her loss.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England, U.S.A. / Paris, France
    Posts
    545
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amulya
    She could indeed have written about people doing poor interpretations of belly dance instead, about people prancing around in cheap Halloween costumes and getting hired as 'belly dancer', that would have made much more sense.
    Exactly.

    This is a fair argument against accusations of cultural appropriation: Be a SJ Ally, not a SJ Sally, SEPARATE BUT EQUAL, AMIRITE? Rant time! Ready? ...

  6. #26
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    143
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roshanna View Post
    I think you'll find it's the 'dressing up as a racial stereotype' part that most people have a problem with, period.
    I get that, I do. I don't think you're getting my POV though.

    I'm saying that not all depictions of a "harem girl"/slave girl/gypsy have anything to do with Middle Eastern culture/Bellydance. Some are based off of fiction that have adopted the visual imagery, and some did adopt the style of dance but not the rest of the culture.

    I'm not applauding it, I'm just pointing out that it exists and the context of it.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England, U.S.A. / Paris, France
    Posts
    545
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
    I get that, I do. I don't think you're getting my POV though.

    I'm saying that not all depictions of a "harem girl"/slave girl/gypsy have anything to do with Middle Eastern culture/Bellydance. Some are based off of fiction that have adopted the visual imagery, and some did adopt the style of dance but not the rest of the culture.

    I'm not applauding it, I'm just pointing out that it exists and the context of it.
    Hmmm. It may have become popular in fiction/fantasy/science fiction contexts, but that does nothing to justify it, in my opinion. It never ceases to have historical context, despite the changes it may undergo through pop culture. The problem with harem girl / "gypsy" costumes is that they take something that has a real history and boil it down to something sexy and exotic. And again, yes, people like that. But is it OK to continue doing things based purely on the fact that they're popular? Nobody could argue that these depictions don't exist. We can still argue over whether they should be done or not, though.

  8. #28
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,069
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    They do that with everything, the 'sexy' version of a costume, it's very annoying, because it creates stereotypes. It doesn't only happen with cultural things but also with jobs, the 'sexy nurse' costume, 'sexy policewoman' costume etc. and yes there is a belly dance version of that as well

  9. #29
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    In the heartland of the USA
    Posts
    4,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    There's also sexy Alice In Wonderland, sexy Little Red Riding Hood, and of course, the sexy wench. Halloween has pretty much turned just about every kind of female character imaginable into something sexy (emphasis on someTHING!). xP

  10. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    143
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I was actually thinking of slave Leia from Star Wars and the Gor books. I have a slave Leia costume which, yes is a modified Bellydance costume, but...it's slave Leia. I don't dance in it. It was a costume that I don't think would have been appropriate for belly dancing in but it was perfect to modify into what I wanted.

    Re: the sexy costumes..
    The sexy cat/kitten one was always a little creepy to me.

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •