I think that's my only "problem" with male BD and it's the one that makes me uncomfortable - when it's very androgynous in bedlah-type costumes with very bra-ish tops. Why, I'm not sure. Partly I find it distracting thinking is that a man or a woman.We need to know what gender a person is (or is performing) and if we can't work it out, it unsettles us because we don't know how we're supposed to react.
But more than that it makes me feel somehow excluded, as if his performance is not meant for me - where does THAT come from? I wonder if the root of it is not knowing how to relate to a person who isn't showing the "expected" gender signals.
So, taking the appreciation of the dance itself as read, someone who is clearly a woman dancing I can identify with. Someone who is clearly a man dancing (even in a sequinned crop top) I can read the performance and interpret accordingly, whether it's a feminine style where I'd more identify with him, or a more masculine approach where... well, vive la difference! Call me an Oriental fantasist but I do like a touch of the Arabian Nights come away with me on my camel to my Bedouin tent under the desert stars stuff Enough perving; I also really like the guys doing a more feminine style too. Khaled rocks...
But a man wearing what is interpreted as a very female costume is making a statement even before he starts dancing... obvious female impersonation aside, I don't know what that statement it is and it gets in the way of my appreciation of the performance. Does he want his gender left out of it - to be viewed as a bellydancer and not a "male bellydancer". It's a shame, but that won't happen if the audience is sitting there thinking is-it-just-me-or-is-that-a-bloke. Equal rights to all things glittery and sequin-tastic? I am 100% behind the universal right to sequins, but they don't have to be on a bra top. Does he wants to be a female bellydancer, in which case I'm not only watching bellydance, I'm also watching gender politics (in my defence I'm a 40 something white middle class small town female, and these things make me nervous !)
(I went to a Chippendales show once though. Weird, the audience are very scary. Never mind veil work, it must take real skill to work those trousers with the velcro sides that just rip off in one go. LOL )
Enough sequins, time to go iron some shirts.....