Sunday, October 5, 2014

If You Can't Shake Your Shoulders Shake Your Yas Yas Yas

We've already explored how men and women alike check out women's breasts (albeit with different motivations for the most part). Now that Atlantic goes further and makes the case that women are also important consumers of the recently revived emphasis on women's booties:
After watching the recently released music videos for Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" and J. Lo and Iggy Azalea's "Booty," lots of folks have pointed out that, as Kevin Fallon says, "butts are having a moment." But butts aren't all that "Anaconda" and "Booty" have in common. In "Booty," J. Lo and Azalea bump rears and slither all over each other; in "Anaconda", one of Minaj's dancers just about takes a lascivious bite out of the star rapper. If butts are having a moment, then so is girl-on-girl subtext.

Strictly for discussion purposes. . .
So why do butt-shaking and lesbian imagery go together—in these videos and, for that matter, so many other times in pop culture? Think of Miley Cyrus's notorious VMA performance, where she twerked and groped her female dancer with equal awkwardness.
Um, no thanks, the Irish guys did it better.
At the same time, the video is not entirely, or even primarily, focused on a male audience. J. Lo and Iggy surely have substantial numbers of female fans. When lesbian scenes are staged specifically for men, there’s often a male stand-in for the audience; there’s not one in this video, though. The lyrics slip back and forth between addressing women ("Go on let them jeans touch you while you dancing") and addressing men ("The way she moves/I know you want her,") so that at points it's not precisely clear which gender is being spoken to. "Have you seen her on the dance floor… You wanna meet her, you wanna touch her," is obviously a tease to men, but when the line "you wanna touch her" is juxtaposed with Iggy and J.Lo grabbing each other, it's easy to see it as a come on to a female audience as well.
I would, in fact, guess that J. Lo and Iggy have more female fans than male fans, if by fan you mean someone who more than casually enjoys the spectacle. And the vast majority of those women are straight.
Sharon Marcus, in her book Between Women, argues that during Victorian times, female-female erotic interest was seen as a standard part of heterosexual female identity. She points to Victorian fashion plates, where women were often drawn staring at other women's breasts; or to debates about birching, in which female readers wrote in to magazines describing in loving detail how other women should be whipped and chastised as punishment. To us, this may look like submerged lesbian desire, but at the time, women's interests in other women were assumed to be typical for all women. Same-sex desire didn't form the basis for a queer identity—it was just taken for granted.
Absolute crap. Heterosexual women check out other women's asses for the same reasons they check out their breasts; evaluating the competition, and looking for ways to improve their own attractiveness and prospects. Music and dancing have been important media for allowing women to openly display and compare their wares.

The Atlantic article is all part of the movement to find homosexuality in everything, to make us all think we're a part of the "movement"

A brief trip back to the Roaring 20's.

Dave Van Ronk sings about it. . .

Wombat-socho's "Rule 5 Sunday: The Cheerleaders Of October" is up at The Other McCain.

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