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The Shimmy Shake Protest: Queer Femme Burlesque as Sex-Positive Activism

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Abstract:

Using ethnographic accounts of a series of performances given by 2 queer burlesque troupes, this paper explores the queer erotic representations of female-feminine bodies. Specifically, I argue that the popularity of queer burlesque in queer communities coincides with the community’s avowal of a radical sex positive culture and that the use of queer feminine bodies achieves a particular kind of radical eroticism because of its use of the body and its reliance on the general cultural eroticization of the female body. Through the erotic labor of queer feminine women in burlesque, which is sometimes paid and sometimes unpaid, the queer community benefits from a sexuality display that is public, visible, and unapologetic. Queer burlesque’s radical potential lies in its critique that sex and politics are, or should be, separate. In their performances they deliver concrete political messages (like queer people should practice safer sex methods), but they also deliver a more abstract political message (that queer sex for the sake of pleasure is valuable). In this way, they are an embodiment of sex radical politics because they illustrate that sex does not subvert political goals and the political does not subvert the potential for pleasure.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

queer (109), perform (107), burlesqu (96), sex (77), feminin (50), sexual (48), bodi (46), polit (39), femm (32), women (31), audienc (31), lesbian (30), one (27), cultur (27), use (27), feminist (21), two (19), erot (19), troup (19), drag (19), peopl (18),

Author's Keywords:

queer, femme, femininity, burlesque, activism
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p237467_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Ryan, Maura. "The Shimmy Shake Protest: Queer Femme Burlesque as Sex-Positive Activism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, Jul 31, 2008 <Not Available>. 2014-12-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p237467_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ryan, M. , 2008-07-31 "The Shimmy Shake Protest: Queer Femme Burlesque as Sex-Positive Activism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA Online <PDF>. 2014-12-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p237467_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Using ethnographic accounts of a series of performances given by 2 queer burlesque troupes, this paper explores the queer erotic representations of female-feminine bodies. Specifically, I argue that the popularity of queer burlesque in queer communities coincides with the community’s avowal of a radical sex positive culture and that the use of queer feminine bodies achieves a particular kind of radical eroticism because of its use of the body and its reliance on the general cultural eroticization of the female body. Through the erotic labor of queer feminine women in burlesque, which is sometimes paid and sometimes unpaid, the queer community benefits from a sexuality display that is public, visible, and unapologetic. Queer burlesque’s radical potential lies in its critique that sex and politics are, or should be, separate. In their performances they deliver concrete political messages (like queer people should practice safer sex methods), but they also deliver a more abstract political message (that queer sex for the sake of pleasure is valuable). In this way, they are an embodiment of sex radical politics because they illustrate that sex does not subvert political goals and the political does not subvert the potential for pleasure.


Similar Titles:
"Your Body is a Battleground”: Theorizing the Politics of the Body in Barbara Kruger’s Feminist Culture-Jamming

Female Objectification and Media Influence on Women’s Physical Ideals: A Qualitative Feminist Analysis of Female Beauty and Body Image Identity

The Effects of Sexual Victimization, Butch-Femme Ideals, and Interdependency on Women's Sexual Agency and Sexual Satisfaction: Implications for Relationship Functioning in Female Couples

Queering Feminine Performance: Neo-Burlesque, Femme Identity, and Female/Female Drag


 
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