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The difficulty of assessing if a dance form is gendered is very difficult. <...>

Plus, when do you freeze truth and say that is how it should be.

Again, good points.  Kabuki is currently and for most of its history has been an all-male form of theatre.  However, its founder was a woman and originally women played both male and female parts.  So which is the "real" kabuki?

Equally in a world where artistic, cultural and gender boundaries are being challenged it seems perverse in the extreme to declare that some things just are and that we can't tinker at the boundaries.

As I wrote in my previous comment, I don't think (though I don't know for sure) that she believes racial and cultural boundaries "just are" and goes by some kind of yes-no black-white check-list.  I am sure she considers each case on its own grounds within its own context, and looking at the unique pluses and minuses that each case may bring to the community, aware that no pre-formulated definition or check-list can exhaust the unanticipated possibilities that reality may bring up.  At least, I hope and expect she does.

An excuse for darker inadmissable reasons.

I am unclear as to what you imagine these reasons may be in this particular case.  What is real -- based on what I have seen personally -- is that her dance group provides a very meaningful and fruitful experience, artistically and "personally", for its participants and audience, and the bathwater must be really really dirty in order to justify throwing out the baby (the "women of color" membership requirement) along with it.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 05:02:28 PM EST
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I would call the sex and gender discrimination the dirty "bathwater" and the fruitful experience for participants and audience the "baby". But that's just me.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 05:17:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, the situation does not lend itself to the metaphor so neatly.

I think Ananya's position is precisely that you could not have the particular artistic/personal experience she envisions without this community reserved for women of color.  So, if one suspects "darker inadmissable reasons" for such gender and racial discrimination beyond or behind Ananya's professed goals of artistic exploration and commmunal healing, someone please spell out what those suspected reasons are.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 05:56:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simple: she hates men, and she hates whites.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 05:44:17 AM EST
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Sadly I agree, although I might not have written it so bluntly.

If her dance form is a cultural product of India, then she either restricts it to pure ethnic Indo-Asians or she opens it up completely. To claim she has anything in common with africans, hispanics, southern & nothern far-easterners is effectively saying that their similarity is predicated in being in contrast to white people. And that is a essentialist, racist statement.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 06:19:32 AM EST
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she either restricts it to pure ethnic Indo-Asians

i think that move would be "essentialist" (if i understand the term correctly) and racist.

as for your second point:  i think her own narrative is that colonialization, imperialism and globalization, primarily and overwhelmingly carried out by white people in recent history, are responsible for theft and abuse against non-white cultures across the world, and that is what she -- as an indian -- has in common with africans, asians, etc.  while historically it may be inaccurate, i am skeptical that it is essentialist or racist.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 08:11:50 AM EST
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while historically it may be inaccurate, i am skeptical that it is essentialist or racist.

It's more than inaccurate, it's delusional. The presence of indian, and far-eastern people in the USA has no background in imperialist or colonialist behaviour whilst the presence of African-Americans has an awful lot to do with it.

If she is claiming that, as a coloured person, she can share in the cultural degradation that african-americans have suffered then there is no point in further debate. Somebody so lost in self-serving patronising bullshit cannot be addressed by appeals to evidence or reason.

But to create such a fantasy, well I think that is rooted in issues she has with white people, however socially constructed, both male and female.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 08:27:22 AM EST
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That is far too extreme and binary.  Wanting a space for women of color does not entail hating all white people and all men.

I think it's fair to say that she has serious issues with men and white people.  But that is not the same thing as saying that she hates men and white people.  And it is certainly not the same thing as saying she is racist.  By that logic, every person who spews vitriol against "Anglo-American" this or that is a racist, and that doesn't seem correct.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 08:03:52 AM EST
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I think it's fair to say that she has serious issues with men and white people.  But that is not the same thing as saying that she hates men and white people.  And it is certainly not the same thing as saying she is racist.  By that logic, every person who spews vitriol against "Anglo-American" this or that is a racist, and that doesn't seem correct.

A combination of hair-splitting and Aunt Sally defence.

My experience with male-preventing dance teachers is that once you've addressed every supposedly real excuse for not allowing men into classes you're left with the great unsayable. As Sherlock Holmes said, "If you exclude all other possibilities, then whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth"

And I am as vitriolic about "Anglo-american" economic and political behaviour as anyone, yet to suggest I am prejudiced against Americans, or British for that matter, is just silly.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 08:40:10 AM EST
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It's one thing to spew vitriol about Anglo-American this or that, and another to say our blogging experience requires excluding Anglo-Americans from participating in the dialogue.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 08:41:29 AM EST
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