Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pussy Talks Back

Reposted here from over on the Facebook - only about a year since my last post which, I cannot help but notice, is about the exact same thing. Because we sure haven't made much progress over the last 13 months, have we?


Since apparently I have to articulate this *yet again* ... here's the thing:

Most of the shows in which I am involved in any capacity balance out at 90 - 100% female-identifying performers. The audience is at least 50% female (generally more these days I am delighted to say).

That means that for every given show, almost all of the performers and much of the audience has to think of the following things when leaving home for a Night Of Sexy Fun:

Who is at the show? Is there security? Is that "security" trustworthy or will they abuse their position? If a dude grabs me in the public restroom (which is often the only one available to performers as well), is anyone at the venue or in the show going to do anything about it or am I on my own? Will they even believe me that it happened? Will I be groped on the go-go platform after the show? If I am, will that person be removed from the venue by anyone in charge or do I just have to 'laugh it off'? Can I walk to the bar simply to get a glass of water or a drink during the show without for example a male patron attempting to insert his fingers into my vagina on the venue floor?* CAN I TRUST THE MALE PERFORMER(S) IN THE SHOW TO NOT HARASS, ATTACK OR MOLEST ME BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE SHOW? What time am I traveling home afterwards? Will I be alone? If I am alone, what am I wearing? What route do I have to take to minimize the possibility of harassment and attack? Should I literally double my public-transportation travel time just to take the slightly 'safer' route home? Should I spend a third of my night's pay on a cab or car service that still puts me entirely at the mercy of a driver that I do not know? And on and on and on. 

So. When a male host - the only fully-clothed person in the show with a microphone and therefore a voice and therefore all the perceived authority (well - even more authority than that already bestowed upon them by The World and Privilege) makes dick jokes onstage, talks about his dick onstage, tells the audience to get their dicks out, physically takes his own dick out onstage, or in any way makes the show about his own dick - he is reinforcing EVERY SINGLE ACT OF VIOLENCE, AGGRESSION AND MICRO-AGGRESSION EXPERIENCED ALL DAY, EVERY DAY BY MORE THAN HALF OF THE AUDIENCE AND ALL / ALMOST ALL OF THE CAST. 

Even if offstage he professes to be a full-on feminist ally.

This is not an "old-school vaudeville joke." It is not in-character riffing. It is not edgy, hilarious, or attention-grabbing hosting. It is a reinforcement and an acceptance of, and a further permission for the constant abuse that yes, all women learn to be prepared to receive from strangers, from co-workers, from patrons, from bosses, from partners EVERY minute of EVERY day.
And it is fucking exhausting. 

I refuse. As a producer, as a performer, as an audience member: I refuse. I deny that permission. My money, my time and my talent will not reinforce that dynamic. I may have to consider nightly that I "should" wear long pants home in the 95-degree heat after the show so the mere sight of my knees doesn't "provoke attack", but in my small corner of our small corner of the world I refuse to continue to support the Dick Joke Model of strip-show hosting. It's 20goddamned17. We're done. Whether we're personally into dick or not - we're bored and frankly disgusted by having to navigate your goddamned dick here, now, on our stages, after constantly being required to step over and around and to celebrate and compliment and adore every single other one thrust in our direction at every other moment of the day or night. 

So do better. Now. 

I don't want to have to write this goddamned thing one more fucking time. 

* Yes, this has absolutely happened.