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Folks-dancing - proof for gender essentialism?

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posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 02:25 PM
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Hi everybody:
I wonder is anyone into folksdancing?
Here is the debate that confuses me:
Social constructionism vs. Essentialism in Gender.

The Social Constructionist academic position argues that we are all the same, and children learn gender "constructs" from a young age. By that arguement "gender" concepts and behaviors change over history, and are learnt by example.
That begs the question why we have those "examples" in the first place - where do female voices come in eg. in anthems? Seemingly never at first.
The Essentialists argue that gender is biologically determined, and male vs. female roles will always be different and never change significantly.

I used to second the first opinion of constructivism in gender.
But then I look at folks-dancing (German in my examples), and the male dance is almost archetypal in its ritualized violence and physical expression.
Do people fall into dances like this? Do they exclude people who don't fit in?
Are there dances from around the world that have third genders or other possibilities?
Despite the bad name of pop music in conservative circles, doesn't it perpetuate conservative gender roles?
This is also confusing, because in some religions and cultures the genders may not mix at all. How does the West interpret this? Is it homoerotic?

Similarly I'm wondering about the moves and verses allowed for each gender - are they imposed false musical consciousness, or inherent displays of difference?




posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 02:35 PM
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Gender Essentialism in German folk-dance:

www.youtube.com...
www.youtube.com...

What is interesting is hand positions and others reminiscent of a stag.
I suppose women could repeat this dance - but it would just be all wrong.
But why? Can anyone put it into words?
Does the "masculinity" here mimic masculinity in "nature"?
Please share examples from other cultures.

[edit on 5-9-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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it's the three stooges meets the rough riders
I've never seen anything quite like it.
Half polka and half vaudeville.

I actually laughed during
a lot of it, so human.


David Grouchy



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 02:57 PM
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In fact it kind of reminds me of this video.
In this one I quess we'd be lucky if
there was a girl behind the lense.
But it seems to have the same
level of gawky maleness.


David Grouchy



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:04 PM
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I believe that gender differences are largely biological, but accentuated by social and cultural factors.

However, I think this folks-dancing example doesn't necessary stem from biological, rather than cultural, factors.

The men would grow up with this dancing being the norm, and it does not mean that they all willingly took part, due to its violent nature.

If anything, the exaggerated violence and physical expression in the dance, is most likely done to impress the chicks.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:18 PM
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Maybe it goes back to our animal instincts, mating rituals, bird dances.


Notice the tick-tacking noise they make, kinda sounds like the slap sounds like those guys. I wonder if there's something to do with that?

I Love men and birds!!!!!
I say, let them entertain us ladies!



It is what it is, some guys like stripteases, and I wouldn't be offended if a man wanted to give me that either!!



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 

Well, I definately think such dancing has to do with impressing the other gender.
I mean that's what males do all across nature, isn't it?
The male Peacock or pigeon - they all look and dance more spectacular than the females.
I think this is reflected in many cultures too.
Strangely, not in the Western since maybe Victorianism.
Until the hippies sang again about "male plumage" in Hair, men were expected to be the more drab culture - which would be totally unnatural.

Not to upset anybody - but is it just convention for women to fall in "The Star Spangled Banner" at the "rocket's red glare" verse?
Is this just one one interpretation, or in a mixed choir do they always come second?
www.youtube.com...
(PS. it gives me tears in my eyes - nice anthem).



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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We simply must add some Jane Austen
into the mix to balance out the discussion.


David Grouchy



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
Not to upset anybody - but is it just convention for women to fall in "The Star Spangled Banner" at the "rocket's red glare" verse?
Is this just one one interpretation, or in a mixed choir do they always come second?
www.youtube.com...
(PS. it gives me tears in my eyes - nice anthem).


I believe it's to do with different vocal ranges of men and women.

The third note of The Star Spangled Banner hits the ''A'' below ''Middle C'', which is much easier for a baritone, while the ''Rocket's Red glare'' starts off over an octave higher on ''High C'', and goes up the scale from there, which is much more conducive to the range of a soprano.

[edit on 5-9-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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A very debated South African musical that did the rounds in the 1970s-80s.
It could now be seen as the "marketing of African hyper-heterosexuality".
But all folk-dancing is hyper-heterosexual like that?
Well, it had other political issues (the problems of black people in SA are blamed on tribal feuds and the weather, rather than Apartheid).
Nevertheless, it launched the career of Margaret Singana and others.
It also attracted a lot of attention.
Well, here's a scene from"Ipi Tombi".
www.youtube.com...

PS. I can't listen to Star Spangled Banner on Youtube any more. Is this political? Can anyone direct to another choral version?



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by davidgrouchy
 

Ha, ha, brilliant
.
The satire points to something very complicit amongst men however. Although generally (but not always) physically stronger, violence amongst women is simply dipicted as un-feminine.

That is, violent women are simply ignored or removed.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 

Which begs the question - what came first?
Women's soprano voices or the notes in the song?

Well, for some reason everything shuts down for me when I just click on the beautiful song.
I hope somebody can post a free-use choral version.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
Which begs the question - what came first?
Women's soprano voices or the notes in the song?

Well, for some reason everything shuts down for me when I just click on the beautiful song.
I hope somebody can post a free-use choral version.


I think it was the notes in the song, which was actually originally a British drinking song ( with different words
), which would have probably had an entirely male ''choir'' drunkenly singing it.

When they were arranging it to be sung by a mixed choir, the first part was most suited to a male's range, and the middle part was best suited to showcase the female's voice, while the rest of it is usually sung by both males and females in unison.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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I will let Frank Zappa and his G-Spot Tornado speak for itself and confuse everything altogether:



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 

So it was never even meant for women?
That's shocking.

Well, here is a gender segregated Hare Krishna dance.
www.youtube.com...

This is where I first ran into trouble many moons ago.
I told them I was attracted to the same sex, and to keep my "eyes on the Lord" I'd have to dance with the women.
In India there are special ashrams and roles for people like me, but I'd have to make do, because an attraction to a devotee is as holy as an attraction to the Lord.

My parents thought this gender austerity made it a "cult", but it appears most religions are gender segregated, including Islam and many churches.
I suppose I must decide: is that part of the attraction, do I want to change gender, or choose something more liberal?

I just wanna sing and dance.
So I shut up, and pretend patriarchy was just natural, and try not to complain. But it's not what I feel inside.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
My parents thought this gender austerity made it a "cult", but it appears most religions are gender segregated, including Islam and many churches.
I suppose I must decide: is that part of the attraction, do I want to change gender, or choose something more liberal?


Yes, most religions tend to have some form of gender separation in their teachings, or in the culture of their adherents.

A few years ago I went to a Sikh wedding, and after the actual marriage ceremony, the man stayed in one room, while the women all went off to another.

Which was a shame, as I think that Indian women are amongst the most naturally beautiful in the world !


When you ask whether you want to change gender, I am guessing that you are not referring to physically, but rather as in willingly accepting, and adopting the role that a society, or culture, would expect the female to fulfil ?

I'd personally say that you should do your own thing, mate, and not yet any societal or cultural dogma get in the way of you living your life, and being who you want to be.


[edit on 5-9-2010 by Sherlock Holmes]



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

I'd honestly like to compare, how many faiths or denominations are gender-mixed vs gender segregated?

Are there still gender-segregated (in seating) Christian churches?

Conversely, are there gender-mixed (seatings) in any Judaic, Hindu or Islamic congregation?

I must say, I actually like it gender segregated at this point of my life.
And my voice blends in better too.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 

Well, asking do I want to change gender would be the physical transformantion. That is one option, and there is a 3rd gender role - even sects to gain enlightenment in the Eastern religions.
I'm sure it has happened, but here I've never seen a Westerner become a "hijra" or follow those roles.
For Hare Krishna, our point was to re-direct our desires and eventually to lose all material desire in any case.
To make the body "male" or "female" is ultimately false consciousnnes.



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

Hijras dance and bless an Indian wedding.
Hijras were born male and can range from transvestites to eunuchs.
Despite the British colonial attempt to ban the Hijras from previous esteemed roles, their religious roles in weddings has never faded.
Quite interesting to compare the male/female/Hijra role.
www.youtube.com...




[edit on 5-9-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


Can they be transexuals or hermaprhodites, as well ?

Because the one in the orange sari appears to have real breasts.



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