The tango that they dance in Argentina is a very, very different dance than you might see on Dancing with the Stars.  It’s highly improvisational, and allows not only the leader, but also the follower, to make artistic decisions.  Everything is communicated between the partners through physical contact, whether it’s a slight shift of the shared center of balance, or physically pushing with hands, feet, or legs.  One guy that I taught tango to, who was into martial arts, commented that Argentine tango is very much like judo, except that the object is to NOT fall down.

Here are Miguel Angel Zotto and Milena Plebs dancing to “Gallo Ciego”, by Osvaldo Pugliese.  By where they put little flourishes with their feet, you can tell they’re very familiar with this particular recording of this particular song, but the steps they do together could all be communicated with lead and follow, no need for pre-planned choreography.

 

One particularly interesting thing about Argentine tango is that because of its origins in a time and place where men significantly outnumbered available women, there’s also a tradition of men dancing with men, without any gay connotation to it – not that gay guys don’t dance tango together nowadays and make it very, very homoerotic.  Here are brothers Enrique and Guillermo De Fazio, dancing a milonga – a country dance that was one of the precursors of tango.  It uses many of the same steps as tango, but goes a whole heck of a lot faster.  Because they do break apart a fair amount, some of this performance probably had to be pre-choreographed.  Note how every once in a while they’ll trade who’s leading and who’s following.  Enjoy the hot guy-on-guy milonga action!

 

Because tango music is in four beats per measure, you can actually dance it to any music that’s in a multiple of four.  Here, a fan has taken an Argentine tango video, and redubbed it with VNV Nation (the band I introduced you to last week), and it works.  In “real life” it’s hard to dance tango to industrial music, because when you go to venues where they play industrial music, you usually wear big, stompy boots, and they tend to be too grippy to spin well.
  

Part of the reason why feminist analysis is such a valuable tool is that FA deconstructs and identifies the constructed norms of society and rightly points out how craptacular said norms are for women.

So, dudes, a glimpse into the faux-egalitarian society you’ve created and learn the implied lesson of “don’t be that guy” – thanks in advance for being a better person.

 

Oh, hey did you need more evidence of the power imbalance in society?  Take a look at the comments section and count how many responses with the motif : If you dress a certain way you are asking for it.

How reading ytube comments makes me feel:

Killallthemenz

Talk about unintended veracity.

Talk about unintended veracity.

 

Fascinating don’t you think?

Consider the neat way this dovetails into how relationships in our society are structured and the expectations placed upon those who are male and those who are female.

Pro-tip:  The deformed cup or one that isn’t complete without the other is where you should start your discussion blaming. :)

 

 

 

Two very interesting articles about police conduct came out this week, particularly interesting if you juxtapose them.

Ferguson and the cult of compliance

In cases that seem very different, separated by factors such as age, race, gender, sexuality, geography, class and ability, police explain away their actions by citing noncompliance. They do it because it works. They do it because according to their beliefs, any sign of noncompliance is an invitation to strike.

First, we have to recognize the common denominators in many of these incidents: that people who die at the hands of the police don’t obey commands and that the police initiate violence, despite there being no imminent threat to their safety.

Brown’s story is now well known. According to an eyewitness, a police officer told Brown, an 18-year-old black man, to “get the f— onto the sidewalk.” He didn’t comply, the incident escalated, and he got shot repeatedly.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of similar examples in which noncompliance led to violence. Ersula Ore, a black woman in Arizona refused to hand over her ID and was flung to the ground. A drunk woman in Skokie, Illinois, didn’t look into the camera when being booked, so the police threw her onto a bench, breaking her face. They claimed she was resisting arrest.

Some victims — Eric Garner, James Boyd and Nicholas Davis, to name just a few — die. Others, such as Antonio Martinez, just get beaten. Every time, the police explain their conduct by citing noncompliance. Cameras can provide a counternarrative to police tales of noncompliance, showing that Garner was peaceful and that Ore was a professor on her own campus.

But here’s the worst thing: Most of the victims of this cult of compliance are invisible. They receive no media coverage. Their stories get buried in plea deals. They are told that fighting bogus charges will just make matters worse. When police violence targets people who have suffered it for so long, it takes something unusual to bring it to light.

And then, written by a senior police officer involved in training other officers:

I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.

…officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public’s, safety.

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.

And the flipside of the cult of compliance: On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodgers killed six people and wounded thirteen others before taking his own life. It all could have been stopped on April 30, when police responded to concerns from Rodgers’ family about his social media posts. Rodgers was polite and compliant, telling the officers “it was a misunderstanding and that he was not going to hurt anyone or himself. Rodger said he was having troubles with his social life.” The officers determined he did not present a threat, called his mother to reassure her, and left.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this… On the one hand, it’s super-hard being a cop, I won’t deny that. Any mistake you make, whether it’s reacting too much or too little, can get people killed. On the other, clearly whether or not a person instantly and cheerfully submits, is an utterly piss-poor indication of a person’s threat level. And enforcing the law is not the same thing as demanding instant submission.

I remember as a child, being taught that the police were there to protect me. I lost that belief a long time ago. I wonder how much worse it must be for people who aren’t white and affluent-looking.

Anti-rape education is making poor frat-boys’ penises sad, according to this article at Bloomberg.

…making out with a girl at a party. Things were going fine, the student said, when suddenly a vision of his school’s disciplinary board flew into his head.

“‘I want to go to law school or medical school after this,’” Pollack said, recounting the student’s comments. “‘I said to her, it’s been nice seeing you.’”

OK, if the disciplinary board is flashing into your head, chances are it’s because you know something’s not right. It’s too bad fear for your future, and not, you know, empathy or human decency, made you back off, but I’m sure the woman in question appreciates it.

“I don’t think it’s about me,” said Gill, the Harvard student. “I feel like I’m pretty good guy. But if I’m talking to a girl and want to gauge her interest, I’m more cautious than I used to be. I don’t want to cross the line.”

And this is a bad thing?!

Some men feel that too much responsibility for preventing sexual assault has been put on their shoulders, said Chris Herries, a senior at Stanford University. While everyone condemns sexual assault, there seems to be an assumption among female students that they shouldn’t have to protect themselves by avoiding drunkenness and other risky behaviors, he said.

“Do I deserve to have my bike stolen if I leave it unlocked on the quad?” Herries, 22, said. “We have to encourage people not to take on undue risk.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. Let’s talk about undue risks here. Back in the day, I used to be a goth/punk/alternative club-girl. I used to go out dressed super-provocatively, and dance provocatively, and drink – sometimes too much – and sometimes go home with people I met at the club and we would have consensual sex. I never got raped. In fact, I don’t even recall having been touched inappropriately without my consent. And we’re talking about a period of several years, here.

Why was “my” club a safe place for women to express our sexuality? Because, simply put, the culture there was a culture of consent and mutual respect. Things like coming up behind a woman, grabbing her by the hips, and grinding against her, were Simply Not Done, and the social opprobium unleashed on anybody who tried it (“normal” bro-dudes out to slum with the weirdos and ogle girls in corsets) put a very swift end to it, and to the perpetrator’s presence in the club.

But you know what? None of this put any kind of damper on people hooking up. So suck it up, poor poor fratboys of Stanford and Harvard, and learn to tell the difference between a woman who wants to make out with you, and a woman who was happily minding her own business before you imposed your unwelcome person on her. I assure you, it’s really not complicated, as long as you’re not an entitled flaming douchebag who thinks your boner makes everything you do morally ok.

DarkMatter2525 has produced many videos that highlight the shortcomings of religion, in this video we see how things started with, of all things, a sociological thought experiment.

http://youtu.be/pA5PlJiqOnk

I’m not sure how many people would pass this particular test as stated, but more power to them.

 

 

When Shadow asks me for something, I’ll often make her earn whatever it is she wants by asking her to sit or lie down or shake a paw. Apparently ‘lie down’ is my favourite, because lately she’ll come boop me with her nose and make want-noises, then immediately lie down while giving her best puppydog eyes. Note also the blurry wagging tail. (In this picture she had just booped me to remind me it was her dinner time.)

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amateur poetry and prose. i prefer to use a pencil as a weapon than write with it.

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