There’s this little voice that pipes up when I see certain things, one that tells me some asshole is going to do their best to destroy this lovely thing I’m seeing.
Many years ago I went to an afternoon movie by myself. I even remember the movie: The Ruling Class, a dark comedy starring Peter O’Toole.
But although that movie made a deep impression on me itself, it was the short that preceded it that is important to this story. In it, a woman danced the tango.
The moment the woman appeared on the screen, I knew the men (well, probably boys, given this was next to the University of Texas campus and an afternoon show) were going to laugh.
And laugh they did.
The woman who danced was not skinny. She wasn’t fat, either, but she was buxom and curvy and in no way met the ideal of womanhood in the early 1970s or, in fact, in any part of my lifetime.
I suspect she met the ideal of womanhood in the place where the short was filmed, but since I do not remember anything about the film except a fleeting image of the woman herself, I can’t look that up.
She was a very talented and skilled dancer, but that didn’t matter. She wasn’t beautiful enough for the pleasure of the young men in our society.
I’d been around long enough by then to know what they would and wouldn’t find acceptable. It’s one of those things you learn early on if you’re raised female: how to predict what men will find attractive and what they’ll laugh at.
I felt the same thing when I saw the online clips of Lizzo playing the crystal flute from the Library of Congress collection. Continue reading “Lizzo and the Flute”…