I just watched an amazing display of athleticism and skill, the video shared by a Christian educator whose faith I know well and whom I respect greatly as one of the few teachers who bothered to actually see me. I say this not to call out the person who shared the video, but to clarify that this is merely background information to set up my inquiry.
The demonstration was given by a person wearing what can be kindly described as minimalist swimwear, equipped only with body, mind, musical accompaniment, and a vertical pole affixed in the center of a viewing area.
It occurs to me to ask why no one is decrying the performance as immodest, obscene, too sexual, etc, or bemoaning the effect it's viewing might have on the libido/impure thoughts of our impressionable youth? Why is no one getting the vapors over the athlete's copious amounts of exposed skin or minimally covered naughty bits?
Oh, that's right . . . it's a guy. Now, because the athlete is male, it's a sport (it's called Mallakhamba, click for the nifty history). Because the athlete is male, it is #SafeForWork, suitable for sharing on social media, and completely appropriate for viewing by family members of all ages.
It actually is all of those things so far as I care, that's not what I'm being sarcastic about, just to clarify. I'm being just a teensy bit snarky over the undeniable fact that if the same Christian educator had shared the same video of a female clad in similarly minimal attire, all other factors being the same, a lot of people we both know would be losing their damn minds racing to light the torch and raise the pitchfork. Because, it's a girl! Too much skin!! Too much sexy!!! How dare she move her body in such a sensual, eye-catching way in a public place! How could you share such an inappropriate video?!?! There are CHILDREN watching!!! WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!?!?
This is why #INeedFeminism, people. Because two otherwise identical athletic performances would be judged with wildly differing attitudes based solely on the physical sex of the athlete. This is why I have made conscious effort to get over modesty programming and gender-shame from the world I grew up in, because there are far too many situations where those rules only apply because I was not born with a penis. This is why I minimize gender-stereotypical toys and clothing for my children, and will NOT be teaching my daughter that her value as a person is dependent on whether or not she has had vaginal intercourse with a man, nor teaching my son that he is a slave to his eyes, hormones, or the awesome power of The Magical Vagina.
I'm not mad. I'm not even upset. I'm just pointing out . . . if that were a female, people would be going absolutely crazy trying to shove a really impressive performance behind the curtain of "That's Not Appropriate".
Well . . . Appropriate is boring, and I've seen girls do it better.
Oh, the video? Here ya go… the original user shared it as Public and has numerous similar presentations on YouTube, so I don't feel badly linking to this one on Facebook.
Sabado Gigante Mallakhamba
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming of baby cuteness.