A Personal Feminist Theory of Belly Dance

Shanazel

Super Moderator
This is quite lengthy and I am still reading it myself. Would be interested to hear what thoughts this article inspires in other dancers.

[video]http://nadiadenov.weebly.com/a-personal-feminist-theory-of-belly-dance.html[/video]
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Honestly? At the risk of sounding unsophisticated and ignorant, it made my brain hurt. :( I can kind of see where the writer was coming from, but there were just way too many factors for me to take in all at once. I'm not trying to prove anything, I just want to learn and share this wonderful dance I've loved since I was a little girl. :(
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Honestly? At the risk of sounding unsophisticated and ignorant, it made my brain hurt. :( I can kind of see where the writer was coming from, but there were just way too many factors for me to take in all at once. I'm not trying to prove anything, I just want to learn and share this wonderful dance I've loved since I was a little girl. :(
Pretty much this. I consider myself to be at the very least "feminist friendly", being all for gender equality, etc, etc, blah, blah. But this article overthinks the whole thing, methinks. Makes my brain feel like its stuffed with cotton. And I'm always wary of anyone who quotes Buonaventura, but that's just me.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Well, thank goodness. I thought it was just my poor aging brain that couldn't follow it. To tell the truth, I finally gave up and was hoping someone could give me the Cliff Notes version. :)
 

Roshanna

New member
B-Buona-WHO? o_0

:/
Wendy Buonaventura, author of 'Serpent of the Nile', a book notable for its creative approach to evidence (i.e. she often doesn't have any at all to back up her claims), and for presenting opinions as facts throughout. It's poorly researched, inaccurate, and propagates loads of myths, but gets quoted as if it's a reliable source all the damn time because she managed to get it published by a proper publisher and it's a pretty shiny book with nice pictures.
 
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Darshiva

Moderator
Wendy Buonaventura, author of 'Serpent of the Nile', a book notable for its creative approach to evidence (i.e. she often doesn't have any at all to back up her claims), and for presenting opinions as facts throughout. It's poorly researched, inaccurate, and propagates loads of myths, but gets quoted as if it's a reliable source all the damn time because she managed to get it published by a proper publisher and it's a pretty shiny book with nice pictures.
It's a GREAT coffee table book. :)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Also if you soak the pages in a solution of sodium chromate, it will burn for hours with a lovely turquoise flame.
 

Duvet

New member
Her thoughts on bellydance as a route to empowerment for women (as victims of patriarchal, colonial or sexist powers - secular or religious).

But it seems a bit confused at times. She wants to authentically represent the dance and use it to highlight the plight of women in Islam (or women in general), but wants to draw back from the idea that she is identifying with or being politically activist over the Islamic culture. She wishes to be 'authentic' so as not to appear culturally appropriating the dance, but acknowledges that bellydance is largely an invention to satisfy Western ideals. She wants to acknowledge that belly dance has roots in sexuality, but doesn't want it to sexualise the body. Plus there is no mention of bellydance other than as a female solo public performance - which is largely a recent, Western invention, and certainly not the only way to enjoy it.
 

Duvet

New member
Wendy Buonaventura, author of 'Serpent of the Nile', a book notable for its creative approach to evidence (i.e. she often doesn't have any at all to back up her claims), and for presenting opinions as facts throughout. It's poorly researched, inaccurate, and propagates loads of myths, but gets quoted as if it's a reliable source all the damn time because she managed to get it published by a proper publisher and it's a pretty shiny book with nice pictures.
It's got very nice picture in it - which was its main attraction for me. The ideas it claims are interesting as Wendy Buonaventura personal view on the dance, and as with most personal views, you can take it or leave it or adapt it to suit your own. Much as you can with the OP article.
 

Roshanna

New member
I finally read the whole article. First thoughts: It could really have done with proofreading (my favourite error was 'Bedouin of the dessert'), and with breaking up into clearly defined sections.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
You did better than I did. The initial idea was interesting but I bogged down and finally gave up.
 

Zumarrad

Member
I've only skimmed it but it reads very much like an undergraduate essay, or perhaps a research note, with too much stuff in it and not enough focus, vague conclusions and, possibly, misattribution of some of Sunaina Maira's observations to Amira Jamarkani (because I don't recall Jamarkani writing about the horror of white BDers dancing to South Asian music, whereas I do recall Maira doing so).

She's writing in a second language, mind.

It seems like a decent first stab that needs a lot of work.
 
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