I’ve always been fascinated with the role of women and girls as entertainment. Having little interest in science and math and far more curiosity with music, dance and drama, I found the idea of a young woman being trained in the arts to be one that was not degrading but instead a form of honor. How lucky was one to be a woman! To read all day and dance and play music! The men had to work and toil and labor and build the world and be useful, but the women could indulge their creative sides in the kitchen, with needlepoint, home decor, fashion design, singing lessons!
Of course, this was my imagination and as I grew older and developed more interests, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve learned and contributed to society with my skills in other areas, including business and science. But I’ve always had a positive opinion of the idea of women entertaining men, either for amusement or seduction, through dance, music and poetry. To me, this encompassed all of the quintessentially feminine traits of beauty, grace, charm, creative flair, imagination and style in an event that by all accounts would be enjoyable to all.
The idea that these events were for male pleasure only seemed misinformed and closed-minded. After all, women love attention. From a young age, girls are thrilled by the opportunity to spin and leap around with all eyes on her. And if the attention of one is good, then the attention of many is even better! To gain that attention for your talent, beauty and charm is a high honor!
From the role of the seductive and mysterious Japanese Geisha to the modern pole dancer, there is a common theme of the beautiful woman as entertainment to the delight of a male audience. Of course there are more elegant forms and more crass forms of this entertainment, but the purpose is the same: to display the beauty, talent and grace of a woman for the visual and mental stimulation of a male audience. The woman, who most likely, enjoys the attention and praise, is given the opportunity to have all eyes on her. The men, who love the spectacle, have the opportunity to be treated to her talents, to be entertained and amused by her. Happy men who love women, love to be amused by them. Men who dislike women have disdain for them and would never enjoy the show. But a happy man who loves women would be completely engaged in the performance, his mind and imagination stimulated by her movements and beauty.
And of course, the more talented the dancer, the more exclusive she became. Her status elevated and she was in more demand. The more successful and powerful the man, the more he could demand a smaller audience or even a private audience.
I’m sure there’s a dark side to all this but in its essence, the idea of women delighting, inspiring, amusing and entertaining powerful, appreciative men has been a fascination and love of mine.
There are many exchanges in life, most are unspoken. The exchanges that make us feel good and loved and appreciated are the best. In these performances, the natural exchange is for the woman to feel adored and appreciated by the excess of attention while the man feels honored and amused for his pleasure and entertainment. Men love to feel like kings. And when they feel like kings they most often respond generously.
So perhaps you would understand my horror and disgust at the latest trend of men performing for the pleasure and entertainment of women. I’ve never understood the male stripper. He holds no fascination for me. As I’ve written about before, female sexuality is more mental than visual. A poet or a singer will seduce the mind to greater heights of ecstasy and fascination than a meathead in a thong. But that’s besides the point. Male strippers aren’t that new. What is new is the idea of men entertaining women in such a way that her status and role is elevated to a king like level. She looks onto the stage to be pleased and amused. For entertainment purposes, this is fine. I’m not that backwards, but when this happens at weddings it’s such a visceral turn off to me.
First of all, the wedding is about the couple. There is really no need for “entertainment” is there? The wedding itself is the entertainment. Observing their love and joy is the spectacle. The music and dancing are for celebration! I don’t see that as entertainment. Weddings are now complete performance of love, as opposed to actual genuine displays of love.
The biggest trend these days is now for the groom and his groomsmen to prepare an elaborate Geisha -like dance for the pleasure and amusement of the King Bride. First we had the insane spectacles of the flash mob proposal where an intimate expression of love and devotion was turned into a high stakes spectacle. Now we have men as geisha’s performing for the attention and affection of his bride. Geishas in the current year are men and grooms and groomsmen. The wedding caters to the bride’s ego and status and reduces what was once a celebration of love into a spectacle of performance art.
It appears this is now the level of effort needed to attract and retain the attention of the modern king bride. Love as performance has hit the stage. If your love is well orchestrated, choreographed, entertaining and viral video worthy then so must be your love. And if the man is entertaining, amusing, coordinated and prostrates himself for his king bride’s entertainment, he may be deserving of her hand!
Perhaps it is my romanticized notion of the dance of seduction and of the idea that love and intimacy are private endeavors that has created such a reaction to these spectacles in my mind. I feel embarrassed for the groom. I feel concerned for the state of relationships and marriage where the couple is abandoned, the man is supplicated to the bride, love is performance and everything is done for the status, attention and viral clicks of an audience as opposed to a celebration of love and devotion.