On being Boddhisattva of the gender non-Euclidean

(inspired by Sarah Dopp)

If gender hath its own geometry,
its Euclidean arc the eye can mark,
then the non-Euclidean girl or guy
may also some new queer discussion spark.

If boddhisattva be what you are called,
it's not a label I'd consider dumb
for those Nirvana-bound are not at fault
for existing in that continuum

So those who classify and catalog
all people as they live and love and play
with every Twitter or post to their blog
they doth inform and lighten others' way,

thus broader bound be how we all exist,
how we are kith and kin, but also kissed.

Give this post a soundtrack

[…] The mini-fad for referencing turn-of-the-'90s hip-hop may just be
an accident; the samples Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and Musiq Soulchild employ
have been mined by other artists, including Nelly and Ini Kamoze.

But
by vocalizing these hooks instead of just interpolating them, the
younger artists claim a legacy. Lloyd and the members of Pretty Ricky
were barely in grade school when Salt-N-Pepa and PM Dawn were at their
peak; Musiq probably admired De La Soul as a teen. This music echoes
forth like a favorite children's story, a hint of a more innocent, if
not simpler, time.

Perhaps the pumped-up Lotharios of today
want a break from all the bump and grind, and dream of eroticism as a
realm that celebrates not just performance, but as Prince Paul said,
bodies of all kinds.

"The talk turns suggestive," Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times

[…] During her '90s crusade against rap's habit of degrading women, the
late black activist C. Dolores Tucker certainly had few allies within
the hip-hop community, or even among young black women. Backed by folks
like conservative Republican William Bennett, Tucker was vilified
within rap circles.

In retrospect, "many of us weren't
listening," says Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, a professor at
Vanderbilt University and author of the new book "Pimps Up, Ho's Down:
Hip-Hop's Hold On Young Black Women."

"She was onto something,
but most of us said, 'They're not calling me a bitch, they're not
talking about me, they're talking about THOSE women.' But then it
became clear that, you know what? Those women can be any women." […]

"Has rap music hit a wall?" Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Associated Press

[…] Local hip-hop artists Boots Riley from the Coup and rapper and producer
Kirby Dominant express reservations about hip-hop university classes. "One
time, someone came up to me, and said, 'I know so-and-so, they're a professor
at Harvard, they're a big fan of your work,' " Riley says in a phone interview.
"But that doesn't impress me more than any other people feeling that way. I
don't need to be validated by academia because that presupposes that academia
is a pure endeavor and not guided by market forces, which is not the case.

"Anthropology, for instance, was all about studying the natives so they
could figure out how to control them. Again, the natives are being studied."

Dominant, a UC Berkeley alumnus who actually attended the much-publicized
class on Shakur in the late '90s, says that he finds value in hip-hop studies,
provided they take the long view. "With hip-hop and all black music, you can't
talk about the art separate from a lot of other things," he says. "You can't
talk about hip-hop as an art form without talking about the people, the
economics, how and why it was made. You have to be pretty thorough." […]

"Academic hip-hop? Yes, yes, y'all" Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle

Popozuda and circumstance

“The reasons are purely aesthetic, not medical, especially for women. They want to get thin no matter what, all
because of images from north of the Equator. It is a cruel cultural
imposition on the Brazilian woman.”


Dr. Elisaldo de
Araújo Carlini, "a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo
."

“To be fat used to be considered wonderful in Brazil, because it
showed that you eat very well, which is important to Brazilians. That you have three meals a day and eat
meat and beans, calmly, at a table with friends and relatives, means
that someone is taking good care of you.”

Roberto da Matta, "an anthropologist and newspaper columnist who is a leading social commentator."


“Those huge breasts you see in the United States, like in Playboy, were
always considered ridiculous in Brazil. But there is now more of a
tendency than before to want breasts that are a bit larger — not to
make them huge, mind you, but more proportional as part of a body that
is more svelte and more athletic.”

<

p style=”text-align: right”>Ivo Pitanguy, "the
country’s most renowned plastic surgeon."

“This abrupt shift is a feminine
decision that reflects changing roles […] Men are still resisting and clearly
prefer the rounder, fleshier type. But women want to be free and
powerful, and one way to reject submission is to adopt these
international standards that have nothing to do with Brazilian society.”

Mary del Priore, "a historian and co-author of 'The History of Private Life in Brazil'"

Larry Rohter, New York Times, "In the Land of Bold Beauty, a Trusted Mirror Cracks"

All ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

[…] There is one moment in my teenage years when I remember being
ethnically accepted. I was shopping for a television with my father at
Price Club, when one of the salespeople, who was Latina, mistook us for
her peers and graciously — in Spanish — told us that the TV we were
interested in would be on sale in two weeks. It seemed as though she
was giving us the inside scoop because we were comrades, members of the
same club. Luckily, I'd taken about five years' worth of Spanish, so I
got the gist of what she was saying. We came back in two weeks and got
the TV for 15 percent off. And it felt great. […]

Kevin Sintumuang's "The Curly Cue"

[…] The 34F does not mess around. It might look like the curtains, but
it is made of chicken wire and upholstery. You would lose a fight with
this bra. It is the Rambo of bras. But for all its toughness, it still
exudes a come-to-Grandma sexiness.

Still, it's mine now, and I am
at peace. And not, as some people think, in pain. I am architecturally
sound — tall and broad-shouldered and hippy enough to have basic
structural integrity, with triangulate distribution of weight-bearing
loads. The edifice is sturdy. The center can hold. So, no, there is no
need for surgery. There's only one way out of this, and that is down. […]

Rachel Manteuffel's "Getting an 'F' in Biology"

[…] So, on the one hand, I'll never know what Julia Roberts looks like.
On the other, I loved when, during a viewing of "Erin Brockovich," my
wife leaned close and said, "Oh, I wish you could see what they've done
with Julia Roberts's cleavage." I admit that I will always have to
imagine Ms. Roberts's achievement. But I do have a good imagination. I
don't mind the work.

I get turned on by your accent, your
fragrance, your laugh, your enthusiasm for almost anything. Strictly
speaking, I don't even know what my wife looks like. Instead, I live
for the thrill of the touch of her lips, and my hands are privileged to
see her. My wife lives in a luminous blue corona of light, and that is
good enough for me. […]

Stephen Kuusisto's "The Beauty Myth"

[…] What's more, beauty is now a mass phenomenon, almost as ubiquitous
as electricity or water. Hard to remember, but high-speed, high-quality
color printing is only about 50 years old (the same is true for color
television). Our world, in which ordinary people view hundreds of
lifelike, full-color, drop-dead gorgeous images daily, is entirely the
product of that brief period. For most of history, ordinary people saw
few, if any, deliberately beautiful images in their entire lives.
Paintings and sculptures were for palaces and cathedrals; most human
beings until recently lived on farms or in isolated villages. If they
visited town and saw a beautiful statue in the square, the sheer rarity
of that experience would heighten the sense that this beauty was in no
way related to their common lives.

Now, movies and television
give us beauty as an everyday experience. We watch stories set in
offices, schools, hospitals, neighborhoods just like the ones we
inhabit ourselves. We're encouraged to relate as peers to the beautiful
people who act out these stories. That's my life up on the screen! Or,
I feel as if Julia Roberts and I could be best friends. Or, why can't
the boys at my school be more like Zack and Cody? Other media, using
still more beautiful models (airbrushed and Photoshopped), cheerfully
explain to us how to eat, exercise, dress and groom so that we can be
beautiful, too. […]

David von Drehle's "Looking Good" (with discussion)

[…] So, at this very moment, how do I appear to myself?

It's the
morning after my rendezvous in the kitchen with Stephen. In the door
mirror of our home office, I stand straight, feet together and
shoulders back. I see an attractive woman in a white linen blouse and
an apple green cardigan that fits her full bust to a T. The blazer
drapes gracefully over her waist. The skirt will soon sway like the
perfect pendulum over her ample hips. The sweet chocolate open-toed
wedgies on her feet keep her balanced. The look she gets from her
husband makes her late for work.

Carla Broyles' "A Well-Rounded Woman"

Look and feel

[…] In her book “Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality” (Harvard University
Press), Deborah Tolman, the director of the Center for Research on
Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University and a professor
of human sexuality studies there, found that some 30 teenage girls she
studied understood being sexy as “being sexy for someone else, not for
themselves,” she said.

When the girls were asked what makes
them feel sexy, they had difficulty answering, Dr. Tolman said, adding
that they heard the question as “What makes you look sexy?”

Many
women’s costumes, with their frilly baby-doll dresses and high-heeled
Mary Janes, also evoke male Lolita fantasies and reinforce the larger
cultural message that younger is hotter.

“It’s not a good long-term strategy for women,” Dr. Tolman said. […]

So that's settled, then: Tuesday after next, I'm passing out copies of Stephanie Rosenbloom's New York Times article "Good Girls Go Bad for a Day" in my naughty-schoolgirl outfit.

(Not necessarily humorless editor's note: An earlier version of this post was titled "Look and feel, aka "You can't say 'Halloween' without 'all-new hoe.' " No garden tools were harmed in the creation of the post.)

“What we’re trying to do is to tell them how to do it in the nicest possible manner.”

[…] The one-night-stand (ONS) is a bit like fast food: tempting, but with nauseating afterthoughts.

Make health and safety a priority. Always try to invite him back to
yours, but if you insist on playing away, text a friend to inform them
of your whereabouts.

Avoid dark-alley gropery, and unladylike fumbling in the back of a
cab. Once home, leave him to select a CD from your collection while you
embark on a turbo-tidy.

In the bedroom, forget about your normal night-time routine and
leave pyjamas in their drawer. Discuss the necessaries to avoid
planting any love children or disease, and you're away.

If you're at his, the ONS isn't over until the following morning's "walk of shame" home in last night's outfit.

Steel yourself and hold your head up high.

At yours, offer him breakfast and (assuming you want no more of him) say that your mother is on her way round. […]

That's from Guy Adams' Independent UK article "Girls' guide to a one-night stand" on an updated Debrett's etiquette guide.