Monday, December 6, 2010

Sissy Bounce

I forgot about the blog deadline, so I do hope I met the quota, but I've been intending to make this post for two weeks now anyway. Context: a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were talking about how we were going to work out our cross-country drive from here to Tucson when I finally permanently move there and we decided we wanted to take a fifteen mile detour on I-10 to New Orleans. The second I said that, we started a rapid-fire back and forth of things we wanted to do, and one of the things he said he absolutely could not miss was "sissy bounce." I looked at him like he was an alien and asked for an explanation, and he directed me to Google.

Here's what I came up with: "Take some of the most hypersexual bump-and-grind you can imagine, remove everything but the sexed-up chorus, speed it up, and then remove the sexual identity of the artist performing it. What, what? That’s right. Sissy Bounce artists are purposely androgynous, sometimes referred to as queer, sometimes transgendered, a very direct intent is to fuck with people’s heads about sexuality. It’s easy to relate, or be offended when you see one sex singing about the other. But with Sissy Bounce you have no idea. This makes the performances just as important as the music itself, which is perhaps why it’s stayed locked down for so long."

I find the idea of taking the gender out of the context completely so fascinating. It's not a performance art based on hyper-masculine stereotypes, as we saw played upon in Venus Boyz, or campy drag performances, as in basically every Pride Parade ever, or even "passing" for either gender. It's entirely predicated on the idea that you will never be able to tell, and therefore the art speaks for itself, taken out of the paradigm of gender role expectations, male or female. And because I believe that the further along we are in women's liberation, the more readily apparent it is that men are still tied to the social expectations for acceptable behavior, I find this especially transgressive, but also promising, in terms of turning attitudes on their heads. Anyway, it's apparently really big in New Orleans and I think it would be a fascinating thing to watch. Also, the title is linked to the first article and group of videos I found, so if you're curious, I would start there.

1 comment:

the attendant. said...

this is really cool.

". I don’t think black folk in hip hop or rap are any more homophobic or misogynistic then their non-black counterparts. When you are dealing with a community whose sexuality has been pathologized from public policy to the medical field is it no wonder that some people prefer discretion? You could say that all black sexualities and genders are queer in that they do not fit into dominant models of what is normal. Not that it has been completely easy for “sissies” in New Orleans, I think that when it comes down to it family is family.

indeed. thanks for posting this is awesome. :)