Category Archives: Just Plain Silly

Melody Hensley and PTSD

I’m trying to figure this one out. And I admit that it may be an exercise of futility. However…

As a survivor of physical abuse when I was young, there are very specific scenarios I avoid so as to not trigger what I consider major panic attacks.

As a survivor of rape prior to going to Army basic training, there are very specific areas/places I avoid so as not to trigger what possibly could be considered PTSD (I’ve never been diagnosed with such so I won’t insult people by saying I have it).

Friends of mine with diagnosed PTSD actively avoid things, places, scenarios, etc. that will trigger episodes for them.

On the other hand, Melody Hensley specifically states that she has diagnosed PTSD from social media and yet constantly utilizes social media all the while vocalizing how bad her PTSD is from these social media sites.

Does anyone wonder why I smell a “professional victim” rat?

(for those who haven’t been following this story – http://twitter.com/MelodyHensley)

Stop Dancing Ballet – You’re Appropriating Italian Culture!

While I love my new position, it has me up in the wee hours of the morning. Even on weekends I can’t seem to sleep past 4 am. So, here I am. Perusing the Internet and generally messing about on social media. This morning I happened across this article – “Why I Can’t Stand White Belly Dancers“. As Salon.com has been slowly degenerating recently, I wouldn’t normally read a bit posted to their site. But I have to admit that the title intrigued me. I forced myself to read the author’s rant in its entirety. Here’s a little snip:

“One of the most awkward occurrences for me when I go out to an Arabic restaurant is the portion of the evening when the white belly dancer comes out. This usually happens on weekends, and I’ve learned to avoid those spaces then, but sometimes I forget. The last time I forgot, a white woman came out in Arab drag — because that’s what that is, when a person who’s not Arab wears genie pants and a bra and heavy eye makeup and Arabic jewelry, or jewelry that is meant to read as “Arabic” because it’s metallic and shiny and has squiggles of some kind — and began to belly-dance. She was not a terrible belly dancer. But she was incredibly thin and didn’t remind me, in any way, of Tahia Karioca or Hind Rostom or my absolute favorite Raqs Sharqi dancer, Fifi Abdo.”

It occurs to me that there are many dances that are performed by people in different countries that aren’t the originating country. Cases in point – the waltz, the tango, the rumba, and ballet (Vienna/Austria, Argentina, Cuba, and Italy respectively). Imagine if we took the author’s article and replaced “belly dancing” with “ballet” and stated all people who dance ballet are racist:

“These women are more interested in their investment in belly dancing than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.”

Becomes:

“These women are more interested in their investment in ballet than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.”

And:

“When I have argued, online and in person, with white women belly dancers, they have assured me that they learned to dance from Arab women and brown women. This is supposed to make the transaction OK. Instead, I point out that all this means is that it is perfectly all right with these teachers that their financial well-being is based on self-exploitation.”

Becomes:

“When I have argued, online and in person, with white women ballerinas, they have assured me that they learned to dance from Italian women. This is supposed to make the transaction OK. Instead, I point out that all this means is that it is perfectly all right with these teachers that their financial well-being is based on self-exploitation.”

Sound ridiculous? It should. An appreciation of an art form is not an appropriation. Randa Jarrar comes across as a racist in this article and nothing more.