Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves


places where men can transcend
November 4, 2012, 10:06 am
Filed under: media, performance

this is an article i wrote for another blog (a little while ago), but it was never published. I enjoyed the exercise of writing it and wanted to share it here to see what others think.  free free to share your critiques, comments and/ or concerns…

 

places where men can transcend
(c) 2012 by margaux delotte-bennett

So. I have this theory that males in the animal kingdom have the opportunity to show off, strut their stuff and be generally fabulous; and this is something that most male humans also long to do. The lion has the sexy, shaggy mane. The peacock’s feathers put the peahen’s soft down to shame. Horns, tusks and antlers even have the power to make me swoon… sometimes. This is just the way things are in the wild and we even have a funky term to describe it.

Dictionary.com defines sexual dimorphism (noun) as the condition in which males and females in a species are morphologically different, as in many birds. Writer Erae Nelsen explains in an online article that,
“Sexual dimorphism is the variation within a species between their genders. The differences are often in size and coloration though in more elaborate dimorphism there may be additional feathers, horns/tusks, and non-reproductive appendages.”
I am one who believes that we have never truly lived in a world that only exists with gender in a binary context, but that being said, what I want to focus on for this blog post are male humans in their peacock glory. I know that there are many who are content with looking like and acting like everyone else. But they are not my concern. As the Woolly Mammoth Theater community touts, I am concerned with those who defy convention and live out loud.

People are animals in need of spaces where we can be seen. Whether it be in all of our wacky wonder or simply while we are being our authentic selves. Fashion week, weddings, Quinceaneras, Sweet 16 parties and random Saturday nights are all opportunities where females of our species are able, allowed and encouraged to dress in ways that enable them to shine. Gold boots, feathers and spandex are not uncommon elements sighted at any of the aforementioned events.

Sadly for males, there are not so many comparable opportunities. I think for some men, funk music icons like George Clinton and Bootsy Collins were essential in making it ok to sometimes look a hot funky mess. Bold color, exotic facial hair and even a minimalist diaper worn on stage were all part and parcel of what made Funkadelic a safe space for gender exploration and explosion.

I have always believed that professional wrestling, specifically the brand I grew up with that provides the backdrop for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, was another safe space for men to be wild and free. Spandex is like a second skin and its color and texture are an extension of the spirit and power of the wearer. And even in those days, there were some wrestlers who just wore their wrestling briefs in black, blue or red. The ones who caught my attention were the gender transcending fellows who knew that shocking pink, leopard print tassels and a well placed feather boa also belonged in and around male spaces. As I prepared to write this post I reviewed a number of amazing images of Superfly Jimmie Snuke, Hulk Hogan and my hero, Machoman Randy Savage; all men with clear understandings of their place in the animal kingdom. Firmly situated amongst the “…additional feathers, horns/tusks, and non-reproductive appendages.”

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