Thursday, March 16, 2006

New University Course : Burlesque 101

I've been reading papers online since I don't have television in the house. Not that television provides adequate news most of the time anyhow.

I found this interesting piece on burlesque and it always makes me think about starting a big girl burlesque group. There are several in the country. All very hot. I saw one in San Fran at last summer's dyke march.

But there's also this incredibly troubling news about shaving money from minority scholarships for those who don't identify as such. It's amazing to me how universities, once viewed as spaces where future thought on changes to our society were bred, are now anticipating government's condemnation by actively modifying their scholarship programming to avoid the very necessary leveling of access to education and experience for all our people.

The institutions are reacting to two 2003 Supreme Court cases on using race in admissions at the University of Michigan. Although the cases did not ban using race in admissions to higher education, they did leave the state of the law unclear, and with the changing composition of the court, some university and college officials fear legal challenges.

Talk about the personal being political. Maybe universities shouldn't just keep teaching about how race is a social construct and instead look to truly living that belief. If scholarships didn't focus on race but chose other unique characteristics this might not be happening at all. But because of this even those who are differently gendered (i.e. women) wouldn't also have their scholarships given to those who don't identify as women.

In some spaces, like burlesque schools and shows, those who are distinct are taught to play up those differences. In others, like universities around the country, being different once again means we are calling attention to ourselves and don't deserve "special treatment".

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