I stumbled across an article on the BBC website here, which discusses the increase in popularity of burlesque in the mainstream, as well the debate over license issues.
I found these quotes interesting at the bottom, from 'feminist journalist' Laurie Penny(who did perform in a burlesque troop)
'Many of these naked women trill that they are not getting it out for the lads, this is about sisterhood. But bottoms, bottoms, everywhere, fuels the fixation on the female form — not men's obsession but women's.'
'Besides, there are more-pressing battles for women which would be better fought with our clothes on. When the boardrooms of the biggest companies are still boys' clubs, when women earn less than men for the same work and gender inequalities persist in the home, is the feminist cause really best served by posing as God intended?'
I'm still toying with her closing statement. I agree with her, that we still have a way to go. But I'm not sure that they have to be exclusive from each other. I may return to this post once I have mulled it all over a little more!
Returning to the original article here, Laurie Penny says that perhaps the only difference between stripping and burlesque is class (and/or money). Controversial! And almost worthy of a separate post of its own!
I love burlesque, and I love meeting the performers as well as the audiences, all of whom seem to gain a lot from it - as do I. I have only benefited from my trips into the world of burlesque (and I'm not a performer), but I do find these differing opinions interesting, and certainly worth a pause for thought. It is always good to challenge things we believe in!