A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

My Photo
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Shoes

Tomorrow is my first bartending gig. I have to wear a white shirt, black pants, and black shoes. I think these just-purchased oxfords will be the perfect footwear.

Supremely comfortable, made in Italy, and only $3 at my favorite store--I would have bought them anyway. I've been very tempted lately to start dressing like a man. Not all the time--just once or twice as an experiment. Ever since I learned about Diane Torr and her workshops, I've been intrigued by the idea.

Torr teaches a one-day "Drag King Workshop" for women, usually in New York City. In the workshop, "women will learn how to walk, talk, take up space, and assume the sense of privilege and entitlement that goes along with the male gender."

Before the workshop, each participant is expected to think carefully about the kind of man she would like to become. Also about her reasons for wanting to develop this male alter ego. It might be for career advancement, to be taken seriously when buying a new car, or just to experience first-hand how differently the world treats a man.

For the workshop, Torr or a makeup artist gives each woman a makeover, providing "mustaches, beards, sideburns, etc. according to the needs of each gentleman." Each participant must bring, in addition to the clothes needed for her male persona, "hairgel, wide bandage to bind breasts (if needed), and fake penis." She gives suggestions as to how to fashion this last item.

After discussion, the makeovers, and some practice interacting with other participants, everyone goes to a public place to test their new identities. One participant said, "I have learned more in this 6 hour workshop than I have from 20 years of reading feminist theory."

Torr doesn't hold these workshops during the summer months. And I don't have the money to attend one anyway. For now, I'll just be taking a baby step or two in my new shoes.


Post a Comment

<< Home