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Thread started 07/06/17 12:38am

khill95

Death of Androgyny

I read somewhere a while back, I believe it said something on the lines of... with the death of Prince, came the death of the androgynous figure in mainstream black culture. Something like that. Obviously sad, cause...HE'S dead. But sad in the fact that, I really can't think of any black male stars alive that do the androgynous thing. And androgynous not just in the physical appearance, but in the way that they carry themself. A large majority of men nowadays are afraid of being seen as less than masculine, giving into their feminine side, being submissive. And I NEVER understood why we let it go that way. How is it that after the 80s with P and MJ being at the forefront of music, that we took a complete 180, started to look the other way again, and sort of, never really went back?

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Reply #1 posted 07/06/17 12:47am

embmmusic

Well Jaden Smith is genderfluid but I'm not sure how much I'd consider them mainstream.

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Reply #2 posted 07/06/17 1:20am

khill95

embmmusic said:

Well Jaden Smith is genderfluid but I'm not sure how much I'd consider them mainstream.


I'm talking more specifically musicians. And not just androgyny as in appearance, so Young Thug wearing a dress doesn't count.
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Reply #3 posted 07/06/17 2:23am

dreamshaman32

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Agenda:The hijacking of black culture through it's music and representation of the masculine and feminine image. Gangsta Rap reinstated the dangerous, hyper masculine/criminal image of black males and picked up where black exploitation films left off.However, it really doesn't matter whether our image is gangsta or gender fluid the bottom line is whenever you see us in media we are advancing someone else's will and political agenda.Prince was organically androgynous and will Smith's kid...is up to something.
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Reply #4 posted 07/06/17 2:28am

dreamshaman32

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Part of Tupacs appeal was that he was emotionally vulnerable, and had a volatility emblematic of black gen xers who were mostly fatherless. He was also crypto androgynous.
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Reply #5 posted 07/06/17 5:12am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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Prince is so Prince that is was no culture but his own. It was just Prince.
.
Who else black white mixed latino etc in Pop Musical culture/famous male who would have been considered Androgynous? And what period were they on the scene.

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the matter with your world
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Reply #6 posted 07/06/17 7:08am

embmmusic

OldFriends4Sale said:

Prince is so Prince that is was no culture but his own. It was just Prince.
.
Who else black white mixed latino etc in Pop Musical culture/famous male who would have been considered Androgynous? And what period were they on the scene.

Bowie

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Reply #7 posted 07/06/17 7:12am

poppys

Little Richard, Esquerita, James Booker, 1950s-80s.

Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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Reply #8 posted 07/06/17 7:46am

68686

Yes, I will say that Prince was Prince and so to call androginy a "thing" appears not genuine. I mean, Prince worked to have certain fashions made for him. He worked to have his make up be a certain way. He worked to have smooth moves be smoother through practice. He was on stage. He was a performer. He glanced around with his eyes in certain ways, knowing he was being watched. But at the end of the day, all of this is 'grouped together' as simply Prince being Prince. That's the message he was naturally giving out through his whole career. And thank goodness he could add that extra layer to it by encouraging others to do the same. To encourage others to be strong and don't walk on their side of the street.

I hear what you are saying. I think that we have some sort of "potential" individual to "tap into" as you say our feminine sides. And if that can be shown, then I think it would eventually start to flow naturally.

What suggestions do you have for people to find this side of them?

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Reply #9 posted 07/06/17 8:42am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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embmmusic said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Prince is so Prince that is was no culture but his own. It was just Prince.
.
Who else black white mixed latino etc in Pop Musical culture/famous male who would have been considered Androgynous? And what period were they on the scene.

Bowie

Yeah, but he was old school like Prince.
From a time when we had all those wonderfully colorful and 80% original people.
I mean are there any recent people in the last 15yrs?

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the matter with your world
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Reply #10 posted 07/06/17 8:44am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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moderator

poppys said:

Little Richard, Esquerita, James Booker, 1950s-80s.

Those people are not recent though.

That kind of 'entertanier' was not found much after the 80s I don't think.

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the matter with your world
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Reply #11 posted 07/06/17 9:12am

fen

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His work is darker, more angst-ridden and not really mainstream, but Tricky has explored notions of identity in interesting and authentic ways. Pre-Millennium Tension was a masterpiece in my view. I remember the critics drawing comparisons between him and Prince in the 90s (in their uniqueness and originality). He doesn’t seem to garner as much attention now, but he’s still working:

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Reply #12 posted 07/06/17 9:34am

fen

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dreamshaman32 said:

Agenda:The hijacking of black culture through it's music and representation of the masculine and feminine image. Gangsta Rap reinstated the dangerous, hyper masculine/criminal image of black males and picked up where black exploitation films left off.However, it really doesn't matter whether our image is gangsta or gender fluid the bottom line is whenever you see us in media we are advancing someone else's will and political agenda.Prince was organically androgynous and will Smith's kid...is up to something.



Thoughtful comments dreamshaman32. Not sure how well known he is beyond the UK, but this is one of the things that I like about Roots Manuva. There’s little of the hyper-masculine, capitalistic bravado that dominates mainstream hip-hop in his work, but rather honesty, vulnerability and a genuine spiritual yearning.



[Edited 7/6/17 9:35am]

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Reply #13 posted 07/06/17 9:36am

poppys

OldFriends4Sale said:

poppys said:

Little Richard, Esquerita, James Booker, 1950s-80s.

Those people are not recent though.

That kind of 'entertanier' was not found much after the 80s I don't think.

Prince was an entertainer who could do anything. They are the "old school" of Prince. Everyone adds their own. Little Richard was as big as James Brown. On TV all the time when I was a kid. Liberace too of course.


Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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Reply #14 posted 07/06/17 9:57am

fen

avatar

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Reply #15 posted 07/06/17 10:02am

jdcxc

Hip Hop's hyper masculinity is so stifling to arts and culture. Prince was a true gender revolutionary during a very conservative political period. It's ironic that following the Reagan years, it was the misogynistic rap culture that doomed his relevancy. I always believed his "Slave" period was a creative way to reclaim his lost edge.
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Reply #16 posted 07/06/17 10:19am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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moderator

poppys said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

Those people are not recent though.

That kind of 'entertanier' was not found much after the 80s I don't think.

Prince was an entertainer who could do anything. They are the "old school" of Prince. Everyone adds their own. Little Richard was as big as James Brown. On TV all the time when I was a kid. Liberace too of course.


Yep. Not knocking anyone recent, but the old school entertainers are/were like none other

What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In someone else's box?
Tell me, what's the matter with your world
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Reply #17 posted 07/06/17 11:23am

fen

avatar

jdcxc said:

Hip Hop's hyper masculinity is so stifling to arts and culture. Prince was a true gender revolutionary during a very conservative political period. It's ironic that following the Reagan years, it was the misogynistic rap culture that doomed his relevancy. I always believed his "Slave" period was a creative way to reclaim his lost edge.

To be fair, I think that even the more violent records were valid expressions of experience in the early days. Once gang culture, misogyny and shallow materialism became marketable products in their own right, the whole nature of the genre changed. There’s always good, thoughtful work being made though, so we shouldn’t condemn hip-hop as a whole - it's quite diverse.

[Edited 7/6/17 14:54pm]

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Reply #18 posted 07/06/17 11:28am

svenjolly

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Reply #19 posted 07/06/17 11:41am

purplefam99

68686 said:

Yes, I will say that Prince was Prince and so to call androginy a "thing" appears not genuine. I mean, Prince worked to have certain fashions made for him. He worked to have his make up be a certain way. He worked to have smooth moves be smoother through practice. He was on stage. He was a performer. He glanced around with his eyes in certain ways, knowing he was being watched. But at the end of the day, all of this is 'grouped together' as simply Prince being Prince. That's the message he was naturally giving out through his whole career. And thank goodness he could add that extra layer to it by encouraging others to do the same. To encourage others to be strong and don't walk on their side of the street.

I hear what you are saying. I think that we have some sort of "potential" individual to "tap into" as you say our feminine sides. And if that can be shown, then I think it would eventually start to flow naturally.

What suggestions do you have for people to find this side of them?

i think that this is a very interesting topic, that i have thought about.

this is my take away. i feel that we walk around with male and female in all of us all the time. it

is there waiting to be used when needed. our androgyny. we all have it. it there for us so we have a point

of entry to access the other in a way to aid us in relating the people in our world better. i don't feel i need to transform who i

am to be what my soul is.

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Reply #20 posted 07/06/17 1:23pm

PeteSilas

khill95 said:

I read somewhere a while back, I believe it said something on the lines of... with the death of Prince, came the death of the androgynous figure in mainstream black culture. Something like that. Obviously sad, cause...HE'S dead. But sad in the fact that, I really can't think of any black male stars alive that do the androgynous thing. And androgynous not just in the physical appearance, but in the way that they carry themself. A large majority of men nowadays are afraid of being seen as less than masculine, giving into their feminine side, being submissive. And I NEVER understood why we let it go that way. How is it that after the 80s with P and MJ being at the forefront of music, that we took a complete 180, started to look the other way again, and sort of, never really went back?

i don't think it means anything, men today gossip more, bitch more, are more babied and immature so they don't need any more feminization. The lack of fathers in the home and strong male figures has done more to balance out this loss. And really, Prince was a chauvinistic, super-ego male in disguise. When did he whine? When did he try to shirk responsibility for his share of work? When did he gossip? He was a man in lace.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #21 posted 07/06/17 1:26pm

PeteSilas

dreamshaman32 said:

Agenda:The hijacking of black culture through it's music and representation of the masculine and feminine image. Gangsta Rap reinstated the dangerous, hyper masculine/criminal image of black males and picked up where black exploitation films left off.However, it really doesn't matter whether our image is gangsta or gender fluid the bottom line is whenever you see us in media we are advancing someone else's will and political agenda.Prince was organically androgynous and will Smith's kid...is up to something.

it's dangerous, people go through the motions of all this aggression and get themselves into situations where they can't come back. Most of it's harmless but lots of kids get shot, lots of kids start shit because they feel society really does short them and it gives them an excuse to act like a jackass. However, most of it is empty, I almost got into a fight last week with some kid, he was using all the Jargon, called me "nigga" a million times, even though I'm indian, said "you got me fucked up" and then when it came time to fight in our little secluded area, he was a pussy, he had something in his hand, i told him to put it away, he didn't, so I grabbed a big chunk of concrete and ran at him. He hid like the pussy he is, hopefully he learns from it not to go assuming and fucking with people you don't know. And it has me wondering if I should get a gun as I get older and less tolerant of all the fuckers we got running around in the city.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #22 posted 07/06/17 1:29pm

PeteSilas

khill95 said:

embmmusic said:

Well Jaden Smith is genderfluid but I'm not sure how much I'd consider them mainstream.

I'm talking more specifically musicians. And not just androgyny as in appearance, so Young Thug wearing a dress doesn't count.

a kid like Jaden isn't in the real world so he shouldn't count, he's been raised in a bubble. I finally watched karate kid, and he did an ok job, i expected to hate it, but he seems like an ok kid though.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #23 posted 07/06/17 1:49pm

purplefam99

PeteSilas said:

khill95 said:

I read somewhere a while back, I believe it said something on the lines of... with the death of Prince, came the death of the androgynous figure in mainstream black culture. Something like that. Obviously sad, cause...HE'S dead. But sad in the fact that, I really can't think of any black male stars alive that do the androgynous thing. And androgynous not just in the physical appearance, but in the way that they carry themself. A large majority of men nowadays are afraid of being seen as less than masculine, giving into their feminine side, being submissive. And I NEVER understood why we let it go that way. How is it that after the 80s with P and MJ being at the forefront of music, that we took a complete 180, started to look the other way again, and sort of, never really went back?

i don't think it means anything, men today gossip more, bitch more, are more babied and immature so they don't need any more feminization. The lack of fathers in the home and strong male figures has done more to balance out this loss. And really, Prince was a chauvinistic, super-ego male in disguise. When did he whine? When did he try to shirk responsibility for his share of work? When did he gossip? He was a man in lace.

this has me laughing, but yes, word up!!!!

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Reply #24 posted 07/06/17 2:31pm

poppys

People like Sylvester (gone too soon) and Grace Jones were gender fluid. Saw both of them perform in the 70s. We lost a lot of good artists in the AIDS epidemic. rose

Afternoon in the city, somewhere in July
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Reply #25 posted 07/06/17 2:51pm

fortuneandsere
ndipity

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Why do so many Americans end up dead? Do any of these fatalities bear any
connection to androgyny?














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Reply #26 posted 07/06/17 4:00pm

Dini

I don't find Prince that androgynous. He dabbled early on, just like so many at that time. Think of David Sylvian and Japan, Bowie, Ultravox, The Cure, The Damned, they all were doing it.

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Reply #27 posted 07/06/17 4:32pm

gandorb

purplefam99 said:

PeteSilas said:

i don't think it means anything, men today gossip more, bitch more, are more babied and immature so they don't need any more feminization. The lack of fathers in the home and strong male figures has done more to balance out this loss. And really, Prince was a chauvinistic, super-ego male in disguise. When did he whine? When did he try to shirk responsibility for his share of work? When did he gossip? He was a man in lace.

this has me laughing, but yes, word up!!!!

While I agree with your assessment of many American men being overly babied and immature, androgyny isn't related to whining, shirking responsibility, or gossiping. Those are just negative stereotypes of being feminine, though I don't consider them accurate. Androgyny has a lot to with having interests and aspects of your identity that are not more aligned with one gender or the other, including sex roles, interests, "feminine" and "masculine" traits, and sometimes reflected in appearance as well. Your description of an androgynous male makes it sound like some type of weakness rather than the psychological strength it often is found to be in research of sex roles. How androgynous Prince was is up for debate, but can we do so without slandering those who are androgynous.

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Reply #28 posted 07/06/17 4:41pm

fen

avatar

PeteSilas said:

khill95 said:

I read somewhere a while back, I believe it said something on the lines of... with the death of Prince, came the death of the androgynous figure in mainstream black culture. Something like that. Obviously sad, cause...HE'S dead. But sad in the fact that, I really can't think of any black male stars alive that do the androgynous thing. And androgynous not just in the physical appearance, but in the way that they carry themself. A large majority of men nowadays are afraid of being seen as less than masculine, giving into their feminine side, being submissive. And I NEVER understood why we let it go that way. How is it that after the 80s with P and MJ being at the forefront of music, that we took a complete 180, started to look the other way again, and sort of, never really went back?

i don't think it means anything, men today gossip more, bitch more, are more babied and immature so they don't need any more feminization. The lack of fathers in the home and strong male figures has done more to balance out this loss. And really, Prince was a chauvinistic, super-ego male in disguise. When did he whine? When did he try to shirk responsibility for his share of work? When did he gossip? He was a man in lace.

So, by implication, these are qualities that you identify as expressions of femininity? eek The real question is to what extent given qualities are innately feminine or masculine, and to what extent they're merely external constructs, perpetuated and adopted in accordance with the organising principles of society. Prince and other artists may help to raise issues of identity politics through a process of artistic experimentation, but they're usually appropriating pre-established symbols of gender which deserve to be challenged in and of themselves. What is innately feminine about a dress for example? What is the social and symbolic function of lace? Whence the archetypal symbol of the quiet, strong, stoic male bread winner or the brash, egoistical and ruthless entrepreneur? The same kind of questioning can be applied to racial designations and identifications as well. While it's important for oppressed groups to establish an organised sense of identity in order to combat this oppression, ultimately the pursuit of freedom must eventually resolve itself into questions of individual sovereignty (it's just a matter of getting to that point). Artists, thinkers and political agitators from minority groups tend to face pressures that members of the predominant or ruling community do not, since they're often limited to being representatives of their “community”. One thing that I've always admired about Prince is that his instincts were always profoundly individualistic, and that he resisted being pigeon-holed along any of these lines from the outset. Some may argue that this was a shrewd piece of marketing, and that he was merely presenting a fascinating spectacle, but I genuinely think that he was a true individual. He didn't have a particularly sophisticated or thought-out philosophy in my view, as his later conservatism proves, but his early instincts were good (and authentic I'd argue).

[Edited 7/6/17 16:43pm]

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Reply #29 posted 07/06/17 6:34pm

tishal

khill95 said:

I read somewhere a while back, I believe it said something on the lines of... with the death of Prince, came the death of the androgynous figure in mainstream black culture. Something like that. Obviously sad, cause...HE'S dead. But sad in the fact that, I really can't think of any black male stars alive that do the androgynous thing. And androgynous not just in the physical appearance, but in the way that they carry themself. A large majority of men nowadays are afraid of being seen as less than masculine, giving into their feminine side, being submissive. And I NEVER understood why we let it go that way. How is it that after the 80s with P and MJ being at the forefront of music, that we took a complete 180, started to look the other way again, and sort of, never really went back?



I agree because he was androgynous without losing a SINGLE OUNCE of masculinity. To me, it made him more masculine. If he was 6'2", it might not have been pulled off successfully. His small size and deep voice...it worked! He did it without seeming submissive, because he was in control of how much and how far. Pure sexy genius. Even though he cut it back after the 80s, he still kept the heels and makeup and worked better than any woman I know! Great thread.
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