Burlesque is Bullshit
(or They Wanted Me To Can-Can)
By Kirsten Anderberg
Written March 15, 2007
(This poem is dedicated to the hopes that someday girls can be free of this crap...)
They wanted me to can-can
To get in lines and show some skin
They wanted to make sure I knew
The pecking order I was in
The difference between pole dancers
And "aerial" acts by women, on ropes,
In lingerie, fishnets and high heels
Is a very fine line, at best
Can-can, porn, or burlesque
It's all about exploiting women's breasts
She'd been a shy girl yet was an exhibitionist at heart
Tried as she did, she could never land a leading part
But then she put on lingerie, got with the program
Started doing the splits in the air
Above men in her underwear
They applauded as she arched her back
Exposing her scantily clad chest
They "oohed" with her splits overhead
And told her it was her skill and strength
They admired and adored
But they liked it best
When she dressed like a "whore"
Burlesque is having a "revival"
And polyfidelity too
It's a wonderful time to be a man
P.C. harem fantasies and pole dancing for you!
Tell the women it is their liberation
To be the "dirty girls" on display
Tell the women it is half-naked and sexy
For which the audiences today pay
They say that burlesque is cute or funny
They say it is innocent play
They say it is hard work and feminism
Yet it stinks of the sexism of yesterday!
A revival of burlesque in vaudeville
What's next? A revival of black face?
Just because burlesque was part of vaudeville's past
Is no excuse for reviving that disgrace
I was a star in vaudeville
But my feminism I could not hide
Get in my underwear and dance for the men?
I'd rather give up the stage and retain my pride.