Today is Intersex Awareness Day! Who knew? Which is sort of related to this post, in that it is a reminder that gender is a construct, not a biological fact. And therefore Shahrukh Khan, a man, can also have feminine aspects. And those aspects can be a blessing and a wonderful thing to be celebrated.
I’m just gonna go top to bottom to make sure I don’t miss anything.
His eyes. Wonderfully open and soft and emotional, not the closed off macho man type at all.
And occasionally lined in eyeliner.
Shahrukh’s dimples, of course, soft and cute and friendly and not macho at all.
And he owns it.
Big soft luscious pink lips.
Narrow delicate torso
His graceful fluttering hand gestures
Shahrukh’s willingness to make himself into a sex object.
His willingness to show physical affection
His frequent position as the primary caregiver for his children.
Now, first a simple question:
Are you Pro or Against the feminine Shahrukh?
I am a strong PRO!!!!
Second, what is your favorite of his feminine aspects?
I think I might have to go for his willingness to show physical affection. It’s just so refreshing to have a male public figure who will hug and kiss other men, and other women, and just anyone he cares about without shame.
You forgot the crying.
I actually had that in an earlier draft! You are psychic!
On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 1:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I think that gender is a load of stereotypes used to justify violent social hierarchies, so I don’t believe that fixed feminine or masculine qualities exist. Biological sex–meaning the role that members of sexually dimorphic species play in sexual reproduction–does exist, intersex conditions being a set of variations on the two predominant sexes. Of course our understanding of biosex is influenced by time, place, and culture. But I don’t believe that anyone knows what, if any, personality traits or tendencies are linked to biosex. I think a lot of social and policy confusion stems from mixing up the distinct concepts of gender, personality, sexual orientation, and biosex.
Having said that, the stereotypically feminine (for 21st century Americans) qualities of Shah Rukh which I love are some of the ones you mention: soft features and small stature, openness and vulnerability, expressiveness of a wide range of emotions, and showing physical affection beyond sexual or romantic situations (which is common to lots of non-Western men). I also enjoy that he “fights dirty”–kicking, kneeing, elbowing, grabbing hair, poking eyes, etc–in his movies, which in America is not considered “manly”–but which is something that any smaller person fighting against a bigger person would be likely to do if they are desperate to win/survive.
Really interesting point about the fight scenes! That was one thing I noticed early on in Indian films, the fight scenes tended to be a lot more intense and personal than I was used to. Yes, one punch could send a man flying through the air, but there was also a lot of clothing being torn and blood flowing and sweat and general messiness along with it. No pretense of fighting “fair”, no idea that the violent battle was glorious and honorable instead of simply a means to an end.
My friends (most of them involved in drag and other gender questioning performance arts) and I joke about this all the time because people are always asking if Dog Hazel is a boy or a girl and we have to resist the urge to say “gender is a construct”. But within the established norms of gender as defined by Western/Indian culture, I love the way Shahrukh isn’t afraid to redefine them. He can identify as a man and still hug and kiss other men, cry when he is sad, and make himself into a sex object.
On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 3:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Haha, yes to everything in your last paragraph! And the description of fighting in Indian films being a means to an end. I was struggling with how to define it. Can’t really say it’s realistic, but it does feel more personal and gritty, and not fake glorious.