Dinah Shore has always been a passively political event. Considering the heated political area in California, should Dinah be promoting a different kind of politics in this post Prop-8 environment?Dinah Shore’s political resonance hasn’t come from the speaking engagements, art events and conferences about politics or feminism; the politics is in the party itself. It’s the visibility of a bazillion lesbians engaging in a ritual that heterosexuals can understand: Spring Break: The Black Bra Edition.
How does this passive kind of activism help our most pressing, immediate cause? The fact that women participate in this late-adolescent poolside orgy is mimicking a common, heterosexually sanctioned rite of passage. The mainstream passively “approves” of the Spring Break experience, because it leads to the inevitable pairing, mating, marriage, and child-bearing life that we happen to be denied. As of right now, we are participating in the passively sanctioned rite of passage, minus the end result. But the two go hand-in-hand in mainstream society; we are just participating in half of the ritual, minus the legal benefits. It’s the party that reminds us (and everyone else) of exactly what we’re missing. It highlights that social and legal lack in our lives.
Like many heterosexuals who partied their way through their Big 10 College football season, we lesbians party a little harder when a golf match rolls into town. And when that party is over, we return to the real world, ready to face the reality of adult responsibility. Since we’ve never had a “normal” developmental track to follow, the important point is not in when we partied; it’s that we had the chance to party, as ourselves, at all. Before we “grow up” into marriage, commitment, and the stuff of tradition, we are able to perform the ritual of adolescence as stupidly and embarrassingly as everyone else.
While Dinah Shore is a highly organized, advanced and moneyed version of Spring Break, the life of the party is exactly that – the party. This is our symbolic adolescence, and we’re just waiting until the world will allow us to get out of it and on with our lives.
A good party speaks louder than words. Maybe it’s a language that that the heteros will understand.