Feminists In the Desert: The Road to BHOF

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, we have fought our way here to the center of Sin City, to take back what the mainstream media has stolen from us. It is our right, our will, to represent the world as we see it: a glorious, glittering, powerful feminist utopia cobbled together from scraps of discarded fabric, seed-like rhinestone embellishments, and gritty-glitter war paint smeared across our steely eyes. Our world is fire. And LOVE.

My friends, we cannot get there alone. Burlesque, at its core, is a rare self-authored entertainment realm not dominated by white, cis-gendered men. It is an art for those who dare to challenge and critique with their bodies. Yet, we are not solo warriors. We need our tribe, our ancestors, and our allies to continue to change the world.

We ride not to Valhalla; our battlefield is real. As you assemble your team of heroes, consider the easily forgotten yet most valuable tools you own: critical thought and hope. Do not be satisfied with the way things are (note: this is the first year a performer has successfully challenged the gender lines of the competition, thank you Lou Henry Hoover). Do not go gentle into the good night’s worth of after parties. Challenge yourself and others to think about what you saw: What brought you joy? What brought you pain? What will you do with this new knowledge?

We are the lovers. We are the dreamers. We are screaming the words “WITNESS ME” while diving off stages and or/into swimming pools.

To aid in your ride to a BHOF and a better, glitterier tomorrow, I’ve asked a fellow nerdlesque guru to help with some road trip advice. Scarlett O’Hairdye provides a different kind of BHOF preparation list.

“How do I make this trip more Max-tastic?” by Scarlett O’Hairdye

Scarlett O'Hairdye

Photo by JLD Imagery

So, if you’re like me, and you hate crappy casino food and you also hate flying, you might decide to just drive your ass down to Vegas for the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend.  Also, if you’re like me, you’ve seen Mad Max: Fury Road twice in theaters so far and you might want to go back and see it a third time.  The Fury Road has seeped into your bones as you contemplate the long desert drive ahead of you, and you have one question: How do I make this trip more Max-tastic?

Well, friends, I’ve made the drive through the desert before in search of The Neon Place, and I have some suggestions:

1.  Be well stocked on AquaCola and guzzoline.  I mean, the AquaCola part is more important for your comfort, but also stop to scavenge(1) guzzoline every chance you get, because if there is one thing you don’t want, it’s to stall out in the middle of the harsh and unyielding desert.

2.  Find some kind of way to blunt the desert glare.  I suggest sunglasses.  If you can’t find sunglasses, just smear some engine grease all over your face.  Bonus:  If you have to stop to fight off some raiders, you will look incredibly badass. Practice glaring at things and communicating huge swaths of information with your eyes alone.

3.  Download the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack off Amazon right now.  Prep it.  Feel it.  Let it drive you on across the scorching sands, like your very own Doof Warrior shredding on the front of his Doof Wagon.  Optional:  Find a friend who plays the guitar and strap him or her to the front of your car for the drive down.  I guarantee no one will mess with you.(2)


4.  You’re going to have a lot of down time on this drive through the desert.  You’re also going to be blasting the Fury Road soundtrack, which is going to inspire you to do some crazy shit.  Rather than running down some unsuspecting Fiat with the swords and chainsaws you packed(3), channel all that energy into writing that Capable/Nux(4) fanfiction you have simmering in the back of your head.  Writing it while driving through the unceasing desert in search of a Neon Place is going to give your fic the kind of verisimilitude other fanfiction authors can only dream of.

5.  Bring awesome lady friends along with you who can help you stave off the boredom and remember there are better things in life, and they still exist somewhere out there past the harsh and unrelenting desert.  (Seriously, after hour eight of desert scruff without sighting a single animal, you’re going to need someone to talk to save your sanity.  For this trip, I am bringing one Sophie Maltease with me.)

6.  Find a male feminist ally who will trade off driving duties with you, aid you in your battles seamlessly as though you have been fighting side-by-side for years, and never second-guess your judgement or your ability to make the shot.  (Hi, Bolt Action!)

7.  Remember that you can’t escape the patriarchy, you have to destroy it.  Preferably with explosions.  After that’s done, go relax by the pool.  You earned it.


(1) Translation:  Purchase legally at a gas station.

(2)  Except maybe the cops.  I think this is illegal.

(3)  You did pack swords and chainsaws, right?



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