Thursday, February 21, 2008

Woo This: Riding with the Sheik

What I learned from watching The Sheik:
  1. Men in silent movies have the habit of opening their eyes unnaturally wide. I don't know why a director would let actors do this, because it's seriously freaky.
  2. It's a good thing I didn't live in 1921, as all my friends would have been fainting/swooning/killing themselves over Rudolph Valentino, and I wouldn't have understood it at all (see #1).
  3. For a movie that's undeniably campy today ("My! You have such big hands for an Arab!"), it brings up issues of sex, race, and "the exotic" that are definitely with us still.
But the big question is: Was I wooed by "the greatest lover of all time"? Whenever I watch a movie like this, I'm always sitting there going: "I dare you to woo me." For me, there's certainly nothing sexy in the idea of being "taken". To paraphrase Daniel Boyarin, it's just a way of convincing women that they want to be raped. (Yikes!) But, I'd like to think of the jovial sheik as being more innocent than that. Maybe we can ascribe his kidnapping behaviors as a cross-cultural misunderstanding. I'd like to think the best, you know? And hey, at least you'd be sure he was into you.
So yes. Being thrown onto someone's camel like a sack of potatoes, and then spirited away into the wilderness, doesn't appeal to me. However, if a dashing, ethnically ambiguous young prince wanted to (consensually!) pick me up in the desert, I don't think I'd refuse. All I ask is that he keep his eyes firmly inside his sockets.

[Above: Rudy wants to take you home. Ladies? Anybody?]
The DVD I have also contains Son of the Sheik. There's more? Ah yes. I have much to look forward to.

In other news: I was at work today, when I got an e-mail from, saying that we reached our goal! I practically fell off my chair. Yes folks, I've managed to collect exactly $385.07 towards the pamphlets. And of course, all thanks your help! It feels absolutely wonderful to have the pamphlets within reach. And soon, they'll be in people's hands!
I know what some of you are thinking: "Dang! I wanted to donate, but I didn't get the chance!" Well, there may be more visibility projects in our future (I mean, there will be more, but when and what, I know not)...and I will, as always, keep you posted.


icarus said...

congrats on raising the money!!

Ily said...

Thank you! It's a great feeling!

Fellmama said...

Actually, the concept of forcible seduction pushes a lot of women's buttons. I think it has to do with how many don't feel comfortable admitting to or acting on sexual urges. Having a man so overcome by passion that he'd do literally anything to have her frees such a woman from having to be a sexual agent.

And I like your new hat!

Ily said...

Mary, definitely, and well said. I know it even bothers lots of men, or at least those who have actually thought about it. Even so, I've heard that "being taken" is a fantasy that lots of people have, and perhaps are ashamed of. I think that in the fantasy, we're assuming that there's mutual attraction between the two people anyway. Whereas, if it was to happen in real life, that would probably not be the case.