Data points: taboo avoidance, abbreviation

From Jonathan Dee, “Neither Straight Nor Outta Compton: Performed by gay and transgender rappers in New Orleans, the fast and profane music known as sissy bounce creates an atmosphere of sexual liberation — for women”, NYT Magazine, July 25:

The women did not dance with, or for, one abnother — they danced for [transgender rapper] Freedia [pronounced “FREE-da”], and they did so in the most sexualized way imaginable, usually with their backs to her, bent over sharply at the waist, and bouncing their hips up and down as fast as humanly possible, if not slightly faster. Others assumed more of a push-up position, with their hands on the florr, in a signature dance whose name is sometimes helpfully shortened to “p-popping.”

That’s the P-word, folks, P for pussy, in case you didn’t get it.

I can see brevity as a motive for the abbreviation, but in the context of really raunchy language and highly sexualized dancing, the word seems, well, unduly modest.

3 Responses to “Data points: taboo avoidance, abbreviation”

  1. ShadowFox Says:

    In my mind, at least, the phrasing immediately brought back the memory of familiar “abbreviation” “p-whipped”. The dynamics are somewhat different, as there is a far more obvious connection that can be obtained from a discussion of someone being “p-whipped” than from the context of “p-popping” (and there is a double entendre with respect to the “pussy” in “p-whipped”–referring both to the dominant force that creates the situation and the state to which the man in question devolves). But, ultimately, the taboo avoidance is similar. The trouble is somewhere else–the word is closer associated with “malespeak” than with women–that is, one expects it to be more likely to hear “pussy” in a company of several men than of several women.

    In this context, the “helpful shortening” is not helpful at all. Unless, of course, the association is with “pelvis” rather than “pussy”.

  2. ShadowFox Says:

    Oh, and one other “helpful” thing. Recall the character in one of James Bond novels/films (Goldfinger/The Cement Mixers) by the name of Pussy Galore. There are actually multiple references to “pussy” in Bond films, but virtually all are to cats (except, of course, where “Ms. Galore” is being addressed, e.g., “Right guess–wrong pussy.”). Well, I was shocked to discover previews of one of the forthcoming children’s films to refer to a character “Kitty Galore”. Most of the target audience, luckily, will be unaware of the connection. The idiocy is exposed by the fact that this was exactly the name the film-makers were considering for the character in Goldfinger before settling on the original reference.

    PS: The name, of course, is not unique, as the character proved exceedingly popular. For example, there is at least one punk band with the same name.

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    To “ShadowFox” on “Kitty Galore”:

    From Mike Hale’s review of the film in the NYT on July 29:

    Kids say the smartest things. A few minutes into a screening of “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” a child near me turned to his mother and asked, “Why is Kitty Galore called Kitty Galore?”

    Exactly what I was wondering. I tried to hear her whispered answer but couldn’t. It was short, so she probably hadn’t bothered telling him that someone thought it was a good idea to name a children’s movie after a crude double-entendre in an old James Bond film, or explaining what “cynical” means.

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