Calgary dancer and choreographer Mark Kunji Ikeda has taken off his blinders.
Ikeda feels he has spent his adult life perpetuating the dark undercurrents of male privilege and rape culture, and has created a dance and theatre piece called The Golden Penis which he hopes will help others open their eyes and ears as he has.
“I never considered myself sexist or misogynistic, but when I began talking recently with some male and female friends I realized I held so many negative views and feelings as far as women go,” says Ikeda.
“I always saw myself as this nice, gentle guy who would go slowly in a relationship, but I realize I was doing that with the goal of being rewarded with sex. I would get angry if, after putting a great deal of work into a relationship, the girl would friend me instead of rewarding me with sex and that made me angry.
“That is such a revolting attitude to take when going into any relationship. It’s deceitful. It’s manipulative. This kind of attitude is at the basis of male privilege because it means I feel I am entitled to sex from every relationship I put any effort into.”
Ikeda says he learned another important lesson recently when he talked to a female artist he knows in Calgary.