It's Time To Talk About The Misogyny in Theatre

It's Time To Talk About The Misogyny in Theatre

Theatre is about acceptance, so why can't women be accepted?
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In high school theatre, it is a common truth that the boys are few and far between. There's typically at least twice as many girls in drama classes, and the teachers are also mostly female. As we grow older the balance between men and women actors never changes, but the opportunities for men somehow far outnumber those for women. As a result of this imbalance, women have become disposable in the modern theatre. In an industry run by men, women struggle to find work. This is not true only for actors, but for technicians, writers, composers, directors, and producers. In the professional theatre there are very scarce numbers of women in positions of authority and rooms full of men pulling all of the strings. Theatre is a boys' club.



The most obvious example of misogyny is in and around the audition room. A professional actress spends the majority of her days in and out of rooms full of men who have spent all day looking at girls dressed and styled just alike. Because of the sheer number of women in the field the men behind the desk can afford to be as disgustingly picky as possible. The first girl has brown eyes, so she's out. The next has small breasts, so she's out. The next has wide hips, so she's out. This superficial critique continues until the casting director finds the "look." Talent has taken the back seat to appearance. A mediocre actress with a skinny legs will beat out the talented one with larger thighs almost every time. Often, the only time you will find a plus size actress on stage is when a part specifically calls for a "fat" girl, which only occurs when the character's weight is a joke or a main plot point of the show (if not both). This shallow approach to casting comes from two places: the men involved in the casting process and the men writing the material.



The casting directors are not completely at fault for the degradation that occurs in the audition room. They have countless people standing over their shoulder, barking orders and giving suggestions. If they do not present the artistic director and the producers with what they want, they could potentially lose their job. This puts the sexism on the shoulders of those higher up in the process: the production team. Sex sells and producers know that and without a producer, there is no money, so the artistic directors have no choice but to look for the "hot" girl. They describe the bombshell beauty to the casting director, who in turn sacrifices substance for superficiality. Talent has become fleetingly less important as big names and pretty faces light up Broadway.



At the top of the misogynistic pyramid is the creative team. When the ratio of male to female performers is considered, it is only logical to assume that there would be far more roles written for women than for men; however, the opposite is true. There are simply not enough roles written for women, thus it is easier for men to find work. The corruption goes even deeper than this. Where there is a surplus of women trying to get on stage, there is a deficit of women behind the stage. Female writers, especially successful female writers, are few and far between. Just last year was the very first time that an all female writing team won a Tony Award for Best Musical. Because of the "boys' club" mentality in the theatre, women can have a difficult time getting involved or being recognized in the creative aspects of theatre, which only greater affects the lack of female characters, particularly quality female characters. Women write the best female characters, that is an indisputable fact. The 2015 Tony Award winner with an all female writing team, Fun Home, had three female leading roles, of different ages and types. In comparison, the 2014 Tony award winner (with an all male writing team), "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," had 2 male leads with two female ingenues, whose only function in the play was to be pretty and in love.



It's time for the theatre community to own up to the issue it has created for itself. The feminist movement has made women in positions of power in the corporate world an issue, and as a result has drastically increased women's equality in the workplace. The theatre community needs its own feminist movement. Women are not second class citizens and are most certainly not second class actors, writers, directors, or musicians. They deserve equal opportunity to practice their craft without hoards of men standing over them pulling the strings. There are several theatre companies that have come into existence in the near past that focus on theatre by women for women, but this kind of theatre must become commonplace and not an anomaly. Theatre is about acceptance, so why can't women be accepted?



Cover Image Credit: JacobsPillow.org

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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