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?
3639
views

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

Popular Right Now

6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

105240
views

2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

We Lived To See History Made In The 2018 Election And That's Pretty Freakin' Awesome

Politics aside, we lived to see history.

39
views

November 6th was a very memorable day in US history. Politics aside, election day was a very monumental day of change for the minorities of our country. Several women, Muslims, and members of the LGBT community were elected into office this year which is a huge step for our country.

In terms of women being elected, there was a record-breaking number in this year's election. 235 US house of representatives, 22 US senates, 3379 State of legislatures, and 16 governors (YASSS LADIES).

An openly gay man was also elected governor of Colorado, along with an Oregon governor who identifies as bisexual.

After the major hype of election day results, all headlines read "Midterm election will feature the most diverse group of candidates ever" and "The midterm elections have made history with several firsts". And I think it says a lot that the media is taking notice and praising the diversity.

The steps that we as a country are taking towards openness and acceptance of every individual no matter what their race, gender, or sexuality is something that I am proud to be part of.

Webster's Dictionary defines the term "vote" as: a usually formal expression of opinion or will in response to a proposed decision.

An expression of opinion.

Which everyone is entitled to, no matter who they are or what their opinion happens to be.

Politicians serve increasingly diverse communities with a wide range of different needs. Minorities, people with disabilities, and the elderly have a number of group-specific concerns that should be addressed by people who understand those concerns first-hand.

Think of it like this- who would know better about the healthcare for ***NOT DONE, ADDING ON***

Interested individuals from different minority communities will also draw on a larger pool of candidates. It encourages political participation by giving them a chance to stand up and help bring their particular issues to the forefront.

Diversifying candidates will diversify policy.

And the meaning of "diverse" goes way beyond just race or sex. Having an office of vastly diverse skills and passions is also beneficial because it gives more depth and balance to a department. If everybody political leader came from the same background and had the same morals, we wouldn't be able to properly address the needs of every individual.

In a nutshell, political diversity is how we can fulfill the needs of individuals in every political party. And I hope this election opens the doors for more people to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in and for what you want to do. No one should ever feel like they cannot accomplish their goals while still staying true to yourself.

Related Content

Facebook Comments