Slut, The Play Review
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Politics and Activism

Slut, The Play Review

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I was privileged enough to find myself in the crowd of Slut, The Play at the Hammer Museum on April 28. The play was produced by Katie Capiello and Meg McInerney who founded The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company. I wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into, what the play was about or the nature of the production, but upon entering the theater I saw Tweets being projected with words like “bitch,” “slut” and “whore” bolded. I had a feeling this might be a play criticizing our blatant use of these degrading words to describe our fellow women, but it was so much more. 

In a nutshell, the play put on display a girl’s experiences before and after a rape incident and the overarching effects and stigmas that came with rape but also preceded it. Before the incident, the main character, Joey, belonged to a squad of girls who called themselves the Slut Squad in order to own their identities as young ladies who wanted to have fun and avoid stigma for doing so. This exhibited the issue of the word “slut” in our society. Whether girls define themselves by it to avoid stigma, or not, it haunts them because of the way “sluts” are perceived. This identity is what caused onlookers, after the fact, see the rape as being her fault, because she was “asking for it.”

Another issue the play brings up is being a witness and not saying or doing anything to stop rape or sexual assault, not owning up to what is being done to a victim and causing them more emotional and physical pain.

Lastly, the issue that resonated with me the most is the issue of discrimination in our laws. Joey was stuck in a dilemma of having come out as a rape victim – which did not mean justice. Instead, it meant she was to blame because there was not enough evidence and she was seen as the one behaving irresponsibly.

When I heard Stories rape and how girls often waited months or years before confessing they were a victim, I always said to myself, "If I were raped I would tell someone immediately. I don’t understand why people wait.” I watched this play and understood why. Victims of rape are often further victimized and persecuted, not just by peers and friends, but by the legal system. Police officers tell girls that their case will most likely not go to court and that their reputations and permanent records will be tainted, not the reputation of the rapist who inflicted the pain and will probably go unpunished. It never occurred to me that it is those closest to us who put us in danger of rape and who, in most cases, have authority and impose their will to keep the victim's mouth shut.

I never understood what rape really was until the night I saw the play. I knew it was an issue. I knew the boundaries of consent and that in no way, shape or form is a girl “asking for it” unless she actually asks for it. However, I did not know the implications of coming out as a rape victim. I did not know society and our own police force stigmatize victims and question them in such a manner that they feel blame and self-hate. 


I encourage readers to go out and watch this play if it is being shown again or in a town near you. Try to find it online. This is an issue that affects everyone. Even if you do not think you are directly part of it, you are. This play awakened me to the reality that we live in a world where there is not much justice, but educating the public can really make a difference.

Image A from website: http://www.broadwayworld.com/off-off-broadway/arti...

Image B from website: http://www.good.is/do/join-the-stopslut-movement-b...

Image C from website: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/SLUT-THE-PLAY...

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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