15 Days of Feminism: Day 14- What I think Feminism is Today

 

I think we know each other well enough by now to explain why I have been such an advocate for SlutWalk (which is TOMORROW!) and explaining Feminism lately. A couple of weeks ago on facebook I posted an, admittedly out-of-context, quote from Lady Gaga saying that she hates feminists – to which I asked how anyone could like her after something like that.

Well, I’m sure you know what happened next. My humble little facebook status blew up all over everyone’s news feeds and people were commenting left and right about what it means to be a feminist and why we’re still called feminists and why we would still need feminism today…and all that more or less pissed me off and I wrote that first post explaining SlutWalk and the 15 Days of Feminism.

How can people think there’s no place for feminism today? I think we need it now more than ever. Now that we are finally working to fight against Rape Culture (which to quote SlutWalk is the fight against: Misogyny, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Class Exploitation, Ableism, Ageism,Fatphobia, Xenophobia, Colonialism, Imperialism, Poverty, Police  Brutality, Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence, and Street Harassment). Now that there are some many ways to get our voices heard (hello, internet), why wouldn’t we say anything.

And for those of you think that this is all ridiculous, please watch the video below and then watch the video of Feministing.com‘s founder Jessica Valenti explain SlutWalk – hopefully that will answer some more questions as to why this is important.

So there’s all that- and then look what happen’s when people try to speak out (sorry, I’m using another vid of Jessica Valenti; I’m trying not to look like I’m endorsing her, but I actually agree with most everything she says, so I guess I am endorsing her):

Yeah, there’s no need for feminism anymore. The world is totally free of misogyny and prejudice and discrimination – now please excuse me for a second, I have to go brush my pet unicorn’s licorice mane with a diamond-encrusted comb.

(because everything in the world is perfect so there is no need to voice my opinion.)

Luckily, there are many people who understand the importance of feminism today and they are Doing. Something. About it. Women are speaking up and speaking out and embracing feminism. This is hopefully where everyone is headed.

I’ll see you at SlutWalk NYC,

Jessica

15 Days of Feminism: Day 10 (almost caught up!) It’s All Right To Be Woman Theatre

“Whereas theatre has been, to date, a combining of specialists, the essence of our theatre is to convey the collective experience. Only part of the message is in the content—the other part is that eleven women are working together to create new forms— a theatre without separation of roles (e.g. director, actress1 musician), a theatre without a stage to separate audience and players.”

When I started this little blog-venture one of the first things my roommate asked was when I was going to start talking about the more artsy parts of Feminism; Women who conveyed their thoughts through different mediums. This is because we go to Arts School and artists like to talk about other artists (sometimes).So I decided to look into some second-wave feminist theatre, which was only easy because I own a book called Feminism and Theatre.

The late 60s early 70s was a time of conscious-raising (of feminism in particular). Women would gather at meetings and share their stories and experiences about discrimination, social-issues, and what it meant to be a woman. These meetings where what would be the inspiration for the It’s All Right To Be Woman Theatre.

(A documentary about the It’s All Right To Be Woman Theare)

It’s All Right To Be Women was an ensemble group that took the story-telling structure of those meetings and combined it with theatrical elements to create a forum dedicated to empowering women. They also used cranks with images to visually tell stories. Here are two recreations of their pieces.

(“Sue’s Hairy Legs”)

“Crankie” was also used in the troupe’s title piece “It’s All Right To Be Woman” you can find of video of that here.

It’s difficult to find more information on It’s All Right To Be Woman, but there is also this mini documentary that will hopefully give a bit more insight to how the troupe operated.

(Don’t you just get so emotional when 9:10 when one of the troupe members asks “What did I do?” I cried.)

What is interesting to be about this company is that there seems to be no hesitation in their work, there was no “let’s stop and pause and figure out how we can articulate this message in a way that will eventually alienate our audiences” mentality that I see a lot. They were going to go out and speak to women and about women and that’s what they did.  I’m not saying it was easy and perfect, if you watched that video you know it’s not, but they found a voice and they used it without any reservations. I think more theatre can benefit from that kind of daring.

Be Daring,

Jessica