Sexist School Play
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My school is doing the play “Kiss me Kate”, I do not think it is appropriate and they should find a new play or at least make it less sexist. Here is an article that can explain it to those who don’t know what Kiss me Kate is about:
"Kiss Me Kate" is sexist
By GINA BATESON
This year, production of the Ram's Head Theatrical Society spring musical is superb. The only problem is the show that Ram's Head has chosen. "Kiss Me Kate" is rife with sexism, to a degree that seriously mars an otherwise excellent production. I saw "Kiss Me Kate" last Friday night, and nearly every time I laughed or applauded, I also felt myself cringing because of the show's demeaning treatment of women. The decision to produce "Kiss Me Kate" reflects poorly on Ram's Head, in my opinion. There are not sexist undertones in "Kiss Me Kate;" rather, sexism is central to the script. Female characters explain how they engage in sexual relationships for material gain. They exhibit hysteria. They learn that they must submit to men in relationships. And most tasteless of all are the jokes about domestic violence that crop up with astounding frequency throughout the play. Just laugh it off, people say. It's exaggeration; it's intended to be over the top; it's meant to be funny. But why should we laugh about demeaning portrayals of women when similar racial stereotyping and jokes are clearly unacceptable? Imagine if Stanford produced a play that dealt with race the way "Kiss Me Kate" deals with gender. In it, a main character would sing, "Us blacks, we're just here to serve and obey." Slavery would be trivialized, physical abuse of people of color applauded and racism condoned. The play would conclude with a person of color realizing that it was his / her duty to obey whites. Such a performance would never be tolerated at Stanford, with good reason. Why is it, then, that we tolerate sexist productions? The best way to address this imbalance is not to become just as racist as we are sexist. Instead, no type of discrimination should be tolerated, regardless of whether it is racism, sexism, homophobia, antiSemitism or xenophobia. Certainly, "Kiss Me Kate" is a product of its time. It was written in a sexist era, and sexism is such an essential part of its plot that it cannot be edited out. That is precisely why Ram's Head should not have chosen to produce it. There is a reason that Ram's Head does not produce blackface minstrel shows: They would be hugely offensive. Are they a product of a time? Of course. But their time has passed. Ram's Head's production of "Kiss Me Kate" shows that, unfortunately, sexism's time has not passed. It is still alive today, even on the Stanford campus. As we were leaving the theater after "Kiss Me Kate," I raised some of these issues with my friends. After agreeing that a racist play would not be accepted at Stanford, one of them turned to me and said, "But Gina, sexism never gets old." Clearly he was kidding — or was he?
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