Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Where are the real women?

"In the highlights of movies from the past few decades [shown at the Oscars], there wasn't a single clip of a woman doing something that related to her children, her friends, her work or her contribution to the world. There wasn't a single clip of a woman leading, making a choice, making a decision or showing agency. There wasn't even a single clip of a woman experiencing a moment of meaning or joy.

There wasn't a single clip of a woman that didn't have to do with either her romance with a man or with her getting attacked."

This is from a very good post by Tara Sophia Mohr about the Oscars and how Hollywood still sees women. I've been having very similar thoughts myself lately, only in this case to do with New Zealand theatre. Last week I went to see "Peninsula", by Stuart Henderson. It was splendidly produced by Jane Waddell, and stunningly acted (the norm for Circa Theatre) by a cast of five, each playing two roles. At the time I enjoyed it immensely.

But afterwards, I thought - I've seen all this before. The two boys, great mates, doing a lot of stuff together. The two girls, who fight with their brothers but - scarcely interact with each other at all. The two hubbies, also great mates, confiding haltingly in each other about real stuff. The two wives, who - scarcely interact at all.

One wife does point out to her hubbie that the other one often has a black eye - except that it's after we've seen her get hit by her chap, so it's no revelation. She got hit because she tried to get off with the new teacher (she's done it before) and her hubbie couldn't stand it. Then she tries to leave her hubbie and her son, but the boy's misery at the death of his dog (also played by the teacher, splendidly) changes her mind.

The other wife is responsible for the teacher leaving. He's gay, and she thinks he's been interfering with her son. He hasn't, as her remarkably broad-minded hubbie knows, but the teacher leaves anyway.

So - cherchez les femmes, again. The men and boys have real lives, real characters, and all the good lines; the women - don't. Does this sound familiar?

1 comment:

Brett Dale said...

Do you have a link to the clip that was shown?