Sunday, December 04, 2005

Don’t Judge an Article by Its Title.

Last Friday, while perusing Yale periodicals, I got really excited: the phrase “embrace feminism” appeared in the title of a YDN article. After a month of ranting about the publication of blatantly sexist viewpoints, including an article that attacked Broad Recognition for “bashing Yale’s periodicals,” I thought we had made some progress. Finally.

And, in a sense, Makda Asrat’s review in the scene section of the YDN about the play "Fefu and Her Friends," does do some justice to feminism. She at least acknowledges that women do struggle at finding a place in society and that every woman’s struggle is different and unique. (See the quotation from Director Sabina Ahmed.) For a minute there, it seemed like Yale students and even YDN writers had been reading up on post-colonial feminism. (Everyone remain calm.)

But my hopes were squashed by the last paragraph:
All this talk of feminism may deter members of Yale's population who have X-Y chromosomes to attend the play. However, the play, in addition to being visually and aesthetically pleasing, can be interpreted as a story of the universal struggle everyone goes through to figure out who they are, and how they fit into society -- this particular play just looks at this common struggle through a woman's lens. And if this is not convincing enough, there is a brief moment of girl-on-girl action that should draw some attention.
Apparently, the feminism part of post-colonial theory went missing from the analysis. Since a main goal of feminism is to highlight oppression and to strive for equality between men and women, men and their power and their social roles must also be examined. Feminism is NOT just a women’s issue; it is a social issue. As for the use of girl-on-girl action to entice men . . . no comment.


sabrina said...

I didn't understand this quote: "Fefu and her friends are also, by modern standards, feminists. Men are peripherally present in the play through references to the characters' past relationships and to Fefu's restrictive and loveless marriage. Fefu claims 'women are loathsome' and that she prefers men. Julia, in a disturbing and uncomfortable monologue, said that 'the mate for man is woman, and that is the cross he must bear.'"
Since when does being a feminist mean one has limited and negative interaction with men and also hates women??

makda said...

Sorry to dissapoint, but I was writing a theater review and tried to be faithful to the play, regardless of my own views on feminism. And I added the comment that a play about feminism may deter male students from attending not because I was endorsing the categorization of feminism as "just a women's issue," but beacuse I was trying to address things realistically (in realizing that many men on campus may, in fact, be detered from seeing the play after reading a review that describes the play as feminist).

Also, I do not know if either of you saw the play, but if you did not actually see 'Fefu and Her Friends,' then I do not see how you can critique my review of it.

I would like to respond to the last comment, however, and apologize. It was not my intent to imply that feminism goes hand in hand with loveless relationships or hating other women (indeed, that would be somewhat contradictory). I see, though, upon re-reading my review how that is, in fact, implied, and I would like to assure you that that was not my intent.

Again, however, I was writing a theater review, not any sort of feminist or anti-feminist propaganda.