Msnowe's Blog

Hey Virginia W., is that Shakespeare’s sister?

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on February 17, 2010

You must agree, this image is awesome.

m.snowe doesn’t know what’s in the water over at the NYTimes, but she’s not about to question it (well, she might be). First we got stories about how ladies can improve their lot through sport, now we have this awesomeness–the first ever production at the Globe of a female playwright’s work. Brilliant. Of course, it could be said that highlighting this is only a cheap marketing trick for the theater, but honestly, we’ll take it if it gets exposure that’s warranted anyway.

Here’s a trend lately: women “doing conflict,” as Nell Leyshon phrases it in the article. (Leyshon’s play, Bedlam, is all about a crazy-well-known London mental facility that must’ve been pretty brutal). Women are creating a lot of “non-traditional” stories in terms of “gender expectations.” Or, at least more women are getting noticed for formulating “hard-hitting” or “serious” things–Bigelow’s Hurt Locker being a stand-out in this respect. Of course, they’re hard-hitting and serious because they either are about traditionally male activities (war, politics) or they just have a lot of brutality in them.

m.snowe is all about ensuring the acclaim and attention is paid when it’s due, but also doesn’t like the idea that it must be in some ways harder or more extraordinary that these women are able to successfully write about, direct, etc., these traditionally male things.  People might shake their heads and say: “You’re annoyed when these women are given attention, but also when they aren’t–dammit, can’t you just be happy about something positive for once?” The answer to that is No. At least, not totally, until the issue of sex is a nonissue.

Some further reading on the imaginative ability of any person to create realistic, practically breathing fiction, whether they male or female, gay or straight, etc. and so on. Best excerpt here:

The young lady living in a village has only to be a damsel upon whom nothing is lost to make it quite unfair (as it seems to me) to declare to her that she shall have nothing to say about the military. Greater miracles have been seen than that, imagination assisting, she should speak the truth about some of these gentlemen. I remember an English novelist, a woman of genius, telling me that she was much commended for the impression she had managed to give in one of her tales of the nature and way of life of the French Protestant youth. She had been asked where she learned so much about this recondite being, she had been congratulated on her peculiar opportunities. These opportunities consisted in her having once, in Paris, as she ascended a staircase, passed an open door where, in the household of a pasteur, some of the young Protestants were seated at table round a finished meal. The glimpse made a picture; it lasted only a moment, but that moment was experience. She had got her impression, and she evolved her type.

Thanks Henry!