Monday, December 7, 2015

Pecha Kucha

Social Justice Event #2

For my second Social Justice Event, I saw Encore Repertory Company's production of Mary Poppins the Musical on October 18th. This musical is much different from the movie regarding the character traits of each of them, but the story is almost identical with a few minor differences. I loved seeing this show because I had seen it years and years ago but when I finally saw it again, I realized how wonderfully feminist it is. The protagonist is a young adult woman who is career driven and single. Her character is so ahead of her time period and she has so many wonderful traits. She's sassy without regret, and she stands up for herself. The musical takes place during the women's suffarage movement, and I think that the nod to first wave feminism is really cool. I never would've known what first wave feminism is unless I had read the Rowe-Finkbeiner article.

Mrs. Banks is the complete opposite. She gave up her successful acting career to be a wife and a mother and throughout the show you see how she struggles with that. She feels unfulfilled and unappreciated, but then by the end of the show, she realizes that she doesn't want to go back to the stage, because being a wife and mother makes her happy and that being these roles can fulfill her life.

As I learn about feminism, one huge idea that I stand for is that no matter who you are, you should choose your life path and whatever it is, if you are a feminist, you are a feminist. I hate the idea that housewives are not feminists and that they are always unhappy. Some people love their lives as a wife and mother, and just because they don't have a career does not mean that they can't still stand for feminism. This class helped me to come to that conclusion and to begin supporting feminist housewives AS WELL AS career driven women.

Social Justice Event #1

For my first Social Justice event, I went to NYC to see Spring Awakening on Broadway on September 13th. This musical shows many of the themes that have been discussed in our class. In the story of Spring Awakening, sexual oppression, communication, and education in 1860's Germany are emphasized greatly. The female lead Wendla, asks her mother how her older sister got pregnant, and her mother refuses to tell her. Then, she has sex with the male lead, and becomes pregnant. Because her mother refused to communicate with her and she thought of sex as something taboo, Wendla wasn't educated on how a baby is made and therefore, she becomes a pregnant teenager in a time where that was unheard of. Her mother immediately makes her have an illegal abortion, which ends up killing Wendla along with her unborn child. These themes reminded me of the current sexual oppression that goes on in modern day America. Girls are slut-shamed and while sex is less taboo, it is looked down upon for a woman to have sexual freedom, which was talked about when Deirdre O'Donnell visited our class and presented us with her views on sexual freedom.

A basic historical element of Spring Awakening that I connected gender inequality with was that all of the boys in the show go to school. None of the girls are allowed to receive an education. When looking at the knowledge I have gained in this class, I realize that that isn't just "unfair." It's socially unjust and it sets women up to less than men. It reminded me of the Frye article that discussed how modern America sets people up to be in their economic and social class and that it makes them stay there.

Seeing this musical while taking this class created an entire new outlook on the story and the show for me.