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.