Saturday, May 2, 2009

Go eff yourself, smegman.

So I'm in the Chicago 'burbs now, crossing the street today, checking my blackberry, and some guy shouts out the window: "Do you think you REALLY have to be on your phone right now?"

I didn't catch what he said fast enough to give him the finger or shout back "Go eff yourself," like I normally do.

But then I thought about it.

Yes, I really have to be on my phone right now. I'm running a business. I'm reading an important email from my Managing Director. So I'm crossing the street more slowly than you'd like. I have the right of way. And yes, I really have to be on my phone right now.

And then it occurred to me: if I were a man, in a suit, checking my blackberry, strolling across the street, this man wouldn't have shouted at me because I might be Important.


I would like to think I am very Important. I am a 5'2" jeans-wearing woman and I am running a new theatre company. We're presenting exciting new works this summer.

So go eff yourself.

It occurred to me, also, as I was listening recently to the foul language that comes out of my mouth, that I use the word "pussy," and "cunt," "twat," and "chatch," to describe people. So do many. Even the ever-popular "douchebag" is describing the outpouring of remnants from a vagina into a plastic bottle. And we use vaginal excretions to describe people. They are the lowest form of a human being: a douchebag.

We are so used to these words we don't think about what they mean. But they have great significance.

Our language is so slanted to hate women and speak degradingly about our parts that of course we still hold anger and disrespect towards women, subconsciously, or outwardly, as this--there I go--douchebag--did today.

How about: a smegman. Or a dingleberried, pot-bellied, hairless-but-hairy-everywhere else egomaniac. (Can we put that in a word?)

Or how about the equal opportunity: "asshole." We all have those and no one's is pretty.

The next time you want to say "d-bag," or "pussy," choose another word. And please choose carefully.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rhymes with Orange.

So some asswipe Traditional Rabbi said: "A woman belongs on the bimah (the altar where Jews pray) as much as an orange belongs on the Seder Plate."

For those of you that don't know, an orange doesn't belong on the seder plate--we have things like bones and eggs and greens and apples mushed with nuts and wine and horseradish. That's what's on a seder plate.

So this guy's point was that women shouldn't be rabbis. And the seder I was at tonight, like most of them I have been at in recent years, have oranges on their seder plates, in Defiance of This Horrible Man.

It's funny to me, that as a culture of educated people we make these symbolic changes and we do little to really Change.

But then I wonder if that's just our Nature.

The head of our seder tonight was a male. It's usally led by a male. I don't want to do it. I do and want to do a lot of things; this is not one of them. And then I realized almost ever seder I've been to in my life has been led by a male, that's just the way it is.

But with that, comes the comments that happened tonight as they do annually, the head of the seder commenting on his wife's poor cooking, as if she were supposed to be BORN able to cook. It's all in fun but tonight I heard it differently. She is the Food Organizer, as he calls her, and we all laugh.

This woman is an educated, working, successful woman. I know he's joking but there it is, this Symbolic Orange, and nothing around us is any different.

At this giant seder, we all go around and say our names and what we do. A young woman there tonight said she is at a major university studying to be a sports broadcaster. I found that bold and somewhat impressive. I always think the women sports journalists seem very savvy and enthusiastic and well, cooler than myself. On the way out, I heard her say, "yeah, well I don't really take women sports broadcasters seriously, so we'll see."

This is what she is studying to Be. If we don't believe in what we are, how can we grow up to Be it.

I just finished a two-month stint at an all-women's university, which was a most interesting and empowering experience. The women are smarter, savvier than I was at that age, more realistic, more emotionally resilient and more open-minded than I was in my early 20s. And they are learning to lead in ways I didn't. I would never have considered an all-women's school because I was supposed to Find a Husband in college. But I wonder, had I considered one, would I have been more likely to Find Myself sooner.

I fought for Hillary Clinton last year because I didn't know who our first woman president was going to be if not her. I still don't. Maybe it's just not in our nature to want to be President? Maybe we just don't want to deal with it the same way I don't want to bother to ever lead a seder? Because that's just The Way it Is?

When She wins, whomever She may be, I believe we will be a country changed forever, for the better, in the way I think we are after this election.

These women at this school are truly remarkable. Their yearbook is called "The Spinster,"--as it was deemed years ago--they cannot break with tradition.

I believe they will be the ones, however, to break with tradition--they are the female leaders of tomorrow and I am grateful to have worked with them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

So Angry I Could Blog

I have just come home from being assaulted by David Mamet's Speed the Plow, an unnecessary, irrelevant revival but for the fact that he presciently overuses the word "Maverick," and predicts the collapse of the economy.

This evening, this play felt like an excuse for misogynists to celebrate publicly and feel O.K. about it.

If you haven't seen it, and you don't need to, basically it's about a soulless movie producer who teams up with yet another soulless movie producer to pitch some movie that will make them rich. The movie is bad but that doesn't matter. In walks in a temporary secretary, seemingly dumb as nails, who ends up in first producer's home and talks him into believing in something.

The next day he finds out he has been duped because he realizes she met with him for personal gain, and that she is merely "pussy wrapped around ambition."

This might have been funny if I hadn't been treated as such so many times in my career.

And it occurred to me, while watching this play, that in this New Day with our New President, I am sick of the White Theatre. Because if this temp girl in Mamet's play had been an empowered black woman, she might not have taken any shit.

If there's one thing that is clear from the myriad of Inauguration Ceremonies, it is that our country is rife with excellent black artists and, given that so many gathered in D.C. on Tuesday, that they are very excited and ready to have their voice heard in the Mainstream.

And so am I.

Ready for it?

I believe Beyonce is the leader of the Feminist Movment.

Yes, really.

She has coined our country's most popular "if-then" phrase:

"IF you like it THEN you should have put a ring on it."

What could be more clear? There's no emoting, there's no hemming and hawing. There is only logic. A white chick would never have the wherewithal to be so bold.

A close second is: "Don't you EVER for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable," and tied is:

"The house I live in, I bought it. The car I'm driving, I bought it. I depend on me."

So clear. So concise. No B.S. And no one says: "Aw man that Beyonce, what a bitch." She is REVERED for her outspokenness, and all of America is quoting her.

During the campaign people tried to shut Michelle Obama up. She is naturally outspoken and that was scary to us white folk. But now that she's there, I would encourage her, if she's reading this, which she's clearly not, to not let the White Folk make her a fashion plate and to make sure she is heard. Michelle Obama is a brilliant, articulate woman and it would be a shame if she is merely the next Jackie Onassis (who, by the way (referencing the last post) has a reservoir named after her. We also came up with Golda Meir Way, but she's not a U.S. leader, and I forgot about Campbell Brown's show on CNN. I digress.)

Amidst all the dramatic recent cast changes surrounding Speed the Plow, (which, frankly, are more interesting than the play itself) while we're at it, how about replacing the white chick with, Beyonce...?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Twat's in a name?

The Triboro Bridge in NYC has been re-named the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

I think this is a beautiful thing: RFK was a great man who was taken from us too soon.

Whilst recently driving over the newly-minted RFK bridge in a cab, I couldn't help but attempt to think of roads or bridges or anything public or federally funded with a woman's name on it in either city I have lived in (or anywhere in the country). I came up empty.*

Dan Ryan. Kennedy. Eisenhower. Richard Nixon was an asshole and a crook and still gets his own library.

FDR. Stevenson. Lincoln Tunnel. Sheridan Road. O'Hare. LaGuardia. JFK. The George Washington Bridge.

The words are so ingrained in our vernacular, we forget they are actually in honor of a person.

Even honorary streets I've seen are solely men's: Mike Ditka Way. Jerome Robbins Way. Leonard Bernstein Way. Bob Fosse Way.

These men are clearly all deserving of their streets and bridges and tunnels and Ways and dysfunctional airports. I'm just curious when we'll be able to drive on a woman.

The most I can come up with is a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike bearing Susan B. Anthony's name. (For the record, the one with Alexander J. Hamilton's name I find equally disturbing and insulting: something about naming a place where you stop to piss after someone of honor just doesn't seem right to me. I digress.)

We had the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar issued in 1979; no one seemed to like that so we switched over to the ever-popular Sacajawea gold dollar. Sacajawea, the woman who allegedly led Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Ocean, actually was just along for the ride with her husband who was hired as an interpreter. But according to all the explorer's diaries, she maintained a helpful, uncomplaining attitude in the face of hardship. YAY! :)

And NO ONE likes or USES the coin dollar. It baffles cashiers and is oft mistaken for a quarter. They are heavy, a burden and the only time we get them is when we get change at the Post Office or at the MTA.

The whole gesture also seems like a big "whoops/sorry" to the Native Americans for raping and pillaging them. Which has nothing to do with women.

SO. Who's it gonna be?

Sarah Palin Boulevard?

Hillary Clinton Freeway?

I was queasy at 6:30 AM today (or maybe I was waiting for Santa) and sipped a coke while watching MSNBC. Apparently at 6:30 AM they have some show called MODELS NYC. (Who knew?)

The whole thing is sort of stupid, but in their attempt to keep it like a news show, they noted that women models make 50% more than men models on an equivalent shoot.

Well. It's about time.

So basically the only trade where women are paid more than men (that I can think of) is apparently modeling. And probably hookerdom, though I don't want to know.

So this says to me that the only place where women are valued and have the upper hand is in their beauty.

What also was interesting to note during my 6:30 am queasefest is that Rachel Maddow, who was just awarded her own show (yay!) on MSNBC, if you blur your eyes, kind of looks like a man. Like my eyes were blurry while watching this ad today and she looked like a darker-haired Keith Olberman. Ew.

Rachel Maddow is very attractive (and extremely smart), but, to be frank, because of her sexual orientation, she is not a threat to men. She can play ball because she suits up like the boys. Ms. Maddow's show is a huge victory according to the National Center for Women in the Media. And I would agree.

Still, I dare a news network to hire a feminine-looking woman to host a political show.

The thing that apparently gives women the upper hand in American life is not allowed into the political arena because it is simply too threatening.

And when we do get our chance, it's somewhat ignored or insignificant.

Katie Couric's Sarah Palin interview is more remembered for Sarah Palin's idiocy than for Katie Couric's abilities.

CNN did let Soledad O'Brien talk during the 2008 election. Her responsibilities were limited, however. She was a veritable anchorwoman.

Or, worse, it's called out:

During this recent financial upheaval, I've been watching CNBC, which, interestingly enough, has a lot of women on their network. And they're all really attractive. A woman named Contessa gets her own show. She gets to be badass and beautiful and brilliant. Four of the eight talking heads they have screaming at each other are women and they are treated with respect. It's sort of mind-blowing and refreshing, actually.

Could it be that women are more financially adept? Could it be that women are a little more savvy? Trustworthy? Would Bernie Madoff be Bernie Madoff if he were Bernice?

But if we want to get a street named after us, however, we must succeed in the political (or military) arena.

The only female military personnel to make it to the news that I've heard of was WINNER Lynndie England who made Iraqi prisoners diddle themselves for the camera and Jessica Lynch, the P.O.W. who, apparently, was merely used as a prop in the Bush Administration's Iraq-is-Going-Well Propaganda.

The only women allowed to be attractive on political television are smack-talking republicans.
Maybe they're doing something right.

Who knows? One day we might be taking a right on Ann Coulter Way.


(*If someone reading this knows of a street or public locale named after a woman, please comment! I would love to be proven wrong!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My dad used to tell me a(n often told) story about a clown shoveling shit after the circus.

A guy walks up to the clown and says, "Why do you do it?" to which the clown responds, "What, and give up showbusiness?"

I oft think of this story when I am doing shitty jobs in the theatre.

I turned on the TV last week to watch my friend, who is a Rockette, perform on the on the Today Show. (I'm sure I have a problem with the sexist nature of the Rockettes but I can't take on everyone right now.)

While waiting to see my friend, I stumbled upon the idiotic (4th) hour of the Today Show.

It's clearly targeted to women who aren't working and can't talk about anything intelligible or intelligent.

It's hosted by Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb, (a woman whose name I did not know until now after I googled her so I could write this blog). Hoda seemed very sharp and articulate.

Kathie Lee was a hot mess, but that goes without saying.

They did, however, bring on an accomplished (black, though it doesn't affect this story) woman doctor, Dr. Jennifer H. Mieres, who is the head of cardiology at NYU and the spokesperson for the Go Red Movement for Awareness of Women's Heart Disease. She was talking about how to identify heart disease early in women. She told the story of a woman whose doctor misdiagnosed her and spoke about the things to do to prevent this from happening.

And then Kathie Lee complimented her on her shoes and socks, calling her "One sexy doctor."

Why do we do these things? Why must we undercut ourselves when we're doing well?

It's not just women; men can be simple as well, certainly. I once dated a guy who knew every Chicago Bears play from 1985-1998. Useless.

But if women say smart things, can't we just let it be?

Yes, Michelle Obama dresses fierce. But she's also brilliant. Can't we listen to her talk instead of talking about what she looks like?

I think we need to shift the dialogue, ladies. Re-prioritize if we are to progress.

Back to Hoda. So apparently she started out as a Dateline correspondent and before that, worked for CBS in Cairo, Egypt.

But today on Today, Hoda is going to get a bird-poo facial.

That's right. Shit on her face.

I turned off the TV, discouraged.


Flash forward to today--I'm getting a ghetto manicure/pedicure and I think I recognize a woman about to get a massage. I recognize the voice. It's Hoda.

I have to ask.

"I have to ask, are you on the Today Show?"


"Ok, because I think I saw you getting a bird-poo facial?"

"Ugh yes, that was me."

"How'd that work out for you?"

"I don't know, I took it off five seconds later."

"Yeah, I was gagging."

"They were saying it was from some fancy bird--"

"Right, some Japanese bird--"

"But basically it's piegon poo. It costs like $500.00"

What, and give up journalism?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We Shall Overcome, Betches.

I just had a rehearsal during which a lovely nebbishy pianist told me I am like the Gloria Steinem of the theatre. Because I have a million things going on and 1001 projects to do. And I'm probably on my way to go meet with Hillary Clinton.

He doesn't read this blog, so I wasn't sure what he meant.

He was paying me a compliment.

Perhaps he was: the way to make shit happen is to go out and do something. I'm a woman making shit happen and so are they. I am proud to be put in a sentence with them.

I have recently become a believer: we have put a black man in the White House; one day there will come a day when I'll just be called a Director.

But until then, I'll take the Hill and Gloria similes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't be a Dumbass

I want to take a minute to talk about stupidity.

I don't discuss politics on this blog, purposely, and I fear I'm toeing the line, but here goes.

So this guy, Scott Eckern, who is a devout Mormon, just was forced to resign from being Executive Director of California Music Theatre/Sacramento Music Circus. He gave $1,000 to support Proposition 8 in California. This was put on public record, and he has been Found Out.

He says he didn't know.

I don't have a lot of money, but if I were to donate $1,000 to a cause, I might find out what it is.

So he is being attacked based on the presumption that that he did know, which he sort of revealed, ish, when he said it was a personal and religious matter. Which it is.

And now there's a witch hunt and I think he has become the focus of a lot of (justified) anger about the Proposition being passed. This deluge of anger might be slightly misplaced, but maybe not.

Regardless, if you work in the industry with lotsa gays, you might want to think about how it's going to look when you support a measure that has been considered harmful to those you employ. It was a bad political move for him, and now he is suffering the consequences.

Equally disturbing to me is the fact that he hits on women incessantly at his theatre, but no one's writing those letters. (I am only able to call this out now because another group took him down.)

I digress.

I'm learning that men are very silly, and I wonder if Scott Eckern didn't even notice the gays. I wonder if he just looked at the ladies ta tas and ignored all the flaming queens belting Dreamgirls in the dressing room.

He is one of those, with a ring on the finger and a twinkle in his eye...straight men, tolerant or not, just don't seem to be that interested in gay sex.

There are like 5 straight men in the theatre (and now there are 4) so this evidence is purely anecdotal.

I would venture to say that Scott Eckern lost his job because he is just another horny man.

Open your eyes. Stop looking at our tits. There's a world around you.

Jesus. Titty-Fucking. Christ.

(and Joseph Smith, too.)

Jazz Hands.