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Gender Discrimination in Performing Arts

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Lizzie Barrett

on 10 February 2013

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Transcript of Gender Discrimination in Performing Arts

Gender Discrimination in performing arts what is gender discrimination? This presentation will be about Gender Discrimination, particularly within the performing arts industry. I will be focusing on what has been subject to change within the last century, and how some mediums portray/touch upon this. I have chosen this topic as my students and I have been discussing key texts, in which this theme seems to be recurrent, notably within William Shakespeare's works, one of our key playwrights this term. GENDER DISCRIMINATION:
The attitudes, behaviours or the advocation of stereotyping between men and women based on social norms and the idea that men and women do not have equal parts in the modern world. Take a moment to think about the roles which are viewed as dominant to a specific gender, and why this is the case. Male Dominant Professional Roles Emergency Services Armed/Military Forces Lawyers/Counselors/Attournies, etc. Doctors/Surgeons CEO/Executive Directors Higher Class Athletes all are marginally higher earners Female Dominant Professional Roles Administrative Teachers Nurses/Medical Reception Cleaners Home-makers all viewed as lesser earning menial...? Is it still viewed as a man's world...? How does this tie into the Performing Arts and Creative Industry...? In the industry itself: there are often misconceptions made about the sexuality of any male who wishes to become a premier danseur (male equivalent of a Prima Ballerina).
There are also many plays, musicals and songs which regard this topic as a theme. This is an excerpt from 'Seminar', a play about a group of four young and aspiring novelists who meet with once-famous novelist turned lecturer to discuss their penned works in return for his literary criticism. In this excerpt, Leonard has began to read one of the students' work and she apologises for it not being much. He suggests that writers should be ruthless about their writing, and Kate confronts Leonard about his views on this: Excerpt from 'Seminar' by Theresa Rebeck LEONARD: If you're going to write, be a fucking man about it. Kerouac wrote On the Road in like a week or something.

KATE: Okay, I'm sorry but what did you say? Did you say you want us to 'be a fucking man' about writing, and that that we should write like Kerouac?

LEONARD: You should write like yourself.

KATE: Yes. Yes. I agree with that but if my 'self' is a woman, I don't see why I then should write like a man.

LEONARD: If you're going to be some fucking feminist about it, that would be up to you, but I can't help you with that.

KATE: Feminist, I didn't say feminist, I said woman. woman. What is wrong with being a woman and being a writer.

LEONARD: You would have to answer that for yourself.

KATE: But you said it. You said, 'be a man', be like Jack Kerouac who a total pig to women -

LEONARD: Look, if you want to argue about feminist politics, I'm not here to argue with you about that. I'm here to talk about writing. 1920's: Marriage Property Act removal granted 1922: Property Act pertaining
Divorce. Each party is granted
half and half of the Property
obtained during the marriage. 1928: Women are granted equal voting rights 1930/40's: women called to the frontline for work during WWII. 1950's: the era of the
Housewife. 1956: Female teachers and
civil servants are granted
equal pay to males. 1968: Ford women's strike
The Equal Pay Act 1982: It is now illegal for
any bar to DENY females service Later in the play, we see Kate has written something new, posing as a male transvestite Cubano gang leader, which fools Leonard into thinking that she is dropping out of the writing seminar and being replaced by this newbie writer. Leonard basically admits to Martin that he thinks the males are the ones with the talent.

Here is another excerpt, from the final scene in which Kate and Martin reflect on the play's themes of what makes a good writer; gender or knowledge? An example of a female dominant medium, in which the male is classed as the 'underdog' per se, would be "Billy Elliot".
The story of the young boy who has been brought up by his father and older brother, learning how to box, until he sees a Ballet class. He attends the class for fun until he realises he actually has a natural flair and talent for Ballet.
Billy continues to attend the Ballet classes in secret, under the guise of attending his boxing classes, until his dance teacher suggests to his father that he audition for the R.A.D., from there Billy's story progresses positively once his father hears him explain how it feels when he's dancing. Linking this
now to my subject area Performing Arts, specifically Musical Theatre is viewed as a typically feminine or 'campy' genre of theatre. Our enrolment figures at college suggest there is some type of correlation between gender and subject. As there is a ratio of 3 : 1 females over males enrolled this year. Any questions? Other examples of female gender discrimination: William Shakespeare.............................................................................................The Merchant of Venice
Richard Greenberg...................................................................................................................The American Plan
Henrik Ibsen....................................................................................................................................................A Doll's House

NCIS (2003 - Present)
Australia (2006)
Talk Radio (1989)
Letters From The Big Man (2011)

A Man's World................................................................................................................................................James Brown
Only Women Bleed..................................................................................................................................Alice Cooper
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