Advantageous: Feminist Science Fiction at its Best


A sighting of that rare bird called feminist science fiction is truly a thing to celebrate. It does exist, sometimes by accident (see Alien), and sometimes on purpose (see almost anything by Octavia Butler). With Advantageous, a film written by Jacqueline Kim and Jennifer Phang, directed by Phang and starring Kim, the feminism is entirely purposeful. Influenced […]

Two Plays By Women, Two Worldviews

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When I hear producers say, “Plays by women don’t sell tickets” (and they seem to say that a lot), I always find myself asking, “Which plays by which women?” The classification “plays by women” denotes nothing other than the author’s sex, and any two plays by any two women are as likely to be as […]

War Torn


  I believe that the things we don’t express will kill us. Kill us as a country, kill us as people. Paula Vogel   Walking the streets of Philadelphia is like walking through time. Reenactors in colonial garb occupy park benches and linger next to food carts, ready to regale passers-by with stories of our […]

“Top Girls” is Top-Notch Feminist Theater

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Few women playwrights have garnered as much praise and generated as much controversy as Caryl Churchill. Her work has been called feminist, post-modern, post-colonial, Marxist, experimental, irritating, innovative, ludicrous and brilliant. She has worked with feminist collectives such as Monstrous Regiment and at establishment institutions such as the Royal Court Theatre, where she was the […]

“Love Alone” Takes on Malpractice, Grief and Gay Rights


‘Tis the season when theaters across the country announce their 2014-2015 seasons. Two plays continue to dominate the boards, just as they did last year: David Ives’ Venus in Fur and Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. These shows played off-Broadway in 2010 and 2012, respectively, both transferred to Broadway and both […]

A Feminist Light in the Piazza

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The great Southern writer Elizabeth Spencer wrote her most famous story, “The Light in the Piazza, ” while living abroad. She had left the small town in which she grew up, Carollton, Miss., on a Guggenheim Fellowship for Italy. There she also wrote The Voice at the Back Door, about race relations in the South. This […]

Binders Full of Women and People-of-Color Playwrights


At a recent panel on diversity in Southern California theater, several of the artistic directors on the panel trotted out familiar platitudes about their commitment to diversity, their willingness to challenge their audiences with plays about people that don’t look like them and their desire to build a more diverse audience. Yet these same artistic […]

Women’s Bodies in the Oscar-Nominated Films

Katherine Hepburn's Best Actress Oscars, for" Lion in Winter" and "On Golden Pond"

  Jake Flanagin at Pacific Standard and Victoria Dawson Hoff at Elle recently floated an interesting idea: The Oscars should be entirely segregated by gender. Their proposal would create categories such as Best Female Director and Best Female Writer in addition to the already segregated acting awards. Though this would lead to recognition of more […]

How Much Do You Know About “Women’s Lib”?


During my years as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took as many classes as I could in their well-reputed women’s studies department. When I was required to take a sociology class, I took “The Foundations of Feminism.” For my philosophy requirement, I chose “Philosophy of Feminism.” A literature […]

Attacking Rape Culture with Gallows Humor


TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of rape and rape culture … When Jessie Kahnweiler started talking about making a comedic short film called Meet My Rapist about her personal experience with rape, everyone from friends and family to Hollywood insiders to feminists wary of offending victims urged her to rethink the idea. A P.R. consultant urged her to […]