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Final Performances, Critical Feminist Studies, Fall 2007

"Inherit the Wind," or
Feminists Playing

December 11, 2007

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
11:29, King James Bible)

"Bryn Mawr has, Faust states, 'changed enormously since I was there.
It was an explictly non-feminist institution.
The assumption was that Bryn Mawr made you as good as men.'"
"Woman at the top: Drew Gilpin Faust '68 steers Harvard's future"
Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin
(November 2007)

YJ: I do think feminist plays could be a powerful alternative to the novel in terms of pushing us to think harder about what feminism is and should be....I read Heidi as a sort of prohet for the next wave of feminism...moving into an empty space, away from all the other people of her life in order to better write...a literal rendition of Virginia Woolf's call for "a room of one's own"...I could literally envision Heidi sweeping into this gorgeous, empty and silent room with sunlight flooding in-the most serene-looking place ever....

Let's see what else feminism looks like...
sweeping into empty space...

--course evaluations

Mary Clurman's "Public Sex and Gender: A Reaction Scale":
I. audience immersion:
a slide show of pubic expressions of sexuality
(explicit as possible, bigger than life, and in extreme close-up)
II. depiction of Mary's responses over the displays,
to evoke potential contrast in viewpoints
III. conversation about discomfort: classist rankings?
IV. why-and-how does the need for sexual display inform our social behavior?

Mary's conclusions: Sex is displayed in an effort to resolve societal conflict between sex and power/powerlessness -- not to examine or come to terms with the conflict but in obsessive compulsive unwillingness to confront the issue directly....If we can find unity within ourselves, we will be able to relax on the score of sex and sexuality...not abandonment of the physical but union of practical mind with practical body.

Weezie, Abby & Tamarinda

Hannah &
Emily & Nora
Photographs of the Performances

The Critical Feminist Studies Serenity Prayer:
"Grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot define,
the courage to comprehend the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."

To conclude, Audre Lorde's "Stations"...


Some women love
to wait
for life for a ring
in the June light for a touch
of the sun to heal them for another
woman's voice to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to their passages sound
to their screams for some other sleeper
to remember their future their past.

Some women want for their right
train in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.

Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
to become
the tip of an arrow to aim
at the heart of now
but it never stays.

Some women wait for visions
that do not return
where they were not welcome
for invitations to places
they always wanted
to visit
to be repeated.

Some women wait for themselves
around the next corner
and call the empty spot peace
but the opposite of living
is only not living
and the stars do not care

Some women wait for something
to change and nothing
does change
so they change

- Audre Lorde