greensword: (bitch please)
[personal profile] greensword
While I'm procrastinating...

I saw this piece on women playwrights and theater about a week ago. I don't know if those without a nytimes subscription can read it, but here's an excerpt:

When more than 160 playwrights and producers, most of them female, filed into a Midtown Manhattan theater Monday night, they expected to hear some concrete evidence that women who are authors have a tougher time getting their work staged than men. And they did. But they also heard that women who are artistic directors and literary managers are the ones to blame.


I grew increasingly more grumpy as I read the story, which details a study that asked male and female artistic directors to rate identical scripts with male and female names attached. The surprising finding (at least, the one reported by the NY Times and others in the media) was that female artistic directors were the ones giving lower ratings to women.

Here's the real deal:

The questions about the likely reception of a play intend to measure customer discrimination (by the audience, in this case) and co-worker discrimination (by the actors). They are not measures of what the respondent himself or herself thinks about the play... All it means is that they believe the audience and the workers in the theater are less accepting of female playwrights than of male playwrights. Male respondents don't believe this, but then they don't have the same life experiences as the female respondents...

Suppose you come and interview me about authors, say, and ask me to tell which ones I think are really good and what their future prospects might be. And I give you some female and some male names of writers I like and regard as equally good and then tell you that the female ones have not as great prospects as the male ones. Then you go out and write that THIS PROVES I'M THE REASON FOR THEIR NOT-SO-GREAT PROSPECTS! That's pretty much how this whole thing works: To notice discrimination is to be guilty of it.


Sexism is alive and well in theater... and in journalism.
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