The Fairy Princess on a daily basis gets frustrated with young women in the public eye.
She says that not because she is angry or unhappy about them being in the public eye, but because so often, they ones that wound up in the public eye at a young age have missed some supplemental education because value is placed on other things – things like singing and dancing and acting.
Don’t go crazy, it is TFP’s opinion based on observation.
While TFP knows that singing, dancing, and acting does NOT prevent one from ‘thinking the big thinks‘ – if one does not realize the value of them, those ‘big thinks‘, then one can so easily laugh them off – the collective value of the big thinks.
Case in point – FEMINISM
Now, TFP is of the opinion that every woman in the United States today is a feminist.
This is a loaded statement – and people will ‘come’ for TFP, but WHY is she saying that?
TFP says that every woman in the United States and a large portion of Western Countries are Feminists because they stand, we stand, on the backs of the women that came before. We, the Women of the World, are, as is said in The Joy Luck Club – like ‘steps through time” – one after the other. We, the Women of the United States, are afforded freedoms and choices because of Feminist principles and activists, who fought for us in the past.
With each age, women strive to come forward a bit more. Yes, we continually have to ‘prove’ ourselves – that we are smart, that we are useful, that we are good mothers, that we are ‘just as capable‘….yes, it is exhausting. This is not new, but it is a constant battle that we wage, secure in the knowledge that at least some of it, has backing in legislation.
Women today have choices now that their Grandmothers could not imagine. Some women have choices that, given where their Mother came from and how she grew up, that their MOTHER could not imagine – and that is AWESOME!
Which is why TFP was so disheartened to read this quote in the New York Times by Vanessa Hudgens,
who will be starring in the Broadway Revival of GIGI.
Regarding her own feminism, “I used to be on the fence about it, “she said “Just because I feel like it gets to a certain place where it almost has the reverse effect, where it is so overpowering and so aggressive that it’s like rather than just standing up for female pride and female rights, it becomes, like, “I am the man’.
Out came the giggle, like a lace fan. “But now I feel like there’s this new wave of feminists coming up that are truly about equal rights for women. I mean, Beyonce is, like, killing the game, and I love her.”
You have been ON THE FENCE about Feminism because you think it is aggressive and makes you like a man?
ON THE FENCE?
You mean that fence that they used to use to keep women from voting, keeping their wages, deciding how many children to have, deciding to pursue education, and deciding to have the ability to start a business that was not based solely on selling their vagina to the highest bidder?
THAT is the fence you were on, Miss Vanessa?
Not good enough.
Look, TFP rarely responds to young actresses speaking about Feminism – Cayley Cuoco gave a doozy of a statement when she told REDBOOK Magazine (when asked was she a Feminist)
“Is it bad if I say no? ….I cook for Ryan five nights a week and it makes me feel like a housewife; I love that”
Ms. Cuoco later had to apologize because she is a multi-millionaire who has made her living in one of the most color biased and gender biased businesses in the world, a world she resides in because of an uber amount of privilege and timing…and she made the rounds spouting that age old Publicist ‘cure-all’ – ‘My words were taken out of context.’
No, they weren’t. Vanessa’s were not either. They were not taken out of context because, as is quite clear – because you have to know what the context IS, to be taken out of it. These young women of privilege and position have NO IDEA what Feminism is, and what it has given them, and so…they are talking out of their ass.
Yes, TFP said “talking out of their ass’ er…’asses’.
While TFP generally ignores things that silly women say – ONLY BECAUSE SHE KNOWS HOW MANY BRILLIANT AND SAVVY WOMEN ARE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD – she cannot ignore it when a person of Mixed race says them.
under the bus you go, because Hapas are not allowed to spout this idiocy.
There are SO FEW of us out there that EVERY time one of us gets an opportunity they have to, by default, be a role model.
Yes, it is exhausting. Yes, it is a pain in the ass. But what is so tragic is that 11 year old Hudson Yang is paying more attention to his words, as one of the stars of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT,
than you are, as one of the FIRST Hapas to be headlining a Broadway show at 26 years old!
You are a GROWN ASS WOMAN….and you should know better!
“We”, the Hapas of Broadway have the leads in ALADDIN, and YOU – that’s it.
If Nicole Scherzinger comes in with CATS, that will be FOUR.
Now and in the foreseeable future….
If we were to add the supporting roles of those in King & I, it would bring it up to SEVEN. (Much respect to Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, and Ashley Park).
SIX lead roles played by people of mixed Asian descent out of 32 shows on Broadway. With a possible 7th coming in.
So no, Miss Vanessa…when we are only dealing with one out of six, one who has legions of teenage female fans, you do not get a pass when you give a quote that posits only BEYONCE as an ‘acceptable’ Feminist.
Beyonce has a great gift with a ‘lick’ and is an amazing performer, but are her songs feminist thought inspiring?
If Ya Liked It then ya Should’a Put a Ring on it?
Beyonce lives as a Feminist – she owns a business, she has her own money, she gives to charity, she is a mother, she votes , she expresses her opinions and is not mocked for them – all those things are benefits of Feminism. Yes, she lives her life as a Feminist, as all women in this country do – but her songs- they usually revolve around a man. She ‘owns’ her own sexuality, and that is a component of Feminism of course, but TFP does not really think of Crazy In Love as a rallying cry for Feminism.
No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade – it is what it is.
TFP likes Beyonce and her music – but looking for lessons of Feminism from the lyrics?
Whitney Houston, now? Madonna? Lady Gaga? Pink? Those would all be yes.
TFP is now going to tell you why, YES VANESSA…you ARE a Feminist – in case you are asked again…
1. You get to vote
in 1920 – a mere 95 years ago, via the 19th Amendment, women were allowed to vote in elections in the United States
2. You are not the property of your Father as an unmarried woman (Women’s History In America)
“During the early history of the United States, a man virtually owned his wife and children as he did his material possessions. If a poor man chose to send his children to the poorhouse, (to repay his debts) the mother was legally defenseless to object. …Equity law had a liberalizing effect upon the rights of women in the United States. For instance, a woman could sue her husband. Mississippi in 1839, followed by New York in 1848 and Massachusetts in 1854, passed laws allowing married women to own property separate from their husbands. In divorce law, however, the divorced husband kept legal control of both children and property.”
As a young woman, not only would you be the ‘property’ of your Father, you would have to turn all monies earned, if you were ‘allowed’ to work by him, you would turn it all over TO him, because your money was NOT your own.
And if your Dad was Tom Cruise…it would have been…..
3. You are not the property, should you choose to marry, of your Husband – this was ‘coverture”.
Under coverture, you would turn over any and all property to your Husband as soon as you were married – you would have no say in it’s administration or disposal, and had no legal repercussions if he mishandled the funds. Likewise in the case of a divorce, the courts would favor dispersal to the husband with a small ‘jointure’ perhaps given to the wife at the dissolution of the marriage. Maybe.
You may be familiar with this as the basic plot of DOWNTOWN ABBEY – remember? The Earl has mishandled the funds his wife brought to the marriage which saved Downtown, but cannot be passed on to Lady Mary because….you guessed it – coverture!
4. You can have a ‘line of credit’ aka “a credit card’ in your own name.
That law happened in 1974 – and it was called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Yes, Vanessa – 1974 was when women in America could get their own credit card! Do YOU have a credit card? Then you should thank those Feminists, male and female, who worked together before you were born, to make sure you could drop into any store you like and buy whatever you want.
5. If you do get married, and you suffer spousal rape, it is now a crime. This law was passed in 1993. You may even have been born, Miss Vanessa – prior to that, if your spouse was in the mood and you weren’t, too bad.
6. You can run in the Boston Marathon…something that women could not do until 1972.
7. You have access to birth control without being subject to ‘decency laws’ or risk being thrown into jail for lewdness.
8. You can get a divorce (if you chose to get married) without having to prove anyone was ‘at fault’.
Prior to 1967, it was rather hard to get a divorce in this country because one needed ‘grounds’. Like, for example, if the Husband was beating the wife all day and night, and he didn’t want her to be able to divorce him, he could (through attorneys and the law at the time) deny that there was a ‘reason’ for the marriage to dissolve. The wife could move out of course, but legally, he was still her husband.
However, it was shockingly easy for a Husband to put aside a wife, because grounds like ‘adultery’ can be given – even if none occurred, and the court in general, found ‘for’ the Husband. Because of course, who would want to live with a cheating wife?
No Fault Divorce has many for and against – even Feminists are divided, however the fact is, if a woman or man is ‘trapped’ within an untenable situation and they want to walk away – they can.
FYI, should you be getting married any time soon whilst on Broadway, it is worth noting that New York State was the last state to ratify No Fault Divorce – in 2010.
9. You do not have to wear a religious or state sanctioned outfit that inhibits your freedom of movement – you have a right to wear whatever you want to wear. You can thank Feminists of the 1960‘s for modern inventions like the miniskirt and so forth.
10. You have the right to star on Broadway in a show about a young girl of 14 who is sold, by her Great Aunts, to an older man in his at least, late 30’s, who is then sooooo overcome by her youth and zest that he ACTUALLY MARRIES HER!
Instead of, as was the custom in the era in which the show is set, signing a contract with her Family as to how many dresses, spending money, carriages, what kind of house she was to have, what the care and feeding of any children resulting from their sexual congress would be, and which gave HIM the ability to terminate, at any time, his support of a woman who was for all intents and purposes ‘ruined’ in the eyes of society because she was no longer a virgin. Also in the contract would likely be how many times per week she was to expect to receive his ‘attentions’, and perhaps even the times with which she must wait up till, before she could make the determination that he was not coming, so she could go to bed.
After her Swain was done with her, and the contract was terminated, she would have to find another ‘protector’, as long as she still had her looks. If she was lucky, she would receive a ‘settlement’ with which she could invest, if not perhaps she would be able to get enough ‘gifts’ that she would then be able to sell as she aged and became less desirable to wealthy men. This would continue until she succumbed perhaps, to one of a host of venereal diseases while all her former lovers were married to ‘respectable’ women and had long and productive lives. She would be left in ‘genteel’ or abject poverty till her death.
That is what happened to Courtesans – if you do not believe, TFP, go and ask Fantine, she is a few theaters down from you.
That this current version of GIGI is being produced by women who have updated and changed the ages and have made this Gigi more palatable, (according to your Director, Eric Schaeffer “We had to get the perv factor out of it“), to modern tastes… is a result of Feminism.
Because….de facto – you have Women in power positions on this production, addressing concerns modern women might have with the show – which is the direct result of people laying down in marches and protests, burning their undergarments, going on hunger strikes, marching, legislating, and in general, trying to assure that you, as a 26 year old woman of today, would never have to go through what women in the past have gone through.
Do the freedoms given to you by women of the past alleviate your concerns that people might think of you as angry or aggressive?
Are there any that you would like to give back?
The reason that we are all able to stand up for ourselves and decide for ourselves is because those are rights that were won before we even got here on this planet, by Feminists, also call Suffragettes, also called Interfering Women, also a slew of derogatory names as well as ‘Too smart for their own damn good”. Not all of them were women, either.
The women of the past have paid it forward to us, and now it is our job to continue to encourage young women to embrace being Feminists, to embrace thinking, to embrace striving, not to scare them by denying what it actually is – which is equality in all things. It is striving for equality – struggles that still go on today.
If one is going to be in a show about a Prostitute…
(which, don’t get TFP wrong, Musical Theater LOVES us some Prostitutes, they get ALL the best songs!)
….who is fighting for her right to decide her own future – then does it not reason that the star of that show should EMBRACE FULLY AND COMPLETELY THE NOTION OF FEMINISM AS IT STANDS TODAY?
IS THAT NOT WHAT THIS ‘NEW’ VERSION OF GIGI IS ABOUT ACCORDING TO HEIDI THOMAS, the writer?
Women making their own choices?
You do know that the French Monks who invented Champagne by accident were actually not thinking of Happy Hookers and their Swains when they invented the bubbly beverage, right? Lerner & Lowe just made that up?
Look let’s not drag this on and on and on because here is the short list:
You are Feminist if you have ever begun, as a woman, a sentence with “Well, I think….”
You are a Feminist if you have ever stated, as a woman, “I don’t like that….”
You are a Feminist if you, as a woman, have expressed your option to not have sex with a man who requests it
You are a Feminist if you have, as a woman, encouraged a little girl to dream about her future, and dream big
Those are four VERY SIMPLE examples of how one can be a Feminist.
For equating Feminism with trying to be a man, and denying that you yourself are the recipient of the benefits of Feminism – TFP sentences you to 20 whacks with the wand, a wonderful Opening Night, and a reading of The Personal is Political by Carol Hanisch, which you should then talk about with the very brilliant Ms. Thomas with whom you work!
The next time someone asks you – and they will again, TFP would appreciate it, as a person of Mixed Asian descent and as a WOMAN if you would simply reply
“I would not be where I am today without Feminism. Next question.”
Tell ’em Hillary!