Jun 18

Women Now Empowered … GREAT ONION PIECE

http://www.theonion.com/article/women-now-empowered-by-everything-a-woman-does-1398

 

Jun 11

It’s a Boy, Peg Tittle

It was understandable, really.  By far, most of the crime— 97% in fact—was committed by men.  Prisons are expensive to build and maintain.  Prisoners are also expensive—they don’t work while they’re in prison, so we have to support them.  Then there’s the expense of the police forces and courts that get them there.  And the emergency services that take care of all the gunshot wounds, the knife slashes, the broken jaws…

 

She pushed.  And pushed.  The hospital room was white and sterile.  The attending doctor said something to the assisting nurse from time to time, but things seemed to be progressing normally.  But that didn’t mean it wasn’t excruciatingly painful.

Her husband mopped the sweat off her brow, and encouraged, and reassured.

“And push again,” the doctor said.

“It better be a girl,” she grunted as she pushed again when the wave of pain struck her.

“Don’t worry about that now, honey” her husband said.  “Just focus, you’re doing good…”

 

            Then there’s  all the environmental stuff.  All those beer cans, empty cigarette packs, fast food cartons—most of the litter along the highways was put there by men.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  What are they driving on those highways?  Big cars and pick-up trucks.  Gas-guzzlers with high emissions.  And the companies that dump toxic waste, and clear cut forests, and dam river systems…?  All run by men.

 

“I want a girl,” she cried.  With exhaustion.  With worry.

“Oh come now,” the nurse said.  “Boys are harder, I know, had two of ‘em myself.  Holy terrors half the time, but you love ‘em just the same.”

“Another push— ”

 

            The insurance companies opened the door when they implemented higher premiums for men between the ages of sixteen and twenty-six.  They were the ones more likely to cause an accident.  Can’t argue with the facts and figures. 

 

“No, it’s not that,” she gasped, “It’s the money.

“Shh, honey, we’ll find a way, it’ll be all right,” he wiped her brow again.

“One more, I think—”

She gave one final push then fell back against the pillows, drenched, exhausted.  She waited anxiously for the announcement.

“It’s a boy!”
            They called it the Gender Responsibility Tax— a $5,000 surtax was levied on each and every male.  Payable annually, from birth to death.  By the parents, of course, until the boy reached manhood.  

 


(Thanks to June Stephenson.  It was her idea.)

Jun 06

Things they’ll never tell you about basketball — and sexism

 

 

Things they’ll never tell you about basketball – and sexism

May 28

The Hook (Up) – a short script by Peg Tittle

FADE IN:

 

INT. BAR — NIGHT

 

Crowded bar scene.  MAN and WOMAN do the standard flirting thing, he buys her a drink, they dance, then exit.  Their dialogue isn’t important — the bar’s too loud for us to hear much anyway.  But it’s clear that both are willing to engage in the sex that follows.

 

INT. APARTMENT — LATER

 

They enter her apartment and move through it toward the bedroom, happily and heatedly, kissing, touching, and unbuttoning each other on the way.

 

INT. BEDROOM — CONTINUOUS

 

They are on the bed, then in the bed, which has a nightstand right beside it, then while intercourse is clearly occurring —

 

WOMAN

So, do you want a girl or a boy?

 

He stops mid-thrust.

 

MAN

What?

 

He pulls out.  Grimaces at his limpness.

 

WOMAN

Well, you aren’t using any contraception, so it stands to reason you want a child.  I mean, you must know that —

(she gestures vaguely)

 

MAN

(rolling off her; things are clearly over)

Of course I know — No, I don’t want a kid —

 

He’s up and dressing.

 

MAN (CONT’D)

I assumed you were —

 

WOMAN

Pretty important thing to just take for granted, isn’t it?

 

MAN

(his anger increasing)

What is this, some sort of trap?

 

WOMAN

Not at all.  I’m okay with it. I mean, I’ll charge for incubation services, $50,000 is about standard, and then give you the kid, no strings —

 

MAN

I don’t want a kid!

 

WOMAN

Then why —

 

MAN

Because you’re the one who gets pregnant!

 

WOMAN

I realize that.  And as I said, I’m okay with it.  If you’re the one not okay with it, if you’re the one who doesn’t want this to be reproductive sex, then you’re the one who should be using contraception.

 

He says nothing as he continues to dress.

 

WOMAN (CONT’D)

Are you usually this adept at separating cause and effect?  At not looking at the consequences of your actions?

 

He reaches for his jacket.

 

WOMAN (CONT’D)

I mean, if you and a friend do a B & E together and he’s the only one who gets caught, you’re okay with that?  You’d really not consider yourself equally responsible?

 

MAN

(quite angry now)

I’d consider myself lucky.  Bitch!

 

He strides out of the bedroom.

 

WOMAN

(cheerily)

I’ll call you!

May 21

Pretty, Katie Makkai

May 14

Size Matters – a short film collage

Size Matters, Peg TIttle

 

What if women were the taller sex?  I suggest that this would make a difference in the power relationship between men and women.  Ask any short man.

This short film is a five‑minute (approximately) collage of scenes from ordinary life.  That is, ordinary life reversed ‑ one in which women are taller than men.

So every woman in the film must be taller than every man, except where specified; on average, the men should be 5’4″ and the women 5’10”.  (Tap into women’s basketball and volleyball teams and men’s figure skating clubs and dance companies for extras.)

This is a silent film, though clearly dialogue is going on.

It is of utmost importance that the actors’ carriage not undermine the height difference.  It should be mandatory for all actors to take a cross‑gender acting workshop.

For that reason, a woman should be director.  Most women, more than most men, tend to be more aware of the nuances of body language that mark dominance and subordination.  A woman director would thus be more apt to ask the actors to make the necessary corrections.

 

SCENES:

 

  1. The halls, classroom, and grounds of an elementary school: all the teachers are male; the principal is female; students are shown mostly in all‑girl and all‑boy groupings; when the group is mixed, boys and girls are the same height; all are engaged in gender‑neutral activities (I know that young girls play house and young boys fight, but showing this would confuse the point; young girls and boys also sit at their desks, stand around talking, walk down the hall, chase each other, etc.)

 

  1. A cafe: all the staff waiting on customers are male, as is the cashier.

 

  1. At home, in the kitchen: as she’s on the phone with an important call, she absently reaches to get something out of a high cupboard for a child, then does the same for him (he could’ve reached, but it’d be a stretch ‑ it’s just an easy reach for her, no big deal).

 

  1. At the office, in the lobby: a cluster of women executives walk in on their way to their offices; they nod or ignore male subordinates at reception.

 

  1. A dinner date: a man and a women are finishing dinner and the cheque is presented to her.

 

  1. Hospital admissions area: the nursing and clerical staff are male; the doctor walking past is female.

 

  1. The halls, classroom, and grounds of a high school: all the teachers are male; the principal is female; students are shown in situations somewhat similar to the elementary school scene, but now the girls are taller than the boys.

 

  1. A male‑female couple walking down the sidewalk: she takes longer strides than he does, so he has to walk more quickly; in fact, he has to half‑run to keep up, like a child (and perhaps he hobbles on platform shoes); the way they hold hands, she seems to be leading him, and is always just a tad ahead of him.

 

  1. At home, at dinner time: she and the older, taller daughter are at the table; the younger, shorter son enters from the kitchen carrying something, followed by the husband carrying something (nothing special, it’s just routine dinner time).

 

  1. Crowd scenes: these are sprinkled throughout the rest of the film, but it is imperative that they not begin about half way through so the viewers see the effect first (power relationship reversals) and only later the cause (only in the crowd scenes does it become really clear that women are taller than men in this world).

 

  1. At the office: a woman in her own office is engaged in serious business as a male secretary slips in with a message and a cup of coffee for her.

 

  1. Various offices at a university: most of the faculty are women (shown in classrooms or in their private offices); most of the admin and support staff are male (shown at desks in a more public area).

 

  1. A male‑female couple dancing: she leads.

 

  1. Hospital operating room: the surgeon and anaesthetist are women; the nurses are men.

 

  1. At home, in the living room: she’s in the larger of two chairs, reading the paper; she lifts her feet up off the footstool so he can run a vacuum cleaner between the chair and footstool.

 

  1. A male‑female couple posing for a picture: her arm is around his shoulders.

 

  1. A courtroom: the judge is a woman; the clerk is a man.

 

  1. At the office, in a meeting room (all of the women must be taller even when seated): the seven or eight women present are talking and deciding; the one or two men present sit silent, taking notes; a man half raises his hand for permission to speak, but is unacknowledged; a man reaches over to fill a woman’s water glass before filling his own, not because he was asked to do so but just as a matter of routine (the subordinate attends to the superordinate’s needs).

 

  1. A male‑female couple approaches a car; the woman gets into the driver’s seat; the man gets into the passenger seat.

 

  1. Election campaign shots: all candidates are women; the men are in the background and clearly aides.

 

May 08

To all the men who

To all the men who let their mothers and wives do all the dusting, vacuuming, kitchen wiping, and bathroom scrubbing; to all the men who throw their garbage  out of their cars and boats and ATVs and snowmobiles; and to all the men who ‘externalize’ the waste/disposal costs involved in doing (their) business — because it’s somehow emasculating to clean up after yourself, YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR DEFINITION OF ‘MASCULINE’.  Because at the moment it’s very much like ‘infantile’ and ‘irresponsible’.

May 02

A Great Twisty Faster post: “That can’t be sexual assault because it’s normal”

Thought I’d start reposting some of Twisty’s pieces (because, really, they need to be read again and again) (sigh).

 

“That can’t be sexual assault because it’s normal”

Apr 25

from Joanna Russ’ The Female Man

excerpted from Joanna Russ’ The Female Man:

 

…I wept aloud, I wrung my hands, crying: I am a poet! I am Shelley! I am a genius! … Lady, your slip’s showing. …

There is the vanity training, the obedience training, the self-effacement training, the deference training, the dependency training, the passivity training, the rivalry training, the stupidity training, the placation training. How am I to put this together with my human life, my intellectual life, my solitude, my transcendence, my brains, and my fearful, fearful ambition? I failed miserably and thought it was my own fault. You can’t unite woman and human any more than you can unite matter and anti-matter; they are designed to not to be stable together and they make just as big an explosion inside the head of the unfortunate girl who believes in both.

Do you enjoy playing with other people’s children-for ten minutes? Good! This reveals that you have Maternal Instinct and you will be forever wretched if you do not instantly have a baby of your own (or three or four) and take care of that unfortunate victimized object twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, for eighteen years, all by yourself. (Don’t expect much help.)

Are you lonely? Good! This shows that you have Feminine Incompleteness; get married and do all your husband’s personal services, buck him up when he’s low, teach him about sex (if he wants you to), praise his technique (if he doesn’t), have a family if he wants a family, follow him if he changes cities, get a job if he needs you to get a job, and this too goes on seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year forever and ever amen unless you find yourself a divorcee at thirty with (probably two) small children. (Be a shrew and ruin yourself, too, how about it?)

 

 

 

Apr 14

The Mr. America Pageant – a short feminist script

The Mr. America Pageant, Peg Tittle

(hoping there are some people out there looking for short feminist scripts, for film or stage!)

 

This is a parody of the Miss America Beauty Pageants.  Basically, it’s a freeform collage of scenes (of indeterminate length – five minutes might suffice) similar to those one would see during the pageant, but all featuring male contestants instead of female contestants.  Seeing men say and do such things is hilarious; why isn’t seeing women equally laughable?

 

Suggested scenes…

 

  1. Backstage before the opening parade of contestants, showing shots of individual men in close-up, wearing their crowns, gushing about how excited they are to be here, to have won in their home state – and to be HERE!! – oh my, this is what they have dreamed about since they were a little boy…

 

  1. Opening parade of contestants: each man in a tuxedo, wearing his home state banner and crown, walks (in that rehearsed way) from offstage to front and center, poses in profile to left and right, smiling throughout, then walks to the back to stand in chorus line, while the MC introduces each one by state, the contestants adding “I’m X, and my home state is Y!”

 

  1. Swimsuit competition: a parade of the men, most in a bikini, some in a larger suit, again with their banners on

 

  1. Talent competition: men doing the things the women tend to do…twirling a baton (and smiling at the same time), playing the piano, playing the flute (and smiling at the same time), singing a (sappy, insipid) song, dancing on pointe and singing at the same time (and smiling at the same time)

 

  1. Interview section: the individual men are asked questions, and they give the answers the women so often give – What are your life plans? I want to help people, I would like to work with children, I want to become the best person I can be, I like reaching out to young people, changing their lives…What is the most important thing to you? world peace…What do you cherish the most? children, life…What would you tell young people today? I would tell them to look inside their hearts…

 

  1. Mr. Congeniality Award: presented with lots of hugs and tears

 

  1. Mr. America crowning: the finalists are called and assemble at front and center, then the runners-up are eliminated one by one, and finally the winner is declared, crowned, and presented with flowers and a sceptre; again tears and hugs; he stands in glory, then does the victory walk out toward the audience and back, then stands again, tears streaming down his face.

 

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