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The Creep

January 13, 2009
The photo on the left is Brian Bedford in drag portraying Lady Bracknell in the upcoming play, The Importance of Being Earnest at Avon Theatre in Ontario, Canada. He is the director too. Instead of giving the part to an aging female, the very creature whose acting parts decrease as her age increases, he decides to cast himself. Apparently, directing is not a prestigious enough position for a man like Bedford. He must push his male privilege around, deprive women of possible parts, and play them himself.

Of course, having a female play the role of John (Jack) Worthy (the cunning and dashing male lead) or even Algernon (the secondary but competing for primary cunning and dashing male), would be out of the question. No, a woman playing a man is not funny, not at all, particularly not a man who should make both men and women swoon like that Jack Worthy. Everyone knows that. It is only funny when men are taking away from women. It is only funny when men out-women women.

Shall I even bother to mention how difficult it is to find out who will be playing the other two female characters in the play, —Cecily Cardew and Miss Laetitia Prism? Obviously, their roles are not important enough to mention on the website. If you are curious to know the names of the two butlers Merriman and Lane who have less lines than a rehabilitated coke addict, they are Tim MacDonald and Robert Persichini respectively.

See, we, in the name of fraudulent progressiveness, are to rejoice in Bedford’s choice to play a female role and ignore how he is taking work away from a woman. If you dare complain, you are against deconstructing gender roles. Something you will only be when you point out how males are disproportionately represented even when the play itself does not require that disproportion. Counting characters with significant dialogue, the original play calls for, four females, Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen, Cecily and Miss Prism and three males, John, Algernon, and Rev. Chasuble. Bedford unapologetically commandeers one of those female roles and the website erases two more by not listing the actors portraying Cecily and Miss Prism. I am assuming a Cecily will have to be in the play, but no sign of a Miss Prism. Maybe they have not been casted yet or maybe Miss Prism has been written out. Nevertheless, it reveals the rub. The casting of two women does not take priority over Bedford’s photo shoot in drag. That detail has been accomplished for sure.

If you shut your mouth and rave about how you cannot wait to pay money to watch a man perform a role an aging woman could have had, in addition to his already prestigious role of director, you are an ally. Gold star! If not, poo poo on you.

It may be trivial, but there it is. If the patriarchy is not blatantly overshadowing, it is creeping. Never does it cease.

12 Comments
  1. MargaretJamison permalink
    January 13, 2009 10:47 am

    Damn. I am so sick of men dragging it up to play a woman. If it really doesn’t matter who plays the role, why drag it up? And if a woman was actually wanted, why not just choose a woman??? I hated it when John Travolta did it too Hairspray, as if there wasn’t a talented fat woman who could have played the rol.

  2. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    January 13, 2009 4:48 pm

    Yes, I meant to go there too. I did think of John Travolta in Hairspray. Fat women are not allowed to exist, hence the reason a man had to don a fat suit and play one. To cast a fat woman in the role would be to admit that a fat woman is needed, and that cannot be expressed in a patriachy for fear that fat women may no longer feel ashamed of being fat women.

    • Mary Sunshine permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:35 pm

      Bingo !!!

  3. MargaretJamison permalink
    January 13, 2009 5:00 pm

    So, if a woman is old (Lady Bracknell), fat (Tracy Turnblad, Hairspray), or black (Madea, Big Momma and on and on through the drag queens “honoring” black women), she may as well be a man, apparently, so far as Hollywood is concerned. Only lithe young white women need bother apply for a female role.

  4. bonobobabe permalink
    January 14, 2009 6:27 am

    Ugh. I’ve always hated men in drag, and I never could put my finger on why. I felt like my sex was being mocked, and I felt like my sex was being degraded somehow. I never found it funny at all.

  5. Shainzona permalink
    January 15, 2009 4:42 am

    Oh, thank you for this post!!! My head explodes every time I see men “acting” as women – it’s the ultimate insult (Remember the hystrically funny (?) Budweiser commercials with women having beards and five o’clock shadows – what a laugh!). They are always based on the worst over-the-top and extreme characteristics of a female – real or perceived – usually fat, old, ugly, bitchy, stupid or evil.

    The worst part is that women sit there and laugh at these fools. What a shame.

  6. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    January 15, 2009 5:23 am

    (Bonobobabe and Shainzona) I know right. And it is done with a sort of wink wink don’t tell the womenz that men are the ones who write the narrative on how women are supposed to act and are thusly punished (in some way) for deviating from the script . Whatever. You know.

    Shainzona, where have you been? Busy I guess. I’m glad you are back, it’s been awhile. Btw, you are rocking that hair.

  7. Shainzona permalink
    January 16, 2009 3:45 am

    Dear Fab….I’ve been cruising and lurking – can’t seem to find a home right now. It seems like some sites ignore you unless you’re part of the “in-crowd” and others are just all over the place.

    I’d love to find some new internet homes. There are some sites that I will always honor because they provided me a place last year to hang my hat. I don’t know where I want to be right now – I can’t stand Obama. I love HRC. And, in the few years that I probably have left to my life to “make a difference” I can’t spend it on do nothing endeavors.

    Does that make sense?

    The hair is growing longer these days. This will be the last time I ever have long hair and I’d like to see what it looks like all grey.

  8. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    January 16, 2009 6:14 pm

    I know, it is time for Anglachel to come off holiday. I can only write about politics when I am in the mood (which is not that often), because it becomes too much some times. In other words, it makes my head explode. Have you read Cinie (in my links). She has a different style than most. She uses a lot of allusions, and her prose does not read formal, but she does stay current and make a whole lot of points. Cannonfire (in my links) is worth a read. Although he can drift toward camp sometimes. But I like camp. Well, depending of the type of camp.

  9. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    January 16, 2009 6:15 pm

    Oh, and I so hate Obama. He reminds me of Bush, Bush, Bush, and Bush.

  10. speaking up, an atheist woman permalink
    January 16, 2009 7:52 pm

    Really? Sexist male yes, but Bush? Ugh, I am truly frightened now.

  11. The Fabulous Kitty Glendower permalink
    January 16, 2009 8:01 pm

    There is something very petulant about it that reminds me of Bush, as well as his tin ear. In Obama’s world, just like Bush, nothing anyone says or does besides what he wants to be said or done matters.

    And as much as it fits in the scary Muslim narrative, I fear there will be a problem with Iran and/or Pakistan. I am among the believers (or tend to believe) that there is something fishy with Obama and Pakistan. Those trips to Pakistan between Occidental and Columbia during a time when Americans were discouraged from traveling there are just too ripe to be ignored. I remember in 1985 dating a man (only briefly) from Pakistan who claimed to have escaped (he was a doctor/surgeon, and supposedly his country would not allow him to leave. If not true, the story got him into our hospital’s intern program), literally by going through the mountains of Afghanistan or something like that, and it is during this time that Obama went over there as a tourist. Right. Just like Bush had an agenda with Saddam Hussein, Obama has an agenda. We just don’t know what yet.

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