Take Your Mother

A Tepid Farce About Feminism

Comments

1
The perpetual laughter throughout “The Female of the Species” is the perfect antidote to the wounded pretentiousness of its critics. This ACT production is flat out funny. Hell, even the sound effects are funny.

The only way you could fail to laugh at this play is if you have been inoculated by several years of college curriculum containing the words “studies” and “theory.” I expect this is the one defect shared by all those critics who don’t seem to know the difference between farce and satire, and wouldn’t recognize either if it bit them in the underwear.

Such critics assume that “The Female of the Species” satirizes ‘feminism’ because they understand with perfect clarity that scholastic feminism is built on science fiction (viz. “The Chalice and the Blade”). By definition you cannot satirize an idea, so Joanna Murray-Smith never tries to do so. Rather, she satirizes the shape-shifting pointlessness of collegiate feminism’s windbag fabulists. Here that species of pseudo-intellectual kudzu is represented (thankfully) by a single character.

But the play isn’t about her. It’s about all the people whose proper orbits have been distorted by her mammoth gravitational influence. The farce ensues as each one reveals how incompletely she/he understands their own role in misguiding their own life. Their various types of blindness arise from rage, stupidity, marital inertia, and several other weaknesses which are hiding in plain sight. The varieties of sexual lampooning are endless, and they are apportioned equally among the sexes.

True to proper farcical form, not once does anyone on stage laugh along with us. They observe one another’s foolishness with grave analytical concern, and get absolutely nowhere. Until the end, of course, when lives fortuitously resolve like rearranged racks of Scrabble tiles.

If you aren’t quite sure what a farce is, go see this play and enjoy yourself. Just remember that it’s about crazy people who suddenly discover (in 90 Aristotelian minutes) that they are, in fact, crazy. And there are no “studies” or “theory” lurking in the Falls Theatre.
2
That's right! The only way you could fail to find this funny is if you had some kinda fancy education! Knowing stuff about things is for citified theater critics! Just laugh when you hear everybody else laughing, you book-learned trollop!
3
"That's right! The only way you could fail to find this funny is if you had some kinda fancy education! Knowing stuff about things is for citified theater critics! Just laugh when you hear everybody else laughing, you book-learned trollop!"

What? You're accusing "Cienna Madrid" (not her real name) of being book-learned? This is the most idiotic review I've ever read. And your response is equally idiotic. Did you see the play or are you just being contrary?
4
"That's right! The only way you could fail to find this funny is if you had some kinda fancy education! Knowing stuff about things is for citified theater critics! Just laugh when you hear everybody else laughing, you book-learned trollop!"

I think that my comment about this being an idiotic response to an idiotic review was taken down.
5
I'm just being contrary. Toodles!
6
lucidity:

I am curious to know which review you were referring to when you said, "This is the most idiotic review I've ever read," Madrid's or Spoke's?

Just to be clear, I see a vast gulf between the Political Feminism that is essential to democratic wholeness, versus the Scholastic Feminism that is manufactured in universities.

Political Feminism gave us the 19th Amendment, police departments that take rape seriously, and The Rachel Maddow Show.

Scholastic Feminism is a pull-stuff-out-of-your-ass fantasy world, a hermetically sealed enclave which openly dismisses scientific methodology and logical consistency.

"The Female of the Species" illustrates the gulf between these two worlds of Feminism with hilarious precision.
7
I didn't think this play was a very good farce. An innocent, well-meaning, person handing the hostage-taker their handbag, which they don't realize contains a gun is a farce. An innocent, well-meaning person simply handing a gun back to the hostage-taker is just stupid.