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December 17, 2004

The Choice is Murder or large jars of Mayonaisse

I read this with absolute horror. Amy Richards murdered a set of twins because she did not want to buy large jars of mayonnaise then brags about it to a New York Times reporter. The reporter writes her story as if her story is something all women faced with giving birth to triplets should all admire and emulate. I am truly shocked and horrified. I feel hopeless. It is as if I live in Germany during the 1930s and just listened to one of my neighbors casually discuss killing a couple of cute Jewish twins at the local concentration camp. How can this woman look at herself in the mirror each day? We can only guess at the number of people who would have adopted those murdered twins. If what Amy Richards did represents "choice" then reversing Roe v Wade cannot come soon enough.
I looked at Peter and asked the doctor: ''Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?'' The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more.
- posted by Mad Jayhawk and Seven @ 12/17/2004 05:47:00 PM    |

December 16, 2004

Political Correctness at Its Best

I don't produce or direct many plays but if I did I would look for the best actors and actresses to the play the parts without regards to race, religion, sexual preferences, shoe size, or even gender. The play's the thing right? Not so at the University of Oregon ASUO Women's Center who took political correctness to a new level as can be seen in this article from the Oregon Daily Emerald:
Producers will try to fit person to part in 'Vagina Monologues'

Protests about unrepresented women in last year's play led to a reworking of the casting process

Gabe Bradley

News Freelance Editor

December 01, 2004

The ASUO Women's Center is reworking the casting process for this year's production of "The Vagina Monologues" in response to protests that last year's production underrepresented various communities of women.

Instead of holding auditions, the producers will solicit nominations from several student groups, as well as the Women's and Gender Studies Program, to assemble a potential cast. The final casting decision will be made by a volunteer selection committee.

"The queer community, the women of color community and the plus-size community did not feel represented last year," producer Nicole Pete said.

In addition to securing a more diverse cast, the selection committee will also be looking to include activists and community members who are involved with women's issues.

Pete said the committee will select people who are "not necessarily drama-oriented" in favor of "people who work (toward) 'The Vagina Monologues' mission of ending violence against women."

Women's Center spokeswoman Stefanie Loh said the de-emphasis on acting ability will provide a "down to earth" feel to the production as well as allow the producers to be more inclusive in their casting.

"The fact that they had auditions means that some people are automatically excluded," she said.

The primary concern of the selection committee will be "fitting the person to the part," Pete said, adding that all parts in the script calling for women of color will be played by women of color.

"That was one of the big concerns last year was that a white woman portrayed a woman of color," Pete said.

It will be more difficult to ensure that women who identify with the queer community participate in the production.

"That's where it gets kind of tricky," Pete said. "I don't think we can legally ask anyone what their sexual orientation is."

Instead, the producers will inform a potential actor that a particular part is a "queer role" and ask, "Do you feel that this represents you?"

About 10 people showed up at a Friday performance of "Monologues" in February with duct tape across their lips, wearing shirts with hand-written messages and passing out flyers protesting the performance.

"The biggest problem people had last year was not the production itself, but how the production was handled," Pete said.

In a post-production discussion group, participants discussed ways the production could have been done differently.

"We thought about not doing it again," Pete said.

The decision to perform the play again this year was made in the context of a larger change in direction at the Women's Center.

"Last year we got a rep for being white-centric, and people didn't feel involved," Loh said.

When Erin O'Brien took over as the new director of the Women's Center at the beginning of the 2004-05 academic year, the center set about to reform its image, Loh said.

"We knew that if we did it again this year, we'd have to change it," Pete said.

The final nominations for cast members are due Dec. 10. The cast will be announced at the beginning of winter term.

These people are our leaders of tomorrow?
- posted by Mad Jayhawk and Seven @ 12/16/2004 06:27:00 PM    |

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