Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Piece of the Pie

MF asks: "Is it wrong that significantly fewer women playwrights areproduced than men? Of course, it is. Is it better than it used to
be? As Jeff Sweet points out, yes it is and I think it's wrong to dismiss this simply because it isn't all we wish it would be."

I reply:
It all depends on what "it" and "used to be" means! Women are NOT a bigger % of the authors of produced plays NOW than they were in the early 1990s, and even the latest peak in the 1990s was a LOWER percentage of woman-written plays that those that were produced at the turn of the 19th century-- ie, in 1899-- or in the 1930s. This
is the 3rd time I have supplied this statistic. Nobody has disputed it. I assume that is because everybody "knows" that women have been moving steadily toward equality and that we should stop whining and just wait patiently for Progress to catch us up..... Except that what everybody knows, like "a rising tide lifts all boats" may not be true. Sometimes equality goes backwards-- and Times of War are
usually when people stop noticing that it is men who are doing all
the talking.

Jeff, you edited Burns-Mantle Best Plays. Surely you noticed that
the 1960-70 period when there were essentially none by women was a
drop-off, not a base line?

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