Thursday, October 11, 2018
Those Ghastly Men! The Bloody Bastards Oppressed Our Sisters and Our Mothers and Our Mothers' Mothers and Our… (with Apologies to Monty Python)
The Oppressive Male Sketch:
In a modern-day classroom, somewhere in North America or Europe, a TEACHER is duly doing her job (as well as her duty) and teaching the younger generation about all the evils, all the abuses, and all the lies of Western civilization in general and of America in particular. Today's subject matter is the horrific treatment and the intolerable oppression of women throughout the ages at the hands of the patriarchy. (Here, the TEACHER is a woman, but, with slight changes to her lines, the character could just as well be a male feminist played by a male.) With apologies to the Monty Python gang
• LITTLE GIRL CHIMES IN: And our mothers' mothers' mothers!
• TEACHER: Yeah—
• LITTLE GIRL KEEPS GOING: And our mothers' mothers' mothers' mothers!
• TEACHER: Alright, Fran. Don't belabor the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
Another little girl timidly raises a finger.
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: This classroom…
• TEACHER: Whut?
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: This classroom; Every object in this classroom, they made.
• TEACHER: Oh yeah yeah they did do that for us, uh-huh that’s true…
• LITTLE BOY Nº 1: And every object in my home, and [pointing to the classmate who just spoke] in her home…
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 3: And also in your home, Mrs. Fotzbinkle…
• TEACHER: Yeah, alright, I'll grant you that the objects in this school and in our homes are two things the members of the male species have done—
• LITTLE BOY Nº 2: And also the homes themselves, the very buildings, and the cities that they form…
• TEACHER: Oh well obviously the cities, I mean the cities go without saying, don’t they?! … But apart from the homes, the buildings, and the cities…
Other KIDS, none of whom seem to have understood the purpose of the TEACHER's speech and of her (thoroughly) rhetorical question, start chatting amongst themselves
• VOICES FROM AROUND THE CLASSROOM: The machines… The factories… The motors… The cars… The vehicles… The ships… The locomotives… The airplanes… The rockets…The medicine… The hospitals… In olden days, the sail ships and the horse carriages…
• TEACHER: Yeah, alright, fair enough—
But women were oppressed! They were denied the right to vote!!
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: Well, for most of history, most men around the globe didn't have the vote either.
• LITTLE BOY Nº 3: In fact, Mrs. Fotzbinkle, most men — and women — were so dirt-poor, they rarely had anything to do but try to survive and they never got around to leaving the farm beyond — what was it? — a 20-km radius…
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 1: Unless they went to war
• LITTLE BOY Nº 4: That's true
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: Yes, Mrs. Fotzbinkle, if we can vote we have the capitalists to thank for that…
• LITTLE BOY Nº 3: Didn't men used to cast their votes for their entire families?
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 3: And far from being the patriarchy and oppressive — aren't most of men, at least in the West, like, in fact loving and… obedient and acting like milquetoasts?
• LITTLE BOY Nº 5: Remember the Grace Bedell story that you read to us, Mrs. Fotzbinkle?
The little girl who informed Abe Lincoln that if he grew a beard women would get their husbands, their sons, and their brothers to vote for him, simply by "teasing" them to do so…
• TEACHER: Alright, fair enough, but don't you dare start diminishing the contributions of women! Don't forget women used to sew all the clothes and all the garments that we —
• LITTLE BOY Nº 3: — and they!
• TEACHER: — and they — used to wear!
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 1: But the tools to make the clothes — the needles and the thread and the scissors and all the other instruments in the sewing kit —
• LITTLE BOY Nº 3: The sewing machine!!
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 1: —those were made by men, who also gathered the wool and manufactured the fabric.
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 4: In fact, men invented the machines that made farming easy, that made poverty retreat, and that prevented a man from destroying his health and dying at an early age
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 5: plus all the gadgets in the modern kitchen and the modern home that prevented a woman from ever leaving the home
• LITTLE BOY Nº 4: In fact, when you think about it, all or most of these inventions were invented, or were improved, by the people who are the most hated today around the globe — males, capitalists, and Americans
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: And thanks to men, it's safe to walk in the streets
• TEACHER: What are you saying?! For centuries, women were kept in the kitchen!!
• LITTLE BOY Nº 2: Well, while women were in the kitchen, Mrs. Fotzbinkle, with a roof over their heads, men were not exactly out partying in town
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 5: Nor were they going to the brothel
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 1: The "brothel'? What's that?
• EVERYBODY ELSE (in unison): Never mind!
• LITTLE BOY Nº 1: True enough: They were out in the fields, whatever the weather — boiling sun or freezing rain —
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 6: Or they were off going to war!
• LITTLE BOY Nº 2: No wonder women live longer than men
• TEACHER: No brothels?! Men could go out and be sluts and frolic with loose women! Women were banned from doing the equivalent! How about that?! Huh?! Huh?! How about that?!
• LITTLE BOY Nº 3: Well, in the olden days, it was necessary because there were few methods to prevent a girl from getting pregnant…
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: Plus, it wasn't the men per se who kept women per se from going out, it was a given girl's father, her brothers, and her uncles…
• TEACHER: See?! See?!
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 2: …ANNND her mother, ANNND her aunts, ANNND her grand-mother…
• LITTLE BOY Nº 1: And don't forget, Mrs. Fotzbinkle: the pill, and other forms of contraception, were all invented by men
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 6: like all the medicine
• LITTLE BOY Nº 4: like all the medicine that has made everyone — males and females alike — healthier and unlikely to die at an early age…
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 3: The medicine that has rid mothers and babies alike from the common risk of dying in childbirth…
That's it! The TEACHER has had enough!
• TEACHER: Alright!! But apart from the homes! — the buildings! — the cities! — the factories! — the kitchens! — the cars! — the horse carriages! — the ships! — the planes! — the motors! — the machines! — the hospitals! — the medicine! — and the contraceptives! (pause) — what have men ever done for us?!?!
Timidly, a little girl raises her a finger…
• LITTLE GIRL Nº 1: They cherish us, and they shower us with love
• TEACHER: "Love"?!?! Oh, SHUT UP!!