Editor Sarah Worthman firstname.lastname@example.org
10:54 am on Saturday, May 18, 2013
Totally agree on "dumb" being unnecessarily harsh. But this is a public forum, and that comment was made by an anonymous poster. That's how public forums work, alas.
I would also say "go wash the dishes" was quite misogynist. But that's how public forums work.
Context, context, context.
10:47 am on Saturday, May 18, 2013
Tech member, I would ask you to ponder the questions I have posed here that many have ignored--they're tough questions worthy of processing, questions about context, consent, sex ed, peer pressure, and the role of public high school theater in a community.
You don't have to answer HERE any of the dozen questions I posed. I know they're uncomfortable for a lot of people, but so was the play, and that was intentional. Own it. You started a dialogue, as intended.
Are you seeking unadulterated praise? State awards and recognition by the school board aren't enough? I truly think if you step back, you'll see that you're capable of handling criticism of your public messaging and so are your peers. You're engaging in emotional reasoning, which is why you can't hear what I'm saying--many of your questions are ones I already addressed. That's okay! It really is. Processing takes time. Ponder. Discuss these topics with your peers and parents thoughtfully. I believe you can learn much from this experience.
And consider not being quite so quick to write off your elders' wisdom. Remember Mark Twain's observation--from the 19th century no less.
11:19 am on Thursday, May 16, 2013
spades12, the s/m scene can be read as being simply about pain being exciting IF you ignore the sudden interjection of sexual imagery (a teenage girl in thigh high leggings hikes her skirt and presents her back to a teen boy who whips her thighs). I'm not sure if the sexual titillation element flew over the adolescent actors' heads or how much of the audience got that. Remember, it's the messages we don't consciously process that most influence the subconscious. That's what you work out in therapy--internalized, bad messages.
IF she were simply beaten on her arm, like Martha, then Wendla wants to feel pain because otherwise she doesn't "feel" (that theme is carried to the hayloft, btw). People who can't feel without experiencing pain are experiencing psychological dysfunction--often this happens when they have no idea how to handle/process strong emotion that comes up because of oversensitivity, or being bombarded by difficult emotional material they aren't prepared for emotionally and psychologically. Given that self-injury is so common among teens, this nuanced, difficult topic should be handled in health class, not acted out on stage. Acting out abuse is a dicey thing, much less before an audience, much less in this particular context (teenagers, community audience, live theater vs. film/video, etc.)
Also, the incest theme is dropped--not good messaging. Response to incest is incredibly psychologically complex--best handled in sex/health class if at all.
11:09 am on Thursday, May 16, 2013
Did you see the performance? The challenge is this conversation happens while there is a crescendo of the chorus, so you hear the actress cry "No, no," in fear, but the rest of the dialogue is drowned out some (most?) of the audience. There's actually no reason for her to say "no, no" and introduce confusion over consent. The original off-Broadway production made it clear that it was a rape http://tinyurl.com/atw2y4h I can't imagine why it wasn't simply taken out because there's no reason to make Melchior a rapist and turn his character into a dark one.
5:57 pm on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
It doesn't give kids positive ideas about how to express their sexuality in a developmentally appropriate way. It doesn't cover homosexuality. And the approach in middle school is "let's scare them." That was exactly how it was described to me at Open House. That's not a healthy approach.
I think we should consider aligning our K-12 Sex Ed curricula with (SIECUS) Sexuality Information and Education Counsel of the US.
6:00 am on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
See note above.
Are you really a mom? Do you teach her kids that if a girl has second thoughts and clearly says no, the boy should go ahead and penetrate her?
5:56 am on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
It is a fact that in the opening night performance, the actress cried piteously "no."
It truly frightens me that we have teens and adults in this community who don't understand the definition of RAPE. The lying needs to stop.
There so many ill-conceived plot twists and characterizations in this play that it is an "everything but the kitchen sink" nightmare. I'm glad if many of the sickest messages flew over students and parents' heads but that doesn't change how sick they are, or that it's the messages we haven't consciously processed that are the most powerful.
Given the shocking ignorance of people involved in this play, I think I can best serve the community by pleading with the school board to provide PROPER sex ed and answer for choosing this highly irresponsible way of creating a "flashpoint" instead of using the educational process to educate students on difficult topics. I would like to ask the spiritual leaders at Samaritan how they felt about the S/M scene in front of the crucifix and the "sticky hands in the Garden of Gethsemane song" and my guess is they'll dodge the uncomfortable question of why they approved of those aspects of the play when their job and calling is to support spiritual wellness within the community.
8:27 pm on Monday, May 13, 2013
First of all, it's Peske. As in annoyingly pesky. Easy to remember.
Where am I getting these ideas? Oh, 25 years of evaluating and editing story, working with branding and messaging my entire career, making "cinema therapy" a"cultural phenomenon," helping therapists treating abuse victims educate others about trauma and recovery, knowing rape and incest survivors, being attuned to narrative arc and symbolism...
The girl said no. No means no. No doesn't mean "Unless you think I'm being silly and immature, in which case by all means, proceed with the rape."
I could comment on some of the passionate performances but it's like this: Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?
I didn't put kids in this travesty of bad theater and destructive messaging. That any of them salvaged any of it--the girl who played Martha stood out for me--is extraordinary. I truly felt sorry for them. They deserved better.
8:20 pm on Monday, May 13, 2013
You're right. Girls do have sexual urges--for pain. Nice messaging. So let's go over that range of female sexuality again: rape, incest, S/M.
I'm proud of our kids too which is why I'm mortified at the incredibly poor judgment of the adults in this community.
2:58 pm on Monday, May 13, 2013
Techniques include mindful breathing or meditation (which I hear is now being incorporated in elementary schools in this district--can anyone confirm that) as well as visualization, yoga and other mindful movement practices, and sensory integration techniques which are low-cost and no-cost and can benefit even kids who don't have sensory issues. These are helpful in the moment and over time, retrain the nervous system to function more typically. http://www.sensorysmartparent.com/sensorydiet.html
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