elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)
2009-06-20 04:58 am

Elsane goes to the movies: Kiss me Kate: wherein the patriarchy has its cake and eats it too.

Cole Porter, Shakespeare, metafiction, and splashy choreography: it should be gorgeous, right? Except the Shakespeare is "The Taming of the Shrew," and there is nothing that rubs your nose in misogyny quite so much as 20th-century dramas, which are an unholy union of the modern world and premodern attitudes, and instead of a light evening of musical comedy, this is a fucking horror movie.

The plot, in a nutshell: It's all fine and fun and games to play at your rape fantasies on stage where it's just drama, and, hey, it's all Shakespeare, so it's Art! and Culture! and the Way Western Civilization Is Supposed to Be! But when it's going on in real life, well, clearly, the Petruchio figure is a villain. And doesn't understand that a woman has actual individual interests, so (as a woman's choice of lifestyle clearly boils down to the choice of man she hooks up with) she is better off with the person who understands her vocation, i.e., her ex-husband (ie, you). Who properly owns her as a piece of chattel, too, just in case that wasn't clear.

About the only way I can get through this show is by mentally gender-reversing the entire cast (and therefore necessarily imagining certain songs as being sung by very butch lesbians, snerk). Because oh, dear god, I hate men. And not with a salacious, mockable wink and a nod, either.

(I'll keep my own personal man, seeing as he is an actual human being instead of a fucking tool of the patriarchy, thanks.)

They can make the "It's Too Damn Hot" set piece into a variety show act and keep the genderqueer choreography. But otherwise this is one musical that should stay dead.

In conclusion, feminism is the radical notion that women are people, and goodnight.