This is a lecture I gave at the University of Iowa on April 2, 2015 (thanks to Kim Marra for her invitation) and at DePauw University on April 16, 2015 (thanks to Tim Good for his invite).  In the spirit of continuing thinking about feminist criticism, I share it here . . . 

“The Feminist Spectator as Agitator:  Criticism, Blogging, and the

Responsibilities of Being a Public Intellectual”

Over my years as an academic feminist theatre critic, I’ve proselytized for expanding our work from strictly academic venues into the largest public forums.  Given the unequal representation of women artists and critics across disciplines— especially in theatre, film, and television, the arts about which I write—I’ve long believed that feminist critics need to speak into public debates as well as building knowledge through more academic research and scholarship.  Our ability to be multi-lingual—or to “code-switch”—enhances the political effects of our work and extends our contributions to social change.  This lecture, then, is an argument for feminist critics to produce rich historical and theatrical scholarship but also to ply our trade in the weeds of public discourse, where feminist voices are too often absent.

A range of issues confront American and global arts culture, from on-going gender inequity and racial disparities, to the ways in which theatre and other arts can be used for self-empowerment and economic development, to criticism as a crucial practice of world-making and social transformation, to questions of access for large, socioeconomically diverse audiences, and more.  This persistent need for our commentary begs several questions about language and readership, labor and purpose.  Who is the audience for feminist criticism?  How might we attract wider and more varied readerships to the questions we find important?  What language should we use to widely communicate our ideas?  Why is it important for feminist critics to carve out our own spheres of influence by attending to the progress of theatre and popular culture?  Why should we urge these fields in ever more progressive, socially just directions?  How do we keep up our work, when so many of us have day jobs that leave only a few hours a week for writing that often feels more urgent than anything else?  And finally, how do we maintain our poise in public forums that sometimes give readers permission to respond with ugly, vituperative criticism of their own?

Since I became a professor in 1987, the universities in which I’ve worked have structured how I deliver my ideas.  They have rewarded me for good teaching, for publishing, and—rather solipsistically—for keeping them running with my committee work and my administrative labor.  I’ve tried to be a feminist change-maker in those contexts, but working in higher education has organized my time and my outlook.  As a university professor, I use the platform of my classrooms to teach students about women playwrights—and playwrights of color and LGBT playwrights, identity categories and contents that often overlap in complex ways—and to offer them a critical perspective on their cultural consumption and their spectating habits.  My scholarship calls attention to playwrights, directors, ensembles, and performers who might not otherwise receive public notice.  In some cases, my writing has moved these artists onto the touring circuits of university and college theatre departments in the U.S. and around the world.  And I’ve tried to encourage my students to look beyond the conventional arts platforms to subcultural, experiment venues where innovative work is often staged.


I established my blog, The Feminist Spectator, in 2005, to give myself a venue for public commentary alongside my academic career.[1]  The convenient persona that “the feminist spectator” offers facilitates my commitment to writing for public audiences.  The Feminist Spectator is the title of my blog, but it’s also my authorial voice; I sign each post with that “handle.”  This public identity, slightly detached from my real name, gives me permission to attend to the cultural prescriptions and resistances produced by live theatre, independent and popular film, and network, cable, and subscription television, which count among the proliferating forms of culture that many of us regularly consume.  The feminist spectator persona also affords me a clear-cut public role, as it announces its political and ideological preoccupations up front and refuses to apologize for seeing from a particular standpoint.


The “blogosphere” has broadened its readers’ appetites for alternative perspectives, and a number of websites openly trumpet feminist points of view.  While much of this is niche work, some popular web sites take a broad perspective on politics and public debate. and Jezebel, for instance, are sites that consolidate and produce content about politics and culture from various feminist perspectives, while, an internet blog host, provides content from Women and Hollywood, a site that tracks the status of women working in film, television, and sometimes theatre (since these cultural spheres overlap more and more).[2]  Criticism for every taste is available somewhere on the internet; The Feminist Spectator carves out a place in which to make its contribution.

In fact, many people seem eager to think about their cultural consumption through a gendered perspective that also takes racial justice, class inequities, and sexual difference into account.  Some of my students might be hesitant to embrace the label “feminist”—though fewer than before—but most of them—across their own proliferating gender, race, and sexual identity claims—find that the critical practices of feminism give them purchase on a worldview that helps them explains their lives, as well as their cultural tastes.  Across my ten years of blogging, I’ve also heard from readers who never presumed to understand or align with a feminist perspective that they, too, have found new ways to think about what they see and how they organize their consumption and spectating practices by engaging the term “feminist” in my posts.  For other readers, my blog curates cultural experiences, as they decide to attend a performance or watch a television series based on The Feminist Spectator’s recommendations.  I take responsibility for taste-making seriously, but I also consider my criticism part of a larger conversation about what culture means and what it does in the global imaginary.  That is, I’m not a “reviewer” in the traditional sense; I don’t give stars or “grades” to what I write, but I try to place my criticism in a wider cultural context in which everything I see matters.

My students and other readers are often curious about how my blog operates, as though they are eager to look under the hood of a process that’s long been mysterious.  They wonder how I decide what to write about and what considerations organize my critical view.  How do I make the taste choices that organize my blog?  Frankly, The Feminist Spectator engages what captures my attention.  That said, I also set out 10 years ago with the intention of practicing what I call ”critical generosity,” which entails writing mostly about theatre productions or films or television shows I “like.”[3]  My determination to be positive responds to common stereotypes of the critic as a person who advances mostly negative opinions about art.  “Critic” and “criticism” both have a deleterious charge; I very much wanted The Feminist Spectator to dispel such presumptions.


In addition, as my books The Feminist Spectator as Critic and The Feminist Spectator in Action demonstrate, I’m eager to join the notion of “spectator” to the word “critical.”[4]  As far as I’m concerned, being a spectator should in itself be a critical practice, in which “critical” means engaging in a heightened, thoughtful, analytical way with the representations we consume.  I teach a course at Princeton called “For Your Viewing Pleasure” that advances the surprisingly radical idea that you can be a feminist spectator and still enjoy your cultural consumption.  That is, critical engagement and pleasure don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Analysis can be a way to relish what we see on stage and screen.

I use the blog, then, to write about theatre productions and films and television series whose cultural, aesthetic, or political contributions I can discuss positively.  When I describe work by women, lesbians, people of color, and work that intersects these categories, I hope my writing will popularize examples that might not be more widely known.  One of the most important historical gestures of academic U.S. feminist performance criticism and theory in the 1980s and 1990s, in fact, was to bring work by Split Britches, Holly Hughes, Carmelita Tropicana, and the Five Lesbian Brothers, among other feminist and lesbian performers, playwrights, and theatre artists, into public conversation and notice.


From the cover of Peggy Shaw’s edited collection, A MENOPAUSAL GENTLEMAN




Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin in Split Britches’ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST


Feminist theatre academics wrote about their work and invited them to our campuses, where they taught students how to be resistant artists, and how to consider gender, sexuality, and race in their performance practices while still having great fun.  In this way, feminist performance theory and criticism helped circulate subaltern work onto syllabi and campuses, where feminist and queer artists taught new generations of students in ways that hopefully affected their own art-making and consumption habits.


Carmelita Tropicana herself


I see my blog as another way to get the word out about performance that remains purposefully subcultural, as well as to address work by women who would like to be more culturally visible and powerful.  My first blog post was about the Five Lesbian Brothers’ final ensemble production, Oedipus at Palm Springs, which they premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in the East Village of Manhattan in 2005.[5]  Although they were by that time more interested in larger audiences than the more sectarian, primarily lesbian crowd they began performing for at the WOW Café, many people outside New York didn’t see that production. Writing about it became a way to let people know the new work existed as well as to describe its important formal innovations and the politics of its content and its reception context.

My blog continues to privilege performance work like this by women who don’t get the serious critical attention they deserve elsewhere.  I write about playwrights working Off Broadway or in regional theatres whose work is caught in a peculiarly gendered netherworld, writers like Madeleine George, Danai Gurira, Kristen Greenidge, Sarah Treem, Naomi Wallace, Bathsheba Doran, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel, and many more.  Their work should be more widely known and more frequently produced, and should garner the acclaim, income, and prestige of Broadway productions that women rarely enjoy.  I hope to bring these artists notice and deep critical engagement as they wait to be propelled to the next level of distinction.



In that respect, I’m a critic/advocate/agitator.  I’ve never believed critics can be objective or that they should sit removed from the work they judge.  We come to our ideas from a standpoint deeply imbued with beliefs about art and politics, culture and society.  I’ve always been open about my feminist standpoint and how much I value racial, sexual, and economic equality.  I try to articulate what I see as the intimate relationship between the arts and our aspirations as a culture.  I believe that any theatre production speaks into an historical moment, responding to and shaping the cultural mores of its time and place.  The flip side of my project, then, brings a feminist perspective to work that’s too often let off the hook when it’s judged by critics who hold themselves to old-fashioned standards of objectivity.  Because Broadway is so visible, like it or not, as the apex of theatre production in North America and abroad, and because its plays are too often presumed as a yardstick of cultural value unblemished by gender, race, sexuality, or class in the canon of universality, all of its productions demand rigorous feminist analysis.[6]

I curate my choices of what to see and write about based on intuition and expertise, as well as on my commitment to balancing attention to work by women and people of color with a concern for the on-going project of theatre in America and the stories for which it makes space and time in the world.  I’m sometimes inspired to write about things that are trendy but haven’t been addressed from a feminist perspective, often musicals or splashy productions by white male playwrights that broadcast their cultural capital.  But I choose what to see based mostly on hope:  hope that a production will move me to feel or to think; that it will introduce me to a new idea, a new artist, or a new vision for theatre; or that it will be progressive in its politics and its aesthetics.  When I choose wrong, I keep my pen still.  When I choose right, and I’m thrilled or enthralled, I can’t wait to start trying to communicate my excitement.  The writing becomes a way to sort out the nexus between pleasure and politics and my professional perspective on what I believe theatre can do as a cultural force.  Once I’m moved to write, I take pleasure from somehow using words to recreate, engage, and do justice to performance.

I also engage materialist feminist understandings of modes of production, and performance studies methods that help me understand how the details of a play or film’s production situates it in a field of social meanings.  I try to extend my critical purview beyond what I see on the stage or screen into production contexts that make certain forms and contents available to certain audiences and not others.  Writing about lesbian feminist performances at the WOW Café in the early 1980s, for example, required taking into account the rent structures of lower Manhattan at the time, which made empty warehouse spaces and storefronts available to often renegade, multidisciplinary artists who could afford to live nearby.  The relationship between art and real estate is a crucial part of how a feminist critic understands the politics of production.

I’m also interested in audiences and how they’re hailed and constituted by performances of all sorts across contexts.  What happens off-stage—not just behind the scenes but in the audience and outside of the theatre—is another aspect of my feminist perspective.  Performance studies methods first devised by scholar Richard Schechner, among others, remind me that the journey to and from a performance, and what happens in the lobby, and what the program looks like, and who else is in the audience, has a lot to do with our reception and consumption practices.[7]  Taste, after all, is shaped in conversation with our own habits and the conventions of the culture through which we move.  These relationships are always political.

As a feminist critic, I want to understand why some productions get financing and critical attention when others don’t, and why some artists are constantly produced and others are ignored.  But in addition to interrogating production contexts and decisions about which artists work in the most powerful—or most marginal—theatre  venues, feminist critics and spectators need to talk about the work itself, enumerating what it means, who it’s for, and what ideological as well as aesthetic work it does in the world.  Considering content and context helps me speculate about why so many talented women, for example, write for television as well as theatre, and helps me track the new constellation of artistic relationships that support work across venues.[8]  Do women succeed in television because series writers’ rooms are more collaborative, and the amount of product means less is at stake in each individual project?  If so, we need to track women theatre artists who turn to other media to make their livings.[9]

As a feminist theatre critic, I actually write more and more about cable television and independent film, because so many writers who begin in theatre find more opportunities to get their work seen in other forms.  In this new pattern of artistic labor, it’s no longer considered “selling out” to write for television.  Writers can move from theatre to film to television and back to theatre, sometimes in the same season.  This mobility effects cultural production in ways I find hopeful, as talented actors, directors, and writers blur the boundaries and taste presumptions among forms.  The Feminist Spectator helps chart the cross-pollinations and influences and conversations staged among forms, and contents, and contexts.  It points out that the worlds of theatre, independent feature films, and cable television overlap in ways that might enhance not just opportunities for women artists, but for feminist social intervention and commentary.  The revolution happens everywhere at once now.

Of course, there’s a downside.  The blogosphere is another site of public discourse where people sharpen their knives for feminism.  Conservatives hope to defang its power and persuasiveness by publicly denigrating feminists.  Self-proclaiming your politics, as I do on The Feminist Spectator, can make you a target for the shockingly violent and hateful comments that anonymous readers feel righteous about posting to school feminist bloggers into submission.  I’m unsettled by people’s willingness to publicly revile feminist ideas.  Look what happened to Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, and Anita Sarkeesian in the August 2014 “Gamergate” controversy; they were incessantly harassed and threatened with rape and death because they criticized the misogyny of video games and the gender imbalances in the video gaming industry.[10]  Taking a stand in a public forum, even about something that feels as low-stakes as a video game or a Hollywood movie, or as ephemeral as live theatre, can be hazardous.  I’m obviously arguing here for the importance of representation and culture, but let’s face it:  we’re not talking about elections or passing legislation or Supreme Court decisions.  Bloggers critical of existing political regimes in, for instance, Bangladesh, are being hacked to death on the street.  On the other hand, that on-line commentators take the time to write back with such venom to feminist bloggers means that a nerve has been touched that moves through culture in vital ways.  The stakes might not be as high, but they’re not negligible.  For me, the pay-off for advancing public dialogue about gender and social justice in the arts and culture is worth the risk that public writing sometimes entails.











My own experience with ideological violence comes from bringing feminist critical attention to Hollywood films that mainstream critics excuse by failing to mention their gender, sexuality, or race politics.  For example, I excoriated director David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010) for what I saw as its retrograde misogyny and racism.  I criticized The Black Swan (2010), too, for how it depicted women artists as psychotic.  And I abhorred Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014) for its deep and virulent misogyny.  I set aside my critical generosity ethos when it comes to writing about Hollywood studio films, a scenario in which I’m only a David standing up to their Goliath.  But when I write this sort of criticism, I often get attacked.  And the zealotry of feminist-bashers startles me.  I’m dismayed by the chastising, condescending tone strangers use in their public comments.  For example, when I wrote positively about the film Silver Linings Playbook (2012) but remarked on things I found salient about gender in its narrative, my critique attracted this 2015 comment (three years after the original post):

It’s called common sense people . . .  Stop reading into it like this.  There’s no homophobic underlining.  No political views.  No sexism or feminism.  It’s just a movie that’s a silly love story.  Just like every other movie.  That said, it’s a well- acted well written screenplay.  Oh and on a side note, the Eagles vs Seahawks game Pat Sr. said Eagles were winning 23 – 20 or something like that.  I can’t remember exactly.  And then later Tiffany said the Eagles beat the Seahawks 14 – 7.  I see all foul ups and that’s the only significant flaw in this movie.  Other than Tiffany being a needy controlling manipulating woman.  Not a bad flick.[11]

This comment exemplifies the responses I often get when I post on Hollywood films:  Get over yourself!  It’s just a movie!  It’s not political or sexist or feminist!  The continuity trivia is more important!  But the comment’s writer feels justified to say with impunity that the lead, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a “needy controlling manipulating woman.”  In his or her humble opinion.  But that’s not political or sexist, is it?

Representation remains a battle-ground.  If it weren’t, who would take the time to comment harshly or derisively on a blog called The Feminist Spectator?  My posts critical of films with large budgets and visibility, which are often glowingly reviewed by mainstream writers, might bring me wrath.  But perhaps this signals the important and productive on-going ambivalence and anxiety in public culture about gender, race, and sexuality.  If these respondents weren’t anxious about their masculinity (or their femininity, since my most brutal critics are sometimes women), or didn’t feel they had to defend heterosexuality or whiteness, we’d be in a much less fearful place as a culture.  I take my lumps as evidence that feminism is actually working, if it’s making people defensive enough to strike out.

I’d prefer to think of feminist criticism as part of a more civil public discourse, a way of speaking into a forum that historically hasn’t made room for minoritarian voices.  I’d like to think that as a critic, I can listen carefully, respond thoughtfully, and still disagree with an interlocutor.[12]  I know that the politics of civility often shut down those who are outside the norms of race, gender, sexuality, or class.  Demonstrators from Selma, Alabama, to Ferguson, Missouri, are too often accused of anger and unruliness, criticism meant to discipline them back into compliance with dominant ideology.  But in a discussion about culture, I’d really rather talk and listen than try to outshout my readers.  I hope I can make a strong case for my feminist perspective and that my arguments will stand on their merits whether or not anyone agrees with them.  I’m not in it for the mud-slinging.  But because of my refusal to participate in the nasty aspects of public culture, and my avowed determination to practice critical generosity, I’ve been called “an enthusiast” instead of a critic.[13]  I’m actually happy to consider myself an enthusiast when it comes to theatre and performance and popular culture.  But I’m also know that one way to dismiss and disempower feminist criticism is to call it amateur.


It’s possible to call feminist critics “amateur” because we don’t see enough of them in visible mainstream culture.  I’ve participated in several Public Voices workshops presented by The OpEd Project, a non-profit that agitates for more women and people of color to be published on the opinion pages of major news and media outlets.[14]  The organization crunches numbers that illustrate how those pages are dominated by white men who, as a result, control national public thought leadership.  The OpEd Project workshop organizers encourage scholars to translate their academic specialties into public areas of expertise, and to position themselves as people who can be called on for opinions.  The year I joined the Public Voices project at Princeton, our group of 20-odd women from across disciplines and university statuses productively translated our work to larger public forums.

Picture19As a feminist theatre critic, I found lots on which to comment in public discourse, though I was sometimes stymied by the need to find a “hook,” which required keying a think-piece to an upcoming or “trending” cultural event.  I published an essay on the Tony Awards season on the Huffington Post, and another on actor Cynthia Nixon’s comments about the malleability of sexuality in, both issues that were topical and relevant at the time.[15]  I persuaded even our sometimes dubious if supportive workshop leaders that cultural commentary was as important and newsworthy as the opinions my colleagues in sociology, the sciences, and the humanities pitched to editors.  I left the workshop more determined than ever that my theatre criticism and writing about culture could resonate widely.

But as our OpEd Project leaders left to stage workshops on other campuses, my Princeton colleagues and I struggled to maintain our writing momentum.  We were, after all, academics, not freelance journalists or people paid by think tanks.  We had to teach; we had to produce scholarship, as well as public writing; and we had to serve the university in numerous ways with our labor.  Our university admires public commentary enough to link this writing to its web site, but not quite enough to reward it with salary merit increases, which are still weighted toward peer-reviewed research.  How then might we continue finding the time to respond—quickly, as thought-leadership requires—to current events?  Public writers watch the clock and the calendar.  If you miss your chance to comment, or if the wave of attention to an issue crests, the moment closes over and public interest moves to the next trending debate.  You have to be nimble and quick to be a public intellectual, and often, the burdens of the academy slow us down.  And feminist critics without the luxury of academic positions need to make their living in other ways, which might preclude the speed and focus thought-leadership demands.  In other words, the economy in which we labor has important implications for our ability to truly and consistently engage public dialogue.

But the challenge is worth contemplating.  As more and more theatre critics lose their paid positions at print newspapers, I can continue writing my blog because my salary is paid by a university and my primary preoccupation is teaching.  And I see a lot of theatre without asking for press seats because my academic salary and research account let me buy my own tickets.  Because of that relative privilege, feminist theatre scholars hold a responsibility to public discourse, even as we continue to produce research vetted by juries of our peers.  After all, scientists presume that once their colleagues certify their research, it will apply widely, to improve how we live in the world.  Humanists, too, should be able to speak to multiple audiences and to presume the efficacy of our ideas.  We should be adept at code-switching, not to water down our ideas or to pander to a low common denominator, but to popularize vital, transformative ways of seeing the world, which can and should extend well beyond our classrooms.

The arts perplex and enlighten us; frustrate and irritate us; enliven and exhilarate us; prompt us to think and to feel; and bring us an ongoing, ever-renewing sense of community and common cause.  They invite us to contemplate the world as it was, as it is, and most importantly, as it might be.  They urge us not just to observe, but to participate in creating and experiencing ever-new visions of human possibility.  The arts introduce us to ideas and stories we might not otherwise experience.  They provide platforms for narratives about who we are and who we might be to one another, not just in the future, but right now.  These are transformative possibilities.

Feminist arts critics participate in the project of democracy, and lend our insights to how we speak to one another and what we say.  For me, The Feminist Spectator remains an activist project because writing about the arts and popular culture changes minds, prods conversation, and encourages pleasurable engagement with the most important issues of the day.  As a tool for cultural as well as aesthetic commentary, feminist theatre and performance criticism intervenes in social meanings, and offers new perspectives on our common humanity.  I’ll end with a moment of proselytizing.  If you like to write; if you have things to say; if you have feminist commitments . . . start a blog!  Write for your local newspaper!  Pitch ideas to online forums!  Don’t be silent.  We need more feminist voices in public discourse!  Add yours to the mix.  And thanks for listening to mine.


[1] The Feminist Spectator can be accessed at

[2] See,, and, all accessed 11 February 2015.

[3] ‘Critical Generosity,’ in Public,, accessed 12 February 2015.

[4] The Feminist Spectator as Critic (Ann Arbor, MI:  University of Michigan Press, 1991; 25th anniversary edition, 2013); The Feminist Spectator in Action:  Feminist Criticism for Stage and Screen (New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

[5] See Dolan, “Blogging on Queer Connections in the Arts and the Five Lesbian Brothers,” GLQ:  A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 12.3 (2006):  491-506.

[6] As an academic with a stable income, I can afford to buy myself tickets to Broadway productions, which represent the most expensive theatre in the U.S.  I never ask for press tickets, as do many critics and bloggers.  I want the luxury to write or not to write, depending on how a production or a performance strikes me.  I don’t want to be beholden to producers or to the artists who invite me to their shows.  But I can pay for my own tickets because I have a day job.

[7] See for only one example Richard Schechner, Performance Theory:  Essays on Performance Theory 1970-1976 (New York:  Routledge, 1988).

[8] For instance, these women playwrights all work across media:  Bathsheba Doran writes for the terrific Showtime series Masters of Sex; Sarah Treem is the creator and executive producer of Showtime’s Golden Globe-winning The Affair; Gina Gionfriddo and Laura Eason write for Netflix’s House of Cards; and Diana Son wrote a pilot optioned by NBC.

[9] Though of course, the numbers of women working in television and film continue to be nearly as abysmal as those in theatre.  See Manohla Dargis’s series of three articles on ‘The Director Gap: Female Filmmakers and Their Fight for Equality’ in The New York Times, including the first, ‘Making History’,, accessed 11 February 2015; the second, ‘In Hollywood, It’s a Men’s, Men’s, Men’s World’,, accessed 11 February 2015; and the third, ‘Lights, Camera, Taking Action’,, accessed 11 February 2015.  See also the continuing advocacy of Martha Lauzen at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University,, accessed 11 February 2015 and, accessed 11 February 2015.

[10] Sarkeesian canceled a speaking appearance in 2014 at Utah State University after the school received several anonymous terrorist threats, at least one of which claimed affiliation with Gamergate. The threats included allusions to Montreal’s École Polytechnique massacre, a 1989 mass shooting motivated by anti-feminism.  Sarkeesian canceled her appearance when the school could not assure her safety under gun laws in Utah., accessed 11 February 2015. 

[11] Unsigned blog comment, submitted for approval January 24, 2015.

[12] See Daniel Dennett, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (Norton, 2013), on how to compose a successful critical commentary:  ‘You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way”; [y]ou should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement); [y]ou should mention anything you have learned from your target; [o]nly then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism’.  Although I don’t agree with the notion of a ‘target’, I do wish the same code of conduct could be applied to critical commentary online, particularly to the indelible inferno of comments;

[13] This by a white male critic who writes for one of the few remaining powerful print newspapers, in an exchange over Twitter, in response to my essay in Public about critical generosity.

[14] The OpEd Project,

[15] ‘Tonys 2011:  Where are the Women?’ in, accessed 11 February 2015, and ‘Do We Need a More Nuanced View of Sexuality’ in, accessed 11 February 2015.


2 Responses to The Feminist Spectator as Agitator

  1. […] “The Feminist Spectator as Agitator: Criticism, Blogging, and the Responsibilities of Being a Publ… […]

  2. I’m amazed to read that people actually come to blogs like that to comment in droves as you describe since most derisive comments and “troll battles” are generally fought in certain areas where one is less intellectually challenged (oh, a pun, sorry). Like the gamers’ sites. People who sometimes spend the better part of their days gaming (instead of, say, studying) will certainly have a certain tendency not only to defend what they are doing but also would find this defense much easier “on their own turf”. However, another sentence caught my eye here: “… ways in which theatre and other arts can be used for self-empowerment and economic development …” I am not sure if such a thing ever worked. Not that it wouldn’t be a nice idea. However, historically all plays etc. seemed to have to do with “leisure” and the pennies (or personal time) spent on any such thing (gaming addicts aside, but that’s a newer phenomenon) came out of a “surplus” time budget somehow. To change that I believe would take a whole new outlook in the “homo ludens” sense to take hold in the general population which believes hard work will eventually count, not the arts.

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