In Massachusetts it seems if we question giving a man the role of Carmen or a man any role that we enjoy being normally played by a woman such as Juliet then perhaps we have a discriminatory view toward life. That is what the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD) is telling us. It says it is the intent of the new law prohibiting gender discrimination. We must treat every job as open to each gender.
The crazies have taken over. We are told we are acting with a discriminatory intent and trampling on the civil rights of others if we object to people who do not follow traditional gender roles, stereotypes, or cultural norms.
I happen to like the Opera Carmen. I have seen it many times. Carmen is usually a beautiful seductive lady who causes the corporal Don José to fall madly in love with her as she dances the provocative habanera after having a fight with another woman who worked with her at the cigarette factory. Throughout the opera she dances and lures men including the famous toreador Escamillo who arrived at Lillas Pastia’s Inn where Carmen escaped to. He sings the Toreador Song while unable to take his eyes of off Carmen.
Living in Massachusetts I wonder if there is something wrong with me liking Carmen as a female and José and the toreador as males? Shouldn’t I be just as content to get out of my cultural trap and see a bearded Carmen and a female toreador. How seductive would it be for a guy doing the habanera while a female soldier watched him? Imagine the ludicrous scene of a woman singing the Toreador Song.
Imagine the predicament when a cast call is announced. The director has set aside a specific hour for those interested in playing the role of Carmen to appear. The director looks at the two candidates who showed up and sees one of them is a guy with a moustache who has come dressed as a woman and another is a guy with a well kempt beard who has come dressed as a guy. He cannot tell them to take a walk under the Massachusetts law since that would be gender discrimination. He has to take one or the other or be sued.
His Opera Carmen would open and close after two performances. If that were the case the MCAD would suggest there are a lot of bigots in Massachusetts who could not appreciated the bearded guy in the role of Carmen. However, the director might want to take his show to Londan. A bearded Carmen might be a hit there. Why London. That is where the ballet Swan Lake by Matthew Bourne has been performed for many years where the traditional female swans in their tutus have been replaced by male swans.
The main dancers are both male. It takes the traditional (there is that word again) role of a female/male love relationship and turns it into a male/male love relationship. There will always be an audience somewhere for mixing up the traditional roles and that is as it should be. But to make it an act of discrimination to want to stick with what got us to this point in our lives is a bridge too far.
Is a director of the new movie The Ten Commandment discriminating if he believes the role of Moses should be played by a man; or is one discriminating if he does not want to cast a female in role of Christ? Would such a director be sued in Massachusetts if he did not give an young man a chance to audition for the role of Joan of Arc?
You see where this attempt to eradicate sexual differences can take us. I’d have to guess though that these unthinkers who make these laws have no idea how much they have undermined their do gooder attempts in other areas. How can one say there is a glass ceiling for women when we do not know who is a woman? Or, that women are paid less than men when we do not know the sexual identify of any person being paid? Perhaps we have our first female president in Donald Trump.