Massachusetts Gender Member Mishmash: Yes, Dorothy, We Do Have Traditional Gender Roles

carmenCarmen as a man?

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.

7 thoughts on “Massachusetts Gender Member Mishmash: Yes, Dorothy, We Do Have Traditional Gender Roles

  1. As I have oft opined, ” It takes a real man to wear a kilt. ” This is especially true in South Boston’s St.Pat’s day parade. Clearly the …. ” Unthinkers “… whose espousal of absurd extremes as a legal/logical …perhaps/perhaps not …..unintended consequence of this legislative androgynous Pat … Matt/Mathilda … Harry/Hilda … Juan/Juanita …. Charlie Baker/Mother Quaker …Quandary … need to pull back. Yes, Lew and Lucy ” has got some splainin’ to do! ”

    Our esteemed moderator’s refusal to skirt serious issues regarding public safety, as well as the … nightmare … that is essentially the result of centuries of law and culture being immured in the very ground of discrete and definable sexual identities … is a legitimate balking at accepting … legislative insanity .

    The State of Massachusetts is on a serious Gender Bender! 🙂

  2. wa-llahi! The cows have left the barn. It’s too late to shut the door on gays. If you don’t like gender bending shows, don’t buy a ticket.

  3. Cultures change: for better or worse.
    Gender bending is like obesity. (What’s wrong with being Haystack Calhoun heavy or Twiggy bulimic thin?) We’re told we can’t discriminate against the obese: yet we know obesity is not good; it’s unhealthy; it’s pathological; it’s cause is debated: psychological? biochemical? genetic? overeating? lack of exercise? . . . whatever! It’s not “normal”. You get the drift.
    Mainstream religions teach it is “inherently immoral” to engage in homosexual sex (See, Islam, Catholic Catechism, for examples; they also teach “abortion” is wrong.)
    2. In Shakespeare’s time, all the roles were played by men.
    3. At Boston College’s Robsham Theater, this semester, they put on Moliere’s Misanthropes and reversed the roles:
    “The characters written as men are now played as women, and those who were women are men,” Lange (director) explained in her interview with the Chronicle. “We . . . are just exploring how those characters would be played and seen as another gender. Part of this swap was also re-visioning the period, looking at the world of the play where women are the ones in power.”
    4. “Where women are in power”; they fantasize about being in power; they want to be Amazons.
    5. I see our culture in decline. But I’ve read the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans, and many senior citizens then thought the same of their cultures, . . . and as time passed we know that they were right.

  4. Coming to America from Europe: “Hate Speech” legislation (college campuses are already adopting rules banning “hate speech”; 50 professors at BC signed a petition demanding the administration do so. Fortunately our Courts understand Freedom of Speech is still sacrosanct and even the American NAZI Party can speak and march in Skokie, and we can freely condemn them for doing so.
    2. Also coming to America, France’s new law banning pro-life speech: “France’s Senate voted 173-126 to approve the legislation, which was passed by the French National Assembly last week. The legislation will allow for pro-life activists to be prosecuted for “exercising, by any means, moral and psychological pressures . . . against people seeking information on a [voluntary] termination of pregnancy. . . .Those found to be in violation of the law will face up to two years in prison and $30,000 in fines.”
    Catholics, like the Pope and the late Mother Theresa, who speak of the “moral evil” of procured abortion, will have to steer clear of France. But if their voices reach France, will they be extradited?

  5. Never had to buy a ticket to a Show that is as old as the World, and infinitely entertaining in genetic diversity. Sure, one of the most obvious examples of the morphology of sexual identities and its richly textured consequences is found in the boy troupes of …The Bard.

    Again, irascible Matty rallies my goatish inclination to kick him in his nuts from time to time as a prophylactic measure shall we say. However, here, and not unaccustomedly , he is citing some valid issues viz the collision of an evolving cultural paradigm and its
    practical codification in Law .

    Now, Maestro … bring on the Amazons. Poppa’s got a thing for big Gals 🙂

  6. Matt, you’re killing me! It’s been nearly a week since you hinted about civil rights abuses by the Church. Are we ever going to hear more???

  7. I haven’t seen many female Santas over the years, but there have always been black Santas, (not at Jordan Marsh though,) and maybe black, female Santas.

    So, can transgender Santas be far away? There’ll be no ‘Jingle Bells’ in the background.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38231159

    The secret history of black Santas

    America’s biggest shopping mall grabbed headlines this week by hiring its first African-American Father Christmas. But black Santas have been around for a lot longer than you might think – and even played a role in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

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