Photo Credit: Mountview JE 1 123 JANE EYRE – A MUSICAL DRAMA | All photos copyright Robin Savage
Well are they?
I had not thought about this until I was reading this tweet about how musicals such as Pretty Woman, Carousel and My Fair Lady are sending out a message that woman need to be rescued.
With respect to the creatives who will be employed by these projects, I will say I’m concerned about a Broadway season that includes PRETTY WOMAN, CAROUSEL and MY FAIR LADY all at the same time. In 2017 is the correct message really “women are there to be rescued”?
— Georgia Stitt (@georgiastitt) November 22, 2017
I have never seen these musicals on the stage before, but I have seen all of them on screen so I am aware of the stories. And I suppose they all do have the same kind of genre- where girl meets boy, boy saves girl and they fall in love and live happily ever after.
And from watching all of them, I had never thought why is it that women are always being saved by the man and why the woman are always looking for love.
My experience of musicals
Now my experience of watching these musicals and other ones like this, are from when I used to watch them with my Grandma. When I was a little girl, I would sit on the pouffe next to my Grandma and we would watch all the great classics. And even then, I would never be influenced by them- I would never think that my life had to be like that. When I was younger I would never think (and still don’t) that my life was only complete if I had a man.
Am I being naive?
I would just enjoy the love story, the characters and of course all the songs. Perhaps I am naive when it comes to musicals but that is what I love about them, I just forget about my life for one moment and just enjoy the experience of all the razzle dazzle of musicals- I would barely think about the plot, at least not into too much detail.
After all it is just a story- it is not real life. It is just art- do we really need to go into the full depths of what it does to audiences.
You can’t separate real life from art and fantasy? Willing suspension of disbelief? My Fair Lady was written a long time ago in different times, and is not feminist literature. Everything can’t be moulded to your sensitivities because you can’t separate fiction from reality.
— ▲Ms. Jackson (@LilyBluSparkles) November 23, 2017
Maybe I have to be honest with myself and say that maybe that is why I don’t think about the plot for that reason. Perhaps inside, I am aware of the seriousness of the stories about how some of the female characters are being abused.
Followed by Kiss Me, Kate which tells us that all a strong, successful, independent woman needs is a spanking and a couple of men with guns to be brought in line.
— Burnside Gooch (@akakarenwilson) November 23, 2017
Oh I am not sure, I hate to think that all my favourite musicals that my family introduced to me are just all ruined and are not good for me and should not be shown for future audiences.
Then again, we do have some great girl power musicals out there such as Wicked, Legally Blonde and Hairspray. So for those of you who are worried that the West End/Broadway are sending out the wrong messages, there is a balance and there are musicals out there that show audiences that woman can be who they want to be and don’t need a man to complete their lives.
If I am being perfectly honest, I think that no matter what musical it is- they are all created with good intentions. Like I said earlier- I think musicals are there to be enjoyed and experiences in a positive light, not to be sending out messages to audiences and be heavily influenced upon. At least that I what I think, I never come out a theatre thinking that I should change my life based on what I have just seen, I always come out with a smile on my face singing the songs.
3 thoughts on “Are musicals sending the wrong message to woman?”
It is definitely a really difficult topic which I have thought about quite a lot! Although you weren’t affected by the messages in such musicals, I do think that some people are influenced by what they see without realising it, particularly as these stories are so glamourised for the stage. We shouldn’t necessarily stop watching these musicals (eg. The Producers) but it’s good for us to discuss where they might be quite harmful in their messages. I guess we also need to be producing and supporting new musicals which have really positive female models.
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I suppose I have just never thought about this topic before and I know I wont stop watching musicals and I am all for supporting new musicals that highlight women in a positive way.
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I don’t think women are sending the wrong message. Romance is one of my favorite aspects of love and is something I want in a musical. Romance creates beautiful songs and I also love the dancing and spectacle moments along with other things
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