~ Notes ~
Isn’t it interesting, how, when we think of powerful female figures in literature or film, their power is inexplicably linked to a command of their own sexuality? The most powerful women I can think of are in heels, for example. They are strong, domineering, and have lots of cleavage. They tell men what to do, and what’s more, men tend to like it.
Is there a problem with this? After all, a powerful woman who finds fulfillment in her sexuality is something worthy of admiration, I think. But what Venus In Fur has taught me is that this notion of the “dominatrix” is rarely so self-fulfilling. The dominatrix idea actually began as a fantasy imposed on women by men who found the idea of being powerless thrilling – just so long as they had the real power back at the end of the day.
That’s a problem. And yet, here is my leading lady, walking around the stage in thigh high boots and a dog collar. Why?
Right now, we are inundated with ideas and expectations about what it means to be a woman and in control of sexuality – or rather, to be a woman and in control of anything. The recent global obsession with “Fifty Shades of Grey” will no doubt ring a few bells. We are suddenly fascinated with these taboo ideas of whips and chains, and we need to carefully consider what kinds of implications these fascinations might have on the social relations between power and gender.
Now, I would like to stress that this is not a play about demonizing the male species. This is not a play about S&M. It is not about sex. It is not about pitting one gender against the other. This play is a comedy about justice and truth, and that’s it.
My hope is that you will begin this journey with us full of questions, and that you will leave with many more. This text is gorgeously layered and fraught with intention, but I would implore you to enjoy it all with an open heart and make the message your own.