Spontaneous Sexism

I’m watching a social gaff on Facebook unfold into an example of what happens in real time in social media.

One of the writing groups I belong to found this Facebook posting for a community college production of “The Three Musketeer”:

“Boobs and Swords! Send me an haiku about swashbuckling and win two comps!

(limit 10 pair per performance. Ten pair of what? Comps. Pervert.)

Solano College’s ‘The 3 Musketeers,’ a swashbuckling success”

The director, who was surprised to receive negative feedback for this posting, then created a kind of apology on his (public) Facebook page:

“I really offended a group of total strangers on Facebook of late. I apologize for the offense, it was unintended. I just love my show so much, and my cast is so amazing; some of us have taken to shouting the phrase, “Boobs and Swords!” throughout the rehearsal process, because — well — the show is The Three Musketeers and as it happens, there were an awful lot of boobs and swords in everyday culture back then.”

As a feminist I really object to this guy’s use of language to sell his beloved show. But then I thought, you know, I’ve said some really unfortunate things in my lifetime, onstage and offstage, and I’m really glad that no one seems to record or remember those comments.

But then I read more of the apology:

“What is, for some of us, a happy watch-cry is, for others, extremely offensive. In my enthusiasm for the production, I neglected to consider the feelings of other people. So, for everyone who was offended by my use of the phrase, “Boobs and Swords!”, I apologize. For those of you who don’t know, a warning: The Three Musketeers is set in 1625. There’s an awful lot of … um … ladyjiggles … and even more swordplay going on throughout the show. Now that I’m on the subject, I suppose I should warn everyone that several of the men wear pants that are very tight. If you are not imaginative but also easily-offended, this could be a problem. If you come see the show, whatever you do: do not look at any of the actors’ … manflappies. In fact, it would probably be best if everybody who comes to the show studiously look away whenever ladyjiggles or manflappies can be seen OR imagined in, through or near clothing. Honestly, our budget is not very large. So this presented a problem when costuming the show. As a result, we could only afford one Puritan. Everyone else is a libertine and, sadly, dresses the part. If this will make you uncomfortable in any way, I urge you to stay away.”

So, actually, I think that the director of this show is a complete knucklehead.

Facebook post from the director

And now comments and concerns about this apology are now fluttering all around tweets and Facebook groups and blogs. Like this one.



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