Lutas beautiful woman

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Voices from the Mat: At 13

2019.08.29 08:41 XiaoRCT Voices from the Mat: At 13

Reddit Intro: I hope you guys enjoy the article. These are from a series of articles/reports by victims of sexual abuse/domestic violence in the MMA world, which, while definitely a heavy read, all carry a certain sense of bravery from the women who report in them, while also providing interesting insight on how abusive practice environments get. Be warned if you are not comfortable reading about those things in detail. The last two chapters have already been released, they are reports from ex-UFC fighter Ericka Almeida and Karina Gracie and I'll most likely be translating them as well. All in all, this chapter is the least relevant to this sub in terms of the people involved, but it is still an interesting read nonetheless imo. This has been a complete amateur endeavor so if you guys are interesting into giving credit to the people who actually put in the work for this piece, here's the original link(also, they have cool pictures/artwork to follow up on the article's stories):
https://esporte.uol.com.breportagens-especiais/vozes-no-tatame-relato-de-mulheres-agredidas-no-universo-da-luta---aos-13/#vozes-no-tatame
At 13.
When I was 13 years old, my judo teacher gave me the idea of making it to the Rio Olympics. It was 2011, and I divided my days between school and the mat. I trained since eight years old and soon distinguished myself as one of the best fighters of my age in my gym, a place with old look near the Santa Cruz subway station, in the southern zone of São Paulo. I had begun training because my mom thought it was good for children to practice a sport, but soon my teacher started noticing my competitivity. At the time I saw my teacher as an example of an athlete. He was a black belt, competed at championships and taught us the fundamentals of the sport and of life. Under his orientation, I'd do anything to become an elite fighter. I'd train hard for tournaments, ignore pain, go through restrictive diets and eat ice not to get fat and break the weight limit at my category. This was normal. To this day I blame myself for not noticing when things became strange.
One training day, he put up a flower with a belt in my kimono and gave me as a gift. I was a bit embarrassed but didn't say anything. In the preparation for a fight, after I had cut a lot of weight to make my division, he got close to me and said I looked sexy. He used to walk in the women's changing room without a reason while we changed and smooch us. If anyone complained, he'd make it look like it was all a joke. Another joke: when a cute guy showed up at the gym and I mentioned with someone, he'd end up knowing and playfully act jealous. We'd laugh. It looked like an over-protective father taking care of his daughter. Afterward, It seemed different.
During an open practice session for the children's parents, he pulled me to a corner in the mat. He had so much technique he could put me in any position he wanted. After a roll, he shoved his tongue in my mouth, a big kiss, messy and violent. My mom was by our side but didn't see a thing. When I think of those days of intense training, I remember tying my belt tight to keep him from putting his hands under the kimono and touching me, which he had also begun to do.
Now, you might be wondering why I didn't scream after the first stolen kiss, why didn't I report it when he first touched me? I kept asking that myself these last years. The truth is I don't have an answer. On one side, this kind of thing bothered me, on the other I secretly felt wanted. He was nice and treated me well most times. I thought that by his side I could conquer the world, It was what I deserved. And I was 13 years old.
One day I posted a video on facebook playing "Everything", from Michael Bublé, on our house's piano. We used to chat about music. According to facebook's chat log, the following messages were sent between September and December 2011. My teacher was 36 years old, was married and had two kids.
Teacher: There's a song I just posted on my Facebook about you. Kisses Pretty.
Teacher: I want a piece of that cake ok! Rss (Brazilian online slang for laughing) Even though I messaged your congratulation, I'm not satisfied not giving it in person, anyway... Congratulations again Pretty!!! Kisses and we'll meet thursday...
Teacher: I wanted that song to be just for me and not for the whole facebook [sad emoji] I know it's selfish, but at least a dedication, that would make me even happier!!! Rsss But it was beautiful, thanks for the effort. Kisses Pretty.
Megan Sutton-Kirkby: I was going to... but I don't know, It would be too obvious, I don't know. We need to talk about that day when the boys went to eat and we made out in the gym. My mom told me to post it on face because she wanted the rest of the family to see me playing. If it wasn't for that I'd have sent it only to you. But I want you to know I dedicate it to you and no one else.
The picture of this conversation is on the files of the lawsuit that the Public Attorney’s Office would open against my teacher. I thought that we had made out that day. The truth is that I was raped.
Inside the gym, closed doors.
That's how the rape started. He'd been insisting on going out with me for months. He even invited me to the movies and promised dinner with flowers. We'd make out in secret, and since he was married, I knew it was very wrong. He wrote me a letter saying he was a man, that he had desires, and that he couldn't stay just making out. That he wanted more. He said he was in love with me. I answered I couldn't. He, being a father and the gym's master, could never do that. He'd be arrested.
I looked it up online and found out that a law had just passed classifying sexual relationships with anyone under 14-years old as the rape of a vulnerable person[brazilian law term], no matter if it was consensual. I warned him. He answered that the law wasn't important when it stood in front of me being happy. And that I had to do what made me happy.
One day, when my mom couldn't pick me up at the gym, she asked him to give me a ride. After practice he closed the gym doors. It was about 22pm. The boys went out to get pizza, and I went inside the car because it would take me home. He went around the block and parked where we left. He reopened the gym. In the dark, he took off my clothes and threw me in the mat. He fucked me right there. It's strange to remember the scene. It's like it happened with someone else, as if I was just observing. I didn't feel pain nor pleasure. I was scared. That's all.
It wasn't just once. He raped me four, five other times. At the time I didn't see it as rape. He was never violent with me, but he seduced me to do anything he wanted. I truly believed I was unique. He'd say I was already a woman. A 13-year old woman. I didn't feel love, nor attraction, nor chemistry. It was just my desire not to let my teacher down, to make my teacher proud. I tried asking him for us to stop with what we were doing because it was wrong, but we didn't.
Until my mom found out. She saw the chat I had with him and with a friend who I'd talk about the affair we had. My mom did what any mom would do: a scandal. She got all of the gym's masters together with me and my teacher's wife and told them all that he had sex with me. I was desperate, I threw myself on the ground crying, I cried, I wanted to die. I hated my mom for it. All I wanted was to train with my friends and who knows, someday be a world champion. The denunciation was stopping that dream.
There, full of shame and hate, I screamed it was all a lie, that nothing ever happened and that my mom was making it all up. The lie cleared my teacher from punishment. I and my mom got out of the gym considered crazy and problematic. I stopped training with him, but before I left, I found out he had been fucking at least five other students.
My mom took me to the police statement, where we made a formal complaint against my teacher. I remember hearing the clerk say something that stuck with me. She said: "You know you were deluded, and delusion isn't a crime."
I got out of there and didn't train for months. I tried to get a routine back. I passed a test for club Pinheiros, where I got to train with(and beat) girls who would later be part of the Brazilian national Judo team. But the sport didn't do me any good anymore and I couldn't stop remembering what my old teacher had done. I tried to qualify for São Paulo's championship, but I gave up on it. I threw myself against a wall from the gym until I tore a shoulder ligament - self-sabotage, I later learn during therapy.
I blamed myself for the shitty life I had, blamed my mom for putting me in that position. After I left Judo, I read her emails and found out that she had a brief relationship with my teacher when I was seven years old, before I could even train at his gym. I developed a promiscuous behavior as if sex could clean up the dirt I had become. One day I told my mom that this is what I was: A whore. Another day, I went to Jabaquara viaduct, which goes over Bandeirantes avenue. I thought of jumping, but I gave up in the last second and went home.
On trial, abandoned.
A year after being raped I started to notice I couldn't be an elite Judo athlete anymore. I started to dedicate myself to studying, I got a scholarship to go study in Germany. When I came back, I started to train in a jiu-jitsu gym and saw again a future as a professional athlete. In a new sport, I gathered medals and I got sponsors.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit against my old teacher, opened in 2012, slowly progressed. I had an electronic password with which I accessed the court's system with a near-religious obsession, waiting for a condemnation that would satisfy my desire for justice.
During the lawsuit, I wasn't able to gather witnesses who could back me up. I had no money to hire a lawyer to act as my assistant in the Public Attorney's accusation, so I became just another detail on the dispute between the parts. The victim. I felt like a simple passager on a bus that should take me to justice but instead left me alone in the middle of nowhere.
On July 2017, my teacher was charged guilty on the first instance for raping a vulnerable person. He'd get ten years, but he appealed while free. On April 2018, after his defense attorney called me "shameless" in the files for wearing clothes that he considered provocative, my rapist was absolved by São Paulo's Justice Court. The judges considered my testimony imprecise and didn't consider me vulnerable, to fulfill the qualification for the rape of a vulnerable person. Without any consultation, the Public Attorney gave up on the lawsuit. In May, six years after the charges, the trial was over. Absolved, considered not-guilty by the judges who never even heard what I had to say, my teacher also took the right of pronouncing his name from me. In fear of eventual legal consequences, I'll keep his anonymity throughout this text. But he knows what he did. We know.
In school, open doors.
Little by little I understood that my realization my lie within teaching. Last year, I got into college to become a history teacher.
When I started teaching at a school, my biggest fear was around my reaction when I spoke to the younger girls. Some traumas last forever. Nowadays, being 21 years old, studying at São Paulo's University, I don't have any Olympic dreams anymore and I learned something along the road that brought me here. But something from that 13-year old athlete survives within me.
One of my students came to me to talk about problems at her home and about how she had thought of taking her own life. How many girls felt like her? I was shocked. I saw in her a little of the drama I went through at the start of my teenagehood. How many like us are there? You might be wondering why I'd speak about all of this now. Why clean up my closet of these ghosts that have haunted me for years? Why point my finger at someone that the justice system considered not guilty? It happens that some stories need to be told, or they tend to repeat themselves under accomplice silence. We need to support and offer support to girls who suffered or suffer sexual abuse and talk about it at schools, at gyms, at clubs, at changing rooms, so that stories like mine don't repeat themselves. It's what I'll do now. And my old teacher, a judo black belt, whose desires as a man one day were more important than mine as my dreams as a teenager, what is he doing now?
The teacher's defense.
Absolved by unanimity in the second instance, the teacher accused of rape by the student Megan Sutton-Kirkby affirms he's innocent. He says he has a clear conscience and that he still teaches, according to Roberto Vasconcelos da Gama, his defense attorney. According to his lawyer, the Judo black belt never had any relationship with Megan, who built her "fantastic" report in "revenge due to the teacher's previous relationship with the mom."
"The girl liked him and felt scorned. What happened there was revanchism which took her to build a fantasy, common for teenagers", the lawyer affirmed, a teacher of criminal proceedings. "The testimonies on trial go along the same way, that she'd go to the gym showing her body, on a bikini, to provoke the teacher and hit on him. But even so he never submitted."
In the sentence, the reporter[brazilian legal term] Aberto Anderson Filho confirmed that he only analyzed the allegation that the accused would have had "carnal conjunction with a minor" and that he didn't take into account the private messages exchanged between both. The magistrate questioned how precise Megan's report was and affirmed that, during the lawsuit, the student presented different versions with respect to the dates in which the crimes would have occurred.
The magistrate also brought into question how vulnerable Megan was at thirteen. "Without being certain about the date in which, if it even happened, the first relationship between the victim and the accused took place, there's no way to categorically affirm that a crime such as rape of a vulnerable happened. To condemn someone it is imperative that the evidence is solid, safe, clear of doubt", sentenced the judge. The teacher was absolved in April 2018. In May, the lawsuit was closed, ending any possibilities for appeals.
Voices from the mat
This is the first chapter of the series "Voices from the Mat" from UOL Esporte. They are first-person reports from women, from athletes to ex-athletes, who suffered gender-related violence and sexual abuse while they practice martial arts. The reportage got into contact with women who practiced sports such as judo or jiu-jitsu and suffered assaults or rape by other athletes. All of the accused are black belts in their respective sports. "Voices from the Mat" had three chapters that will be published between 14 and 28 of august.
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2018.05.23 21:02 doom_bagel Most countriest song to country for each country in recent history.

There is no single criteria that I am ranking these off of. Some go by a national sound, some go by fulfilling national stereotypes, others just feel right. Some are serious, some are jokes, all of them are true.
Albania: One Night's Anger. Hersi got a freaking Albanian eagle tattooed on her back for this performance. She gave it her all and was left in the dirt. No matter how hard Albania tries, no one cares.
Austria: I Am Yours. The complete opposite of Albania. Austria gave up on Eurovision along time ago. Conchita Wurst was a bit of a fluke and we all know it. Originally I was going to say 2009 and 2010 because they couldn't even be bothered to show up, but that wouldn't be in the spirit of the post. Instead I'm going with the Makemakes because they were forced to send something that year so they did the bare minimum required of them. Then in true Austrian fashion, everyone conveniently forgot about your terribleness because it was overshadowed by Germany.
Armenia. Face the Shadow. Not a lot of explanation is really needed here. The song is clearly about the Armenian genocide and is critical of the Turkish government's continued denials of it.
Australia: Tonight Again. It's a song about living life tonight and partying on. Also, Guy Sebastian just screams surfer to me and surfing is pretty Australian.
Azerbaijan: Start a Fire. When they hosted the theme was Light Your Fire! and Baku used to be the energy capital of the world. Honorable mention: X My Heart. This feels like you took an average of all of Azerbaijan's entries and then submitted that.
Belarus: I Love Belarus. What is more Belarus than a song about how much you love Belarus? The only way the song could be more Belarusian is if they replaced "Belarus" with "Russia"
Belgium: Mother. This song is the perfect metaphor for Belgium. It's boring, uninspired, and you don't really know why it exists. The powers that be in Europe tell you it should so you begrudgingly accept it.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Korake Ti Znam. This is a hard one as B&H is all over the board with their song. This has a very ethnic sound that feels like it represents the diverse history of the country.
Bulgaria: If Love Was a Crime. Love may not be a crime, but Bulgaria sure loves crime. The mafia here is largely responsible for holding the country back by taking a a chunk of all the grant money meant for rural Bulgarian communities.
Croatia: Lighthouse. Croatia is famous for its coast line and countless islands. It's a good thing too. Without these lighthouses, ships in the Adriatic would constantly be crashing into Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Cyprus: Fuego. This is peak Cypriot/Greek pop. It's flashy, there is an ethnic sound to it, and Eleni is beautiful.
Czech Republic: I Stand. Clearly a metaphor for the glory days of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Rep would not be standing here without Slovakia and no matter what, they will always remember the good times with you. Every part of them is in some way a part of you.
Denmark: Cliche Love Song. Almost all of their songs are cliche love songs minus a few exceptions. -Honorable Mention: Higher Ground. Vikings man. Denmark was the OG viking kingdom
Estonia: Kuula. This is another hard one as their songs are all across the board. Kuula is a beautiful power-ballad which Estonia seems to favor these days.
Finland: Hard Rock Hallelujah. What's more Finish than a metal band? I can't think of anything. No explanation needed.
France: Et S'il Fallait Le Faire. This has such a French sound to it. Kaas is just wailing at us in French and I love it. -Honorable Mention: N’oubliez pas.Doesn't get much more French than blaming Germany for a war that happened literally 100 years prior.
F.Y.R. Macedonia: Pred Da Se Razdeni. This has such a great ethnic sound. It's a shame that Esma was so terrible live.
Georgia: Three Minutes To Earth. Another hard one that I didn't really know how to pick. I decided that since their intro card in 2014 involved them making the Georgian flag out of red wine and Georgia's main export is wine, that this was my winner.
Germany: Taken By A Stranger. This song is the sequel that no one ever asked for. It's eerie and creepy and it makes you uncomfortable. Germany is the stranger in the song and they are taking Europe. Mind if they take this chair?
Greece: OPA. This is the most Greek a song can ever be. A bunch of dudes yelling "OPA!" to a Greek beat.
Hungary: Origo. Hungary has a large Romani population and it is great to listen to a song in being sung in Romani.
Iceland: Never Forget. This song has that Icelandic sound that I just love. This was one of my favorite songs in 2012.
Ireland: Irelande Douze Pointe. What is more Irish than Dustin the Turkey asking Europe for 12 points on a green and orange set? I can't think of anything either. -Honorable mention: Heartbeat. This song has a very Irish sound to it that I love. I wish it had qualified.
Israel: Golden Boy. I'm not sure why but something about this song felt very Israeli to me. I like how he said he was going to take me to Tel-Aviv.
Italy: Grande Amore. We're looking at three handsome Italians singing a song that translates to "Big Love" in an operatic style. It's peak Italian.
Latvia: Cake to Bake. I honestly don't really have anything for Latvia. They are all over the board and I just picked this because it's about food. Sorry.
Lithuania: Eastern European Funk. I love it. It's in your face about how Lithuanians do a bunch of shit jobs across Europe and have just been treated like shit for their whole existence.
Malta: Walk On Water. Clearly this song is talking about the fact that Malta is an island nation which "walks" on the water of the Mediterranean Sea.
Moldova: Hora Din Moldova. This song is peak Moldovan. It is quirky, its fun, and it is about dancing like a Moldovan. It's perfect. -Honorable Mention. Sunstroke Project. Moldova is great at the memeage and SP is the epitome of Eurovision memery.
Montenegro: Euro Neuro. Song about the Euro crisis. If I know Europe, you all love to bitch about each other, and in the Balkans if you aren't fighting each other, you are blaming the Eurozone for your problems (This one was fairly deserved).
The Netherlands: Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie). I have to admit that I don't understand this song at all. It's a polka song but it's in 4/4 instead of 3/4. I don't know what this song is about at all. It's basically Amsterdam in song form. It's weird and you have to be fairly inebriated to truly appreciate everything it has to offer.
Norway: Stay. It's basically a followup to Eric Saade "Popular". Just another example of Norway riding on Sweden's coattails.
Poland: My Słowianie - We Are Slavic. Great song talking about how hot Slavic women are.
Portugal: Luta É Alegria. Portugal has a history of sending politcal songs to Eurovision. Basically all of their songs in the 70's were about the Estado Novo. Homens Da Luta carried on this tradition with their song which totaly wasn't about communism.
Romania: The Balkan Girls. Kinda the same deal as My Słowianie only about how much they love to have fun and party.
Russia: Party For Everybody. The group is straight up called "Buranovo Grannies". It's Russian grandmas baking us cookies and asking us to party with them. All it needs is borscht and vodka.
San Marino: The Social Network Song (Oh Oh – Uh - Oh Oh). Obviously the song had to be Valentina Monetta. I chose this because it is just a perfect story for Valentina. They had to change the name of the song and rewrite it last minute. Rather than withdraw from the contest, they replaced "Facebook" with "Social Network" and didn't change anything else. The song didn't do super well, but Valentina didn't give up and came back to Eurovision the next two years and then again in 2017. Valentina will never give up.
Serbia: Ovo Je Balkan. Again, another song about a beautiful Slavic woman. Then in true Serbian fashion, they weaponize her breasts.
Slovakia: Horehronie. Every time I listen to this song I get lost in Kristina's angelic voice. Once again, it is a great ethnic song and I love it. I want Slovakia to return soon. The Czech Republic misses you :(
Slovenia: On My Way. Let's go back to 1991. Yugoslavia is reeling in its deathbed, about to implode. Slovenia sees the writing on the wall and bails before things get hairy and so Slovenia get's on their way. They are leaving you all behind and never coming back.
Spain: La Noche Es Para Mí (The Night Is For Me). This is such a great Spanish song. It has passion, it's in Spanish, but with ample amounts of English, just like the Spanish coast.
Sweden: All of them except for Undo and Euphoria. It's the same song every year and they know it.
Switzerland: The Highest Heights. Switzerland is a mountainous country and is very high. That's obviously what this song is about. -Honorable mention: Stones. In the face of evil, she stays true to her principles of neutrality and refuses to throw stones to stop them.
Ukraine: Be My Guest. Ukraine is a very warm and gracious host to all who visit. Be you American or Brit, Japanese or Indian, or Russian soldier on vacation, there is always a place for you to stay in Ukraine.
United Kingdom: Love Will Set You Free. It's a boring song sung by a washed up singer well past his prime named Engelbert Humperdinck. It is the perfect metaphor for the UK and it could only be more British if he was actually singing about fish and chips.
Turkey: Live It Up. After years of being amazing, they suddenly went to shits.
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2016.12.22 17:43 LustLaughLearn Hamilton, The Musical, Sets Women Back Centuries

Last week I won the Hamilton lottery and received two $10 front row tickets to see the hottest show in town. A male friend accompanied me. We are both politics and theater aficionados. We delight in innovative, risk taking art and diverse cultural perspectives. We both have graduate degrees in politics and have traveled extensively throughout the world. For ten years, I was the Artistic Director of an ethnic dance company (we were once invited to perform on Chinese National television at the Beijing International Cultural Festival featuring top dance companies from around the world). So, I've seen a lot of theater.
We were thrilled at the chance to see a highly acclaimed production that tells the story of America’s founding through a new lens. We intentionally did not listen to any of the music before seeing the show (we wanted to see the stage production as a whole with a clean slate in our minds), but we knew the music was rooted in hip hop.
Once the show started, it quickly went downhill. Checking in with each other at the intermission, we both had the same take on the show, finding it horribly regressive. (Please bear with the length of what follows. There’s a lot to unpack here. Lines from the show are in quotes.)
WHAT’S PROGRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE ABOUT HAMILTON
So, why is this show being lauded as progressive? As far as we could tell, for three reasons:
It’s a musical with a rap libretto. That’s new. That’s innovative. And, yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a highly talented writer and wordsmith. People are hailing the idea of taking a roots African-American art form (rap) to the Broadway musical stage genre. And I agree. Kudos on that.
It race flips historical characters (black actors playing white historical figures). This produces two desirable effects. It creates an ethnically diverse cast (giving an opportunity for people of color to have greater opportunities in theater) and it calls attention to the contradictions and hypocrisies of the historical figures. It puts race on the table, so to speak. Again, agreed. More kudos.
And the fact that Hamilton was the “young, scrappy and hungry” “bastard son of a whore” "immigrant" who rises to be a Founder of a new nation by his wits and hard work is emphasized—they keep saying it throughout the musical. But I couldn’t help thinking that if that bastard child of a whore was black, female or Native, their chances of social climbing in America in 1776 would have been nil, no matter how brilliant or hard working they were. In other words, Hamilton owes much of his success to his racial and gender cultural entitlement, a meta analysis that might have been considered important to point out in a musical claiming to be a “revolution.”
WHAT’S REGRESSIVE AND CLICHE ABOUT HAMILTON
However, here’s where the progress ends. As my friend said to me after the show, “That was the most gender regressive musical I’ve ever seen. That was one step forward for hypermasculine men of color, and ten steps backwards for normalizing regressive gender and sexuality tropes.”
Much of hip hop culture is steeped in African-American hypermasculine norms. Don’t take my word for it, ask Byron Hurt a black male life long hip hop fan who did an entire documentary on it titled "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes." Hamilton dresses up hypermasculinity and female enabling under the guise of being racially progressive. Yes, folks, it’s not just white male Americans in 1776 that can be hypermasculine…black men can do it, too—in 2016!
THE MEN OF HAMILTON
Men are “studs” and "tomcats." The women who love them want to be part of their “harem,” just to have a piece of them. Bros fight duels because somebody attacked their honor. Our hero leaves his wife and eight children homeless in debt when he dies (oh, right, they kinda played down that part of Hamilton's bio). Women are interchangeable props. When Burr tells Hamilton if he "could marry a (Schuyler) sister, you're rich son." Hamilton replies, "is it a question of if...or which one?" Miranda has written that this scene is an example of Hamilton's "peak cockiness." But he doesn't really make it clear that that's a bad thing. Because, you know, boys will be boys and stuff. And women sure do dig it! That's why this story resonates so well today—men and women are still drinking that hypermasculine koolaid normalized in much of popular hip hop music by male artists. As Miranda himself writes of A. Ham in “Hamilton: The Revolution,” “friend or foe, they are in awe of him.”
And all this hypermasculine posturing is ok, I guess, because sometimes the men cry or realize they messed up. This is a tired old narrative device. Let's entertain the audience for a couple of hours with bravado and bluster, battles and bad choices and then have the protagonist do a penitent reversal as if to say, "don't try this at home, folks!"
And just because a man cries doesn’t mean he isn’t hypermasculine. There are many cultures in which machismo and histrionics go hand in hand. I'm embarrassed that people's bar is so low for what they think makes a male character human. We ask so little of our stories. We should ask for heroes with a true moral compass like Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (a character written by Harper Lee, a woman), not social climbers like Alexander Hamilton, who traded slaves and left his family destitute because he fought in a duel for repeatedly insulting someone (what really happened) and who actually welcomed the idea of a war because it would give a bastard son of a whore a chance to personally advance himself in society. That doesn't sound to me like either an admirable character or one that ever had a great awakening about his own troubling flaws and contradictions.
THE WOMEN OF HAMILTON
The all too predictable scenes of the men with their women read like a man’s fantasy idea of what he thinks women think and feel about men, not women’s actual lives written from the perspective of women themselves. The portrayal of women in Hamilton tells us more about how men see women than how women see themselves. Or it tells us how women internalize seeing themselves through the eyes of men.
The musical doesn't even clearly pass The Bechdel Test, an extremely low bar for how to present female characters as more that just props for men's stories. Miranda writes in "Hamilton: The Revolution" that one of his goals in writing "The Schuyler Sisters" was to evoke the idea that "sex is in the air." According to Burr, the sisters rich "Daddy" doesn't even know that the sisters "sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at work." The song refers to the sisters 1) looking for a man (the men say of Angelica that "she's lookin' for me" as she openly flirts with the men on stage) 2) talking to a man (Thomas Jefferson) about including women in the Constitution and 3) it's really not a back and forth conversation between the women. It's more of a celebration of looking for a man with a great mind in a great city. And in 2 1/2 hours, that's the only time the show even comes close to passing the Bechdel Test. One verse. In one song. That kinda maybe sorta passes the test. That's how much progress women have made since men kept them out of the Constitution in 1776. Now women get one verse that's not them obsessing about the men in their lives.
The one token "feminist" line in the whole show about including women "in the sequel" to "all men are created equal" isn't even historically accurate. Progressive women of the time (like Abigail Adams) expressed their dissatisfaction with excluding women's rights in the revolutionary democratic new government before the Constitution was written. They weren't asking for some future favor. And the men flat out refused. So, no, Hamilton is not just portraying women "as they were at that time." Angelica asking to be included in "the sequel" is Miranda making a female character less progressive than the women of that time who spoke out for citizenship in the new nation. Those revolutionary women were hip to the men's hypocrisy.
But that’s ok, because even though for 2 1/2 hours these actual female historical figures of intelligence, courage, fortitude and public service were thrown under the bus of history for the sake of creating tropey narrative obstacles for our male heroes and trite cliche “emotional” scenes, there was a total of one really super duper badass feminist line in the whole show about including women in the Constitution, so that makes it all better. And at the end, Eliza Hamilton gets to cram fifty years of her amazing life into a song lasting a few minutes. And her biggest accomplishment? That she told her husband's story. So, 3 minutes of putting “gender” on the table takes care of “The Ladies” (as they kept referring to them) and forgives the other 2 hours and 27 minutes of women fluffing Alexander’s heroic journey, when they aren’t trying to thwart his destiny.
And there is one woman in Hamilton's life that doesn't even get a name. Rachel Faucette Buck, Alexander's mother. Although the musical continually refers to her as a "whore," I could find no historical evidence that Rachel was a sex worker at any time in her life. She was coerced into marriage at age 16 by her family to a much older abusive man who literally put her in jail when she challenged his authority. Once out of jail, she escaped to another island, where she met A. Ham's father--a man who eventually abandoned Rachel and her sons. Rachel (by all accounts courageous, intelligent, resourceful and beautiful) started her own successful business before prematurely dying, after which her husband made sure she did not inherit the portion of her family's fortune that was given to him when they married. So, Rachel was only a "whore" in the eyes of the people who felt that a woman escaping her own marital abuse and making a life for herself was a fallen woman. Hamilton, The Musical perpetuates that character smear by continually referring to her as a "whore."
HOW HAMILTON PORTRAYS SEX AND ROMANCE
I lost count of all the rape culture normalizing language in the show ("deflowering" all the "ladies?" Really?). One of the women's songs is titled “Helpless,” which is, I guess, what women are once they set eyes on their dream man. We revisit the helpless theme later, when a married Hamilton can't resist a woman “lying there” with her “legs spread” looking “helpless.” Apparently, that's a real turn on, according to Alexander Hamilton, that he “just doesn’t know how to say no to.” I’m not making that up. Those lines are actually in the show.
Poor Hamilton, the victim of a scheming blackmailing femme fatale taking advantage of a man’s inherent inability to control his lust around a woman’s helplessness. What’s a tomcat stud to do? The musical implies that Hamilton's flaw is not having the discipline to resist exploiting a woman's helplessness. How about pointing out that his real flaw is being turned on by a woman's helplessness in the first place? Or making the point that real male heroes haven't internalized the rape culture idea that being helpless makes a women sexy? Blaming a woman's scheming for an affair that lasted one year doesn't "clear your name," it exposes your willingness to throw your wife and mistress to the wolves if you think it will save your political career.
The female characters (when you saw them) were hot messes mostly obsessing about sex, romance, keeping their man, or keeping him in line. For Eliza Hamilton, it “would be enough” for her for Alexander to “come home at the end of the day.” Her sister, Angelica, is thankful to even have Alexander’s “eyes in her life,” if she can’t actually have her sister’s flirtatious philandering condescending husband. What a catch.
But again, poor Hamilton! Besieged by all these scheming women, like that clingy Angelica who “tried to take a bite” out of him. Bishes so cray.
In her song "Satisfied," Angelica laments that she just won't be "satisfied" without that mentally stimulating man, Alexander Hamilton, in her life. What’s Angelica's narrative obstacle? She's too rich to marry the man she loves. Yes, you heard that. Her economic privilege that is standing between her and her man is evidence of her lack of privilege. Her money is her problem. Not her gender. Or her lack of basic human rights. What's a poor little rich (white) girl to do? Guess, she'll just have to settle with marrying a rich guy and flirting with her sister's husband on the side.
I'm thinking that Angelica (and the male and female black slaves her rich Daddy owned) might have been a bit more satisfied with democratic citizenship. But..who needs to vote when you can debate Thomas Paine with your husband and have him vote for you? Who cares about human rights, when you've got your man--or can manage to keep him on the side? Problem solved. Satisfaction guaranteed.
But Miranda isn't just commenting on the regressive gender roles of the past. He's linking them to today's regressive gender roles. How do we know? Because he told us. The book "Hamilton: The Revolution" takes pride in the fact that the song "Helpless" uses the conventions of a contemporary pop song "to help a 21st-century audience understand 18th-century social distinctions." What is that convention, exactly? Flat out owning the "tradition" of rap and R&B duets such as Beyonce and Jay Z's "Crazy in Love" in which “a sweet girl sings about the boy she loves, then the rough-around-the-edges boy pops up to rap his reply. (In both cases, he doesn't rap about her, he raps about himself.)" Welcome to romance, circa 2016. Where girls still fawn over boys and boys still fawn over themselves. We can understand men and women of the revolution, see, because they are so like us! Hypermasculine males and codependent females.
WHAT PROGRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE HISTORY LOOKS LIKE
The sad thing is that there are plenty of men in American history whose stories we could tell who didn't treat women like props. Miranda could have read Michael Kimmel's "Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the U.S., 1776–1990" and given a voice to the men of history that always knew hypermasculinity was dehumanizing. But we don't tell those men's stories. Or how about all the amazing white, black and Native women of the Revolutionary period, including women who fought on the front lines disguised as men so they could fight? Those stories are out there. Check out "Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation" by acclaimed journalist and historian, Cokie Roberts. Or "Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy" by Bruce E. Johansen about how the Constitution's Bill of Rights is based on the Iroquoi Constitution--and how the European men left the part out about the Iroquois women having the same rights of property and divorce as the men. The Founders had plenty of opportunity (and the Iroquois' example) to include women in their lofty principles. They deliberately did not.
To be clear, my problem with this musical isn't with the Real Historical People and Events depicted. My problem is what Real Historical People and Events we choose to celebrate and the manner in which we tell those stories. Miranda could have told the stories of Revolutionary era men and women, white, black and Native who believed in human rights for blacks, women, and Natives instead of glorifying a social climbing slave trading patriarch and portraying the women in his life as codependent enablers like that's a good thing for women to be, while giving the women’s actual personal accomplishments 3 minutes of airtime at the very end.
"Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?" Apparently no one, if you're female, black, Native or even a white man who didn't support patriarchy. Unless, of course, they're telling the story of some white patriarch you knew or were married to. Then you get to be included so you can sing about how amazing he was for two hours, in spite of his flaws.
It's astounding to me that people think this musical is somehow revising history through a progressive retelling, when there is so much scholarship out there that could have made such a more innovative show than telling the story of--yawn--another white guy. Fine, make a hero out of another slave trading white patriarch who believed in democracy--er, except for half of humanity--making bad choices for his career and his family. Just don't kid yourself that it's progressive in any way. Because it isn't. It's actually the same exact story we tell over and over and over and over.
DOUBLE STANDARDS IN STORYTELLING
What gets me is I have read so many women of color saying they refuse to honor Susan B. Anthony’s legacy (who worked tirelessly in support of the causes of abolition of slavery and women's suffrage for several decades) because of her so-called racist feminism, yet I see women of color tripping over themselves to celebrate a "young, scrappy, and hungry" white man who owned slaves. It's precisely because we don't honor real American female revolutionaries for their own accomplishments that women think that Miranda's depiction of Angelica and Eliza is an example of strong progressive female characters. Our bar there is so low, too. There are so many better American female heroes to celebrate or better ways to tell Angelica and Eliza's stories.
White women revolutionaries of American history are regularly skewered for lacking the intersectionality to fully include women of color’s voices in the leadership of their freedom movements. But white male revolutionaries of history get a free pass about actually legally owning black people and seeing no problem with holding all the legal rights for the women in their families.
Once Alexander Hamilton does a mic drop by pointing out to Thomas Jefferson that the south is economically sound because its economy relies on “upaid labor” i.e. black slavery. BOOM! Yet, Miranda didn't seem to think it might be important to point out that Hamilton himself benefitted from the unpaid labor of a woman who served as his wife, mother, secretary and housekeeper who had no legal standing whatsoever, including no ability to own property, earn her own keep, divorce or plan or prevent her interminable pregnancies--a right that is still in danger in 2016.
But the women in Hamilton consider themselves "lucky to be alive right now," even without basic rights of citizenship. It reminded me of that scene in Gone With The Wind when the black house slaves see Scarlet's new Atlanta mansion and say, "We sho is rich now!" Uh, no, they aren't. Their masters are. So here we finally have proof that the "yes, but that's how women were at that time in history" excuse for writing terrible female characters today is nothing but a sexist double standard.
We would never stand for any writer today having black historical characters joyfully celebrating their status as the legal property of their masters but it's ok when writers give female historical figures lines in which they joyfully celebrate their "lucky" status as the legal property of their husbands. It just shows you that we are as enlightened about sexism today as movie audiences were in 1939 about racism when Gone With The Wind was filmed. Which is...not much.
HAMILTON’S CASTING
Of course the most glaring hypocrisy in the show itself is that while many of the characters are race flipped, none of them are gender flipped. So, it’s ok to expose race hypocrisy, but not gender hypocrisy. If you had a man saying some of the codependent lines given to the women, they would sound ridiculous not romantic.
Imagine, for example, a love song in which a man asks a woman to “let me be a part of the narrative in the story they will write someday.” A man giving that line wouldn’t be interpreted as making a romantic gesture of support. He would be interpreted as weak and comical. Because real men write and tell their own stories, they don’t ask women for permission to be included in women’s stories. But a woman doing it is devoted and loving. Because it’s feminine to be submissive. The song “That Would Be Enough” doesn’t critique women's submission, it romanticizes it.
As blogger James McCaster wrote on the sexist double standard of how women are portrayed in Hamilton (himself a man of color) "One could rationalize Miranda’s gender related creative choices with ye olde historical accuracy argument: “Well, this is just how things were back then! Can’t argue with history!” But it’s hard to accept such an explanation when black and brown men populate the stage, a historically inaccurate depiction of our founding fathers. Given all of the cross-racial casting, why was gender-bent casting beyond the musical’s imagination?" Exactly.
The point is so obvious that Miranda was asked about gender flipped casting. His response? "It's a complicated answer. My only trouble with doing it on Broadway is (music) keys. Because changing keys is a pain. You can actually hear in In the Heights (his first show) how tough it is just to write a duet for a guy and a girl to sing together. It's a challenge as a writer for them both to sound good. So that's my trouble."
What!? It's hard to write songs for male and female voices together? I'm pretty sure opera has been doing that for centuries, including giving women leading roles. And isn't that the excuse men always give to keep women out of certain jobs? That their female anatomy isn't suited for the job? Newsflash, Miranda: you could have made a role suitable by writing it for a woman's voice range from the get go. As of this writing, the show has no plans to pursue gender-flipped casting. It's just such "a pain" to include women, after your own choices have made it "complicated." Talk about blaming the victim to cover up your own limitations and unconscious bias. It's women's voice ranges that are the problem, donchya know? Not Miranda's choice to write historically male characters for male voices and not female vocal ranges.
Miranda did say he's ok with "high school" kids gender flipping the lead roles because "no one's voice is set in high school," and that he can't wait to see a "bad-ass" female Jefferson or Hamilton. Well, he didn't have to passively wait. He could have written one himself. And now we're going to normalize high school age women spewing rape culture lines by a hypermasculine patriarch as being "badass?" Miranda could have written a female Jefferson or Hamilton with lines that showed those characters' toxic masculinity in a negative light. Instead, that's just how guys are, then and now. Because men are from Mars, see. To use the language of hip hop, men just need to get a grip on that Martian shit. Why not point out that that Martian shit has a name? Toxic hypermasculinity enabled by cultural patriarchal entitlement.
But, as we’ve seen, this show isn’t about pointing out gender hypocrisy. Hamilton is about reinforcing it by falling back on archaic ideas about sex, romance and gender to write a story we’ve all seen a million times before.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Backstage, Hamilton looks like a cliche example of the worst kind of gender exclusion. Read the program and you'll learn that the writer, director, choreographer, music supervisor, author of the book the musical is based on, scenic designer, costume designer, lighting designer, sound designer and even the hair and wig designer are all--wait for it--male. A Brodeo of Distinction in which women are an afterthought on stage and off. Literally.
In Miranda's two pages of early notes outlining the first act, Miranda makes the note "(Ladies Musical Moment)"--parenthesis in the original. This moment ended up being "The Schuyler Sisters" which "arrived relatively late in the show's development" after Hamilton was "on its way to its world premiere production" and only after Tommy "wondered if there might be a way to introduce (Eliza and Angelica) sooner."
How nice of Miranda to remember to give the Ladies a parenthetical moment tacked on at the end of his years of creative process in addition to being "Helpless" around men and "Satisfied" by men. Women who think for themselves about themselves see themselves as "helpless" without basic human rights and "satisfied" when their basic humanity is recognized by law. It is so troubling to me that millennial women, in particular, see Angelica and Eliza as powerful characters. That's how much we've internalized codependency in women in 2016. It's super cool.
WHY IS HAMILTON SO POPULAR?
In hindsight, it’s not hard to see why the show is so popular right now. It amplifies themes currently running through millennial culture. The prevalence of pornography and hip hop has successfully normalized rape culture sexuality scripts resulting in the Porn Generation’s tendency to normalize the idea that hypermasculinity and women’s right to choose rape culture sexual norms and enable toxic masculinity are both sexy and empowering and attack any attempt to point out what might be problematic about regressive sexual tropes in a work of art claiming to be “revolutionary.”
PROTECTING BLACK MALE CULTURE
If you point out the problems with hypermasculine norms in male hip hop culture in particular, you’re attacked. If you’re white, you’re called a “racist” and if you’re black you’re called a “race traitor.” The millennial trend is to get behind Black Lives Matter even if it’s Black Hypermasculine Lives and Their Black and White Female Enablers and White Male Wannabes and to shun and shame critiques of black male hypermasculinity as high tech lynchings (to quote Clarence Thomas). How many times are black male predators (like Bill Cosby) going to be able to hide behind that shield before we all get wise? Point out a black man's troubling hypermasculinity and rape culture sexuality and you are accused of being a racist spewing the "aggressive black male" stereotype. Police brutality towards men of color is a real, tragic human rights violation. But that doesn’t give men of color a pass to dehumanize women or idealize women’s sexual submission and helplessness.
Take Brandon Victor Dixon’s misogynist tweets, for example (he plays Burr in the NY cast). Such as:
St. Patty's day weekend is like Christmas for black dudes who like white chicks. Happy holidays boys. - March 12, 2012
@TAMIKASLAWRENCE the problem is ho's aren't what they used to be. If ho game would step up, cats wouldn't get distracted. - June 27, 2013
“@jleefilm: 4 every racist comment I get about Trayvon Im going 2 turn 1 white married suburban housewife & mother n2 a jump off” The. Best. - July 18, 2013.
So:
Drunk white girls are presents for black male predators.
Women are responsible for keeping men focused by stepping up their ho game.
White women are sexual props for black men’s revenge against racism.
Dixon made headlines when he made a thoughtful and eloquent speech to Mike Pence about diversity and inclusion. He is an excellent example of how men of color can believe they are progressive while still maintaining hypermasculine misogynist (and even racist) views towards women and rape culture ideas about sex. Porn sex scripts and hip hop masculinity are one explanation as to why Dixon and his legions of fans are oblivious to his own troubling contradictions. Again, you can be a man of honor and treat women like props. It’s the story of Hamilton. It’s the story of Dixon. It’s the story of toxic masculinity.
ENABLING FEMALE ENABLERS
If you point out gender regressive female characters you’re attacked, too. Point out that portraying women as obsessed with sex and romance and supporting their man with no narrative purpose outside of advancing the male protagonist’s story isn’t really all that darn progressive in a broadway musical and you’ll be called sex-negative and slut-shaming women’s choices.
Apparently you're anti-woman and not feminist if you don’t celebrate females codependently enabling tired old cliche stories of toxic hypermasculinity because, according to the current trendy faulty logic of millennials, feminism is about supporting all women--even the boys will be boys patriarchy enablers.
If you’re a white woman who doesn’t want to enable the women enabling rape culture in black males, you’ll be called a “racist feminist” who obviously just has a problem with black hypermasculinity because it’s black, not because it’s creepy. And if you’re a man calling out the female tropes, you will no longer be invited to the Stud Club. Chill out, prude dude, it's just “sex."
WHO REVIEWS THEATER?
It's no accident that the mostly male critics who have reviewed Hamilton have completely missed Hamilton's troubling undertones about gender and sexuality. Ben Brantley writing for The New York Times effused "the ballads that define the triangular relationship among Hamilton, Eliza and Angelica have a romantic urgency and ambivalence that had me in happy tears." Of course. Men cry tears of joy when woman worship them in spite of their flaws. When women's existence revolves around men. When they are "helpless" around male brilliance and "satisfied" if only they can land their man. It's the feminine ideal--for a certain type of man, that is. And just because female critics gush over Hamilton does not give the work a free pass, either. Plenty of women have internalized these hypermasculine and codependent roles as just "sex and romance."
HOW GROUPTHINK BULLIES AND SILENCES DISSENT
Point out problems with black hypermasculine norms? You're a racist.
Point out creepy gender tropes? You're a too easily triggered complaining controlling sex negative hardcore feminazi lying troll focusing on the wrong things mad at life on a rant who just likes to cause trouble and feel superior who didn't deserve a ticket to the show anyway, so there.
Point out that male critics might have a certain cluelessness about seeing regressive gender tropes in theater? You'll be accused of "sexism" against male reviewers.
Point out that female critics have normalized regressive gender and sexuality tropes just like the rest of the culture? You'll be told you're anti-women for not supporting all women's viewpoints--even those that enable rape culture.
"I mean, just lighten up already and stop being so politically correct. It’s just a musical!” Isn’t that exactly what white people tell black people when they call out invisible normalized cultural racism?
So what we’re left with is the groupthink bandwagon phenomenon of thinking it’s revolutionary to give the story of a white male patriarch a race makeover, while keeping all the regressive gender and sexuality tropes intact.
Hmmmmmm…
That's the danger of groupthink. People feel justified in bullying dissenting voices instead of facing the hypocrisy of a show they feel an allegiance to just because they didn't catch the problems themselves. "Hey, I'm progressive! I'm a feminist! I'm a person of color! And I like Hamilton! Hamilton can't be wrong, because I can't be wrong!" Enter cognitive dissonance followed by amygdala hijacking resulting in denial, bullying, dismissing and silencing without really addressing the evidence or arguments demonstrating Hamilton's major flaws. So the people pointing out Hamilton’s flaws are not heard. They are out there, just google “Hamilton negative reviews.” I’m not the first person (or last, I’m sure) to be troubled by Hamilton’s contradictions. I’ll be interested to see how the show fares with a San Francisco audience.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM HAMILTON’S POPULARITY
The problem is that even "progressives," "feminists," and "people of color" today drink the same cultural koolaid as everyone else. The fact that the problems with Hamilton aren't obvious is the real problem. After all, people in 1939 didn't see what was wrong with the racist portrayal of black slaves codependently enabling their white masters in Gone With The Wind.
I am literally applying the exact same analysis to Hamilton with respect to gender that Hamilton prides itself on making with respect to race. And Hamilton is praised for it. But make the same gender analysis and watch the cybermob form on cue to bully and dismiss.
The real lesson Hamilton's popularity teaches us is how very defensively regressive we still are about sexuality and gender in 2016. That’s the wake up call.
A luta continua.
TALKING TRUTH TO THE EMPEROR ABOUT HIS CLOTHES
At times the facade reached absurdity. Like at the very end, when Hamilton is portrayed as a victim because history forgot this immigrant bastard son of a whore. Yeah, because a white male of Anglo-Saxon descent who is memorialized on the $10 dollar bill is really a victim of history. How about all the blacks, women, and Natives whose own stories never get told and are only included as props to fluff or fight our White Male Saviors? Those are the real victims of history. Who will tell their story?
At the end, the entire theater rose to its feet. I looked at my companion and said, "I can't do it." He nodded in agreement. We remained in our seats, politely applauding. After all, the cast was very talented. The dancing and choreography were adequate for a Broadway show (it wasn’t up to the virtuosity of an Agnes DeMille or Bill T. Jones). The period costumes and minimalist set nothing to write home about. The story is a pretty cliche take on the standard narrative of glorifying flawed white men and female enablers who glorify those men in spite of their flaws.
Miranda himself tells the story of how, after reading a couple of chapters of Ron Chernow's book, he googled "Hamilton Musical" because he couldn't believe the story hadn't already been told. Exactly. Because it fits the same narrative mold of all the same gender regressive stories we tell over and over. Yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, this story has been told. Too many times.
The show's impressive strength was the clever political raps, and it’s a shame Miranda didn’t use his incredible skill to write a more inclusive and progressive work of art or that he didn’t educate himself on his own internalized biases about men, women, sex and romance before he wrote his opus magnum. Yes, even male artists who self-identify as feminist can still have very regressive ideas about sexual scripts and gender roles.
According to "Hamilton: The Revolution" just about every person that was an inspiration for Hamilton or participated in its creation was male. Miranda might start addressing his unconscious sexism by admitting that he doesn't know what he doesn't know about gender and maybe he should get some conscious women's perspectives on his creative team--and not codepedent females who have internalized enabling hypermasculinity and rape culture scripts about sex and romance and will just tell the Emperor what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man he is in his sick threads.
Maybe he’ll learn and do better next time. I'm not holding my breath. As it is, his brilliant beats and rhymes aren't enough to sustain the whole production and redeem its troubling flaws. I can only hope that Hamilton never makes it to a movie screen to infect even more young minds and set the clock back on sexuality and gender roles even further than the popular stage production already has. As a line in the show says,
The Emperor Wasn't Wearing Any Clothes.
We couldn't help wondering if the rarity and high cost of tickets to the show isn't helping to enable the miasma of adulation that surrounds this troubling work. My companion admitted, "If I had paid $500 for my seat, it probably would have taken me longer to admit to myself how bad it was." Sad. But true.
Keep your money and skip it.
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2016.12.22 17:31 LustLaughLearn A Critical Review of Hamilton: I Had High Hopes, But Left Disappointed

Last week I won the Hamilton lottery and received two $10 front row tickets to see the hottest show in town. A male friend accompanied me. We are both politics and theater aficionados. We delight in innovative, risk taking art and diverse cultural perspectives. We both have graduate degrees in politics and have traveled extensively throughout the world. For ten years, I was the Artistic Director of an ethnic dance company (we were once invited to perform on Chinese National television at the Beijing International Cultural Festival featuring top dance companies from around the world). So, I've seen a lot of theater.
We were thrilled at the chance to see a highly acclaimed production that tells the story of America’s founding through a new lens. We intentionally did not listen to any of the music before seeing the show (we wanted to see the stage production as a whole with a clean slate in our minds), but we knew the music was rooted in hip hop.
Once the show started, it quickly went downhill. Checking in with each other at the intermission, we both had the same take on the show, finding it horribly regressive. (Please bear with the length of what follows. There’s a lot to unpack here. Lines from the show are in quotes.)
WHAT’S PROGRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE ABOUT HAMILTON
So, why is this show being lauded as progressive? As far as we could tell, for three reasons:
It’s a musical with a rap libretto. That’s new. That’s innovative. And, yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a highly talented writer and wordsmith. People are hailing the idea of taking a roots African-American art form (rap) to the Broadway musical stage genre. And I agree. Kudos on that.
It race flips historical characters (black actors playing white historical figures). This produces two desirable effects. It creates an ethnically diverse cast (giving an opportunity for people of color to have greater opportunities in theater) and it calls attention to the contradictions and hypocrisies of the historical figures. It puts race on the table, so to speak. Again, agreed. More kudos.
And the fact that Hamilton was the “young, scrappy and hungry” “bastard son of a whore” "immigrant" who rises to be a Founder of a new nation by his wits and hard work is emphasized—they keep saying it throughout the musical. But I couldn’t help thinking that if that bastard child of a whore was black, female or Native, their chances of social climbing in America in 1776 would have been nil, no matter how brilliant or hard working they were. In other words, Hamilton owes much of his success to his racial and gender cultural entitlement, a meta analysis that might have been considered important to point out in a musical claiming to be a “revolution.”
WHAT’S REGRESSIVE AND CLICHE ABOUT HAMILTON
However, here’s where the progress ends. As my friend said to me after the show, “That was the most gender regressive musical I’ve ever seen. That was one step forward for hypermasculine men of color, and ten steps backwards for normalizing regressive gender and sexuality tropes.”
Much of hip hop culture is steeped in African-American hypermasculine norms. Don’t take my word for it, ask Byron Hurt a black male life long hip hop fan who did an entire documentary on it titled "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes." Hamilton dresses up hypermasculinity and female enabling under the guise of being racially progressive. Yes, folks, it’s not just white male Americans in 1776 that can be hypermasculine…black men can do it, too—in 2016!
THE MEN OF HAMILTON
Men are “studs” and "tomcats." The women who love them want to be part of their “harem,” just to have a piece of them. Bros fight duels because somebody attacked their honor. Our hero leaves his wife and eight children homeless in debt when he dies (oh, right, they kinda played down that part of Hamilton's bio). Women are interchangeable props. When Burr tells Hamilton if he "could marry a (Schuyler) sister, you're rich son." Hamilton replies, "is it a question of if...or which one?" Miranda has written that this scene is an example of Hamilton's "peak cockiness." But he doesn't really make it clear that that's a bad thing. Because, you know, boys will be boys and stuff. And women sure do dig it! That's why this story resonates so well today—men and women are still drinking that hypermasculine koolaid normalized in much of popular hip hop music by male artists. As Miranda himself writes of A. Ham in “Hamilton: The Revolution,” “friend or foe, they are in awe of him.”
And all this hypermasculine posturing is ok, I guess, because sometimes the men cry or realize they messed up. This is a tired old narrative device. Let's entertain the audience for a couple of hours with bravado and bluster, battles and bad choices and then have the protagonist do a penitent reversal as if to say, "don't try this at home, folks!"
And just because a man cries doesn’t mean he isn’t hypermasculine. There are many cultures in which machismo and histrionics go hand in hand. I'm embarrassed that people's bar is so low for what they think makes a male character human. We ask so little of our stories. We should ask for heroes with a true moral compass like Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (a character written by Harper Lee, a woman), not social climbers like Alexander Hamilton, who traded slaves and left his family destitute because he fought in a duel for repeatedly insulting someone (what really happened) and who actually welcomed the idea of a war because it would give a bastard son of a whore a chance to personally advance himself in society. That doesn't sound to me like either an admirable character or one that ever had a great awakening about his own troubling flaws and contradictions.
THE WOMEN OF HAMILTON
The all too predictable scenes of the men with their women read like a man’s fantasy idea of what he thinks women think and feel about men, not women’s actual lives written from the perspective of women themselves. The portrayal of women in Hamilton tells us more about how men see women than how women see themselves. Or it tells us how women internalize seeing themselves through the eyes of men.
The musical doesn't even clearly pass The Bechdel Test, an extremely low bar for how to present female characters as more that just props for men's stories. Miranda writes in "Hamilton: The Revolution" that one of his goals in writing "The Schuyler Sisters" was to evoke the idea that "sex is in the air." According to Burr, the sisters rich "Daddy" doesn't even know that the sisters "sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at work." The song refers to the sisters 1) looking for a man (the men say of Angelica that "she's lookin' for me" as she openly flirts with the men on stage) 2) talking to a man (Thomas Jefferson) about including women in the Constitution and 3) it's really not a back and forth conversation between the women. It's more of a celebration of looking for a man with a great mind in a great city. And in 2 1/2 hours, that's the only time the show even comes close to passing the Bechdel Test. One verse. In one song. That kinda maybe sorta passes the test. That's how much progress women have made since men kept them out of the Constitution in 1776. Now women get one verse that's not them obsessing about the men in their lives.
The one token "feminist" line in the whole show about including women "in the sequel" to "all men are created equal" isn't even historically accurate. Progressive women of the time (like Abigail Adams) expressed their dissatisfaction with excluding women's rights in the revolutionary democratic new government before the Constitution was written. They weren't asking for some future favor. And the men flat out refused. So, no, Hamilton is not just portraying women "as they were at that time." Angelica asking to be included in "the sequel" is Miranda making a female character less progressive than the women of that time who spoke out for citizenship in the new nation. Those revolutionary women were hip to the men's hypocrisy.
But that’s ok, because even though for 2 1/2 hours these actual female historical figures of intelligence, courage, fortitude and public service were thrown under the bus of history for the sake of creating tropey narrative obstacles for our male heroes and trite cliche “emotional” scenes, there was a total of one really super duper badass feminist line in the whole show about including women in the Constitution, so that makes it all better. And at the end, Eliza Hamilton gets to cram fifty years of her amazing life into a song lasting a few minutes. And her biggest accomplishment? That she told her husband's story. So, 3 minutes of putting “gender” on the table takes care of “The Ladies” (as they kept referring to them) and forgives the other 2 hours and 27 minutes of women fluffing Alexander’s heroic journey, when they aren’t trying to thwart his destiny.
And there is one woman in Hamilton's life that doesn't even get a name. Rachel Faucette Buck, Alexander's mother. Although the musical continually refers to her as a "whore," I could find no historical evidence that Rachel was a sex worker at any time in her life. She was coerced into marriage at age 16 by her family to a much older abusive man who literally put her in jail when she challenged his authority. Once out of jail, she escaped to another island, where she met A. Ham's father--a man who eventually abandoned Rachel and her sons. Rachel (by all accounts courageous, intelligent, resourceful and beautiful) started her own successful business before prematurely dying, after which her husband made sure she did not inherit the portion of her family's fortune that was given to him when they married. So, Rachel was only a "whore" in the eyes of the people who felt that a woman escaping her own marital abuse and making a life for herself was a fallen woman. Hamilton, The Musical perpetuates that character smear by continually referring to her as a "whore."
HOW HAMILTON PORTRAYS SEX AND ROMANCE
I lost count of all the rape culture normalizing language in the show ("deflowering" all the "ladies?" Really?). One of the women's songs is titled “Helpless,” which is, I guess, what women are once they set eyes on their dream man. We revisit the helpless theme later, when a married Hamilton can't resist a woman “lying there” with her “legs spread” looking “helpless.” Apparently, that's a real turn on, according to Alexander Hamilton, that he “just doesn’t know how to say no to.” I’m not making that up. Those lines are actually in the show.
Poor Hamilton, the victim of a scheming blackmailing femme fatale taking advantage of a man’s inherent inability to control his lust around a woman’s helplessness. What’s a tomcat stud to do? The musical implies that Hamilton's flaw is not having the discipline to resist exploiting a woman's helplessness. How about pointing out that his real flaw is being turned on by a woman's helplessness in the first place? Or making the point that real male heroes haven't internalized the rape culture idea that being helpless makes a women sexy? Blaming a woman's scheming for an affair that lasted one year doesn't "clear your name," it exposes your willingness to throw your wife and mistress to the wolves if you think it will save your political career.
The female characters (when you saw them) were hot messes mostly obsessing about sex, romance, keeping their man, or keeping him in line. For Eliza Hamilton, it “would be enough” for her for Alexander to “come home at the end of the day.” Her sister, Angelica, is thankful to even have Alexander’s “eyes in her life,” if she can’t actually have her sister’s flirtatious philandering condescending husband. What a catch.
But again, poor Hamilton! Besieged by all these scheming women, like that clingy Angelica who “tried to take a bite” out of him. Bishes so cray.
In her song "Satisfied," Angelica laments that she just won't be "satisfied" without that mentally stimulating man, Alexander Hamilton, in her life. What’s Angelica's narrative obstacle? She's too rich to marry the man she loves. Yes, you heard that. Her economic privilege that is standing between her and her man is evidence of her lack of privilege. Her money is her problem. Not her gender. Or her lack of basic human rights. What's a poor little rich (white) girl to do? Guess, she'll just have to settle with marrying a rich guy and flirting with her sister's husband on the side.
I'm thinking that Angelica (and the male and female black slaves her rich Daddy owned) might have been a bit more satisfied with democratic citizenship. But..who needs to vote when you can debate Thomas Paine with your husband and have him vote for you? Who cares about human rights, when you've got your man--or can manage to keep him on the side? Problem solved. Satisfaction guaranteed.
But Miranda isn't just commenting on the regressive gender roles of the past. He's linking them to today's regressive gender roles. How do we know? Because he told us. The book "Hamilton: The Revolution" takes pride in the fact that the song "Helpless" uses the conventions of a contemporary pop song "to help a 21st-century audience understand 18th-century social distinctions." What is that convention, exactly? Flat out owning the "tradition" of rap and R&B duets such as Beyonce and Jay Z's "Crazy in Love" in which “a sweet girl sings about the boy she loves, then the rough-around-the-edges boy pops up to rap his reply. (In both cases, he doesn't rap about her, he raps about himself.)" Welcome to romance, circa 2016. Where girls still fawn over boys and boys still fawn over themselves. We can understand men and women of the revolution, see, because they are so like us! Hypermasculine males and codependent females.
WHAT PROGRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE HISTORY LOOKS LIKE
The sad thing is that there are plenty of men in American history whose stories we could tell who didn't treat women like props. Miranda could have read Michael Kimmel's "Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the U.S., 1776–1990" and given a voice to the men of history that always knew hypermasculinity was dehumanizing. But we don't tell those men's stories. Or how about all the amazing white, black and Native women of the Revolutionary period, including women who fought on the front lines disguised as men so they could fight? Those stories are out there. Check out "Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation" by acclaimed journalist and historian, Cokie Roberts. Or "Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy" by Bruce E. Johansen about how the Constitution's Bill of Rights is based on the Iroquoi Constitution--and how the European men left the part out about the Iroquois women having the same rights of property and divorce as the men. The Founders had plenty of opportunity (and the Iroquois' example) to include women in their lofty principles. They deliberately did not.
To be clear, my problem with this musical isn't with the Real Historical People and Events depicted. My problem is what Real Historical People and Events we choose to celebrate and the manner in which we tell those stories. Miranda could have told the stories of Revolutionary era men and women, white, black and Native who believed in human rights for blacks, women, and Natives instead of glorifying a social climbing slave trading patriarch and portraying the women in his life as codependent enablers like that's a good thing for women to be, while giving the women’s actual personal accomplishments 3 minutes of airtime at the very end.
"Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?" Apparently no one, if you're female, black, Native or even a white man who didn't support patriarchy. Unless, of course, they're telling the story of some white patriarch you knew or were married to. Then you get to be included so you can sing about how amazing he was for two hours, in spite of his flaws.
It's astounding to me that people think this musical is somehow revising history through a progressive retelling, when there is so much scholarship out there that could have made such a more innovative show than telling the story of--yawn--another white guy. Fine, make a hero out of another slave trading white patriarch who believed in democracy--er, except for half of humanity--making bad choices for his career and his family. Just don't kid yourself that it's progressive in any way. Because it isn't. It's actually the same exact story we tell over and over and over and over.
DOUBLE STANDARDS IN STORYTELLING
What gets me is I have read so many women of color saying they refuse to honor Susan B. Anthony’s legacy (who worked tirelessly in support of the causes of abolition of slavery and women's suffrage for several decades) because of her so-called racist feminism, yet I see women of color tripping over themselves to celebrate a "young, scrappy, and hungry" white man who owned slaves. It's precisely because we don't honor real American female revolutionaries for their own accomplishments that women think that Miranda's depiction of Angelica and Eliza is an example of strong progressive female characters. Our bar there is so low, too. There are so many better American female heroes to celebrate or better ways to tell Angelica and Eliza's stories.
White women revolutionaries of American history are regularly skewered for lacking the intersectionality to fully include women of color’s voices in the leadership of their freedom movements. But white male revolutionaries of history get a free pass about actually legally owning black people and seeing no problem with holding all the legal rights for the women in their families.
Once Alexander Hamilton does a mic drop by pointing out to Thomas Jefferson that the south is economically sound because its economy relies on “upaid labor” i.e. black slavery. BOOM! Yet, Miranda didn't seem to think it might be important to point out that Hamilton himself benefitted from the unpaid labor of a woman who served as his wife, mother, secretary and housekeeper who had no legal standing whatsoever, including no ability to own property, earn her own keep, divorce or plan or prevent her interminable pregnancies--a right that is still in danger in 2016.
But the women in Hamilton consider themselves "lucky to be alive right now," even without basic rights of citizenship. It reminded me of that scene in Gone With The Wind when the black house slaves see Scarlet's new Atlanta mansion and say, "We sho is rich now!" Uh, no, they aren't. Their masters are. So here we finally have proof that the "yes, but that's how women were at that time in history" excuse for writing terrible female characters today is nothing but a sexist double standard.
We would never stand for any writer today having black historical characters joyfully celebrating their status as the legal property of their masters but it's ok when writers give female historical figures lines in which they joyfully celebrate their "lucky" status as the legal property of their husbands. It just shows you that we are as enlightened about sexism today as movie audiences were in 1939 about racism when Gone With The Wind was filmed. Which is...not much.
HAMILTON’S CASTING
Of course the most glaring hypocrisy in the show itself is that while many of the characters are race flipped, none of them are gender flipped. So, it’s ok to expose race hypocrisy, but not gender hypocrisy. If you had a man saying some of the codependent lines given to the women, they would sound ridiculous not romantic.
Imagine, for example, a love song in which a man asks a woman to “let me be a part of the narrative in the story they will write someday.” A man giving that line wouldn’t be interpreted as making a romantic gesture of support. He would be interpreted as weak and comical. Because real men write and tell their own stories, they don’t ask women for permission to be included in women’s stories. But a woman doing it is devoted and loving. Because it’s feminine to be submissive. The song “That Would Be Enough” doesn’t critique women's submission, it romanticizes it.
As blogger James McCaster wrote on the sexist double standard of how women are portrayed in Hamilton (himself a man of color) "One could rationalize Miranda’s gender related creative choices with ye olde historical accuracy argument: “Well, this is just how things were back then! Can’t argue with history!” But it’s hard to accept such an explanation when black and brown men populate the stage, a historically inaccurate depiction of our founding fathers. Given all of the cross-racial casting, why was gender-bent casting beyond the musical’s imagination?" Exactly.
The point is so obvious that Miranda was asked about gender flipped casting. His response? "It's a complicated answer. My only trouble with doing it on Broadway is (music) keys. Because changing keys is a pain. You can actually hear in In the Heights (his first show) how tough it is just to write a duet for a guy and a girl to sing together. It's a challenge as a writer for them both to sound good. So that's my trouble."
What!? It's hard to write songs for male and female voices together? I'm pretty sure opera has been doing that for centuries, including giving women leading roles. And isn't that the excuse men always give to keep women out of certain jobs? That their female anatomy isn't suited for the job? Newsflash, Miranda: you could have made a role suitable by writing it for a woman's voice range from the get go. As of this writing, the show has no plans to pursue gender-flipped casting. It's just such "a pain" to include women, after your own choices have made it "complicated." Talk about blaming the victim to cover up your own limitations and unconscious bias. It's women's voice ranges that are the problem, donchya know? Not Miranda's choice to write historically male characters for male voices and not female vocal ranges.
Miranda did say he's ok with "high school" kids gender flipping the lead roles because "no one's voice is set in high school," and that he can't wait to see a "bad-ass" female Jefferson or Hamilton. Well, he didn't have to passively wait. He could have written one himself. And now we're going to normalize high school age women spewing rape culture lines by a hypermasculine patriarch as being "badass?" Miranda could have written a female Jefferson or Hamilton with lines that showed those characters' toxic masculinity in a negative light. Instead, that's just how guys are, then and now. Because men are from Mars, see. To use the language of hip hop, men just need to get a grip on that Martian shit. Why not point out that that Martian shit has a name? Toxic hypermasculinity enabled by cultural patriarchal entitlement.
But, as we’ve seen, this show isn’t about pointing out gender hypocrisy. Hamilton is about reinforcing it by falling back on archaic ideas about sex, romance and gender to write a story we’ve all seen a million times before.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Backstage, Hamilton looks like a cliche example of the worst kind of gender exclusion. Read the program and you'll learn that the writer, director, choreographer, music supervisor, author of the book the musical is based on, scenic designer, costume designer, lighting designer, sound designer and even the hair and wig designer are all--wait for it--male. A Brodeo of Distinction in which women are an afterthought on stage and off. Literally.
In Miranda's two pages of early notes outlining the first act, Miranda makes the note "(Ladies Musical Moment)"--parenthesis in the original. This moment ended up being "The Schuyler Sisters" which "arrived relatively late in the show's development" after Hamilton was "on its way to its world premiere production" and only after Tommy "wondered if there might be a way to introduce (Eliza and Angelica) sooner."
How nice of Miranda to remember to give the Ladies a parenthetical moment tacked on at the end of his years of creative process in addition to being "Helpless" around men and "Satisfied" by men. Women who think for themselves about themselves see themselves as "helpless" without basic human rights and "satisfied" when their basic humanity is recognized by law. It is so troubling to me that millennial women, in particular, see Angelica and Eliza as powerful characters. That's how much we've internalized codependency in women in 2016. It's super cool.
WHY IS HAMILTON SO POPULAR?
In hindsight, it’s not hard to see why the show is so popular right now. It amplifies themes currently running through millennial culture. The prevalence of pornography and hip hop has successfully normalized rape culture sexuality scripts resulting in the Porn Generation’s tendency to normalize the idea that hypermasculinity and women’s right to choose rape culture sexual norms and enable toxic masculinity are both sexy and empowering and attack any attempt to point out what might be problematic about regressive sexual tropes in a work of art claiming to be “revolutionary.”
PROTECTING BLACK MALE CULTURE
If you point out the problems with hypermasculine norms in male hip hop culture in particular, you’re attacked. If you’re white, you’re called a “racist” and if you’re black you’re called a “race traitor.” The millennial trend is to get behind Black Lives Matter even if it’s Black Hypermasculine Lives and Their Black and White Female Enablers and White Male Wannabes and to shun and shame critiques of black male hypermasculinity as high tech lynchings (to quote Clarence Thomas). How many times are black male predators (like Bill Cosby) going to be able to hide behind that shield before we all get wise? Point out a black man's troubling hypermasculinity and rape culture sexuality and you are accused of being a racist spewing the "aggressive black male" stereotype. Police brutality towards men of color is a real, tragic human rights violation. But that doesn’t give men of color a pass to dehumanize women or idealize women’s sexual submission and helplessness.
Take Brandon Victor Dixon’s misogynist tweets, for example (he plays Burr in the NY cast). Such as:
St. Patty's day weekend is like Christmas for black dudes who like white chicks. Happy holidays boys. - March 12, 2012
@TAMIKASLAWRENCE the problem is ho's aren't what they used to be. If ho game would step up, cats wouldn't get distracted. - June 27, 2013
“@jleefilm: 4 every racist comment I get about Trayvon Im going 2 turn 1 white married suburban housewife & mother n2 a jump off” The. Best. - July 18, 2013.
So:
Drunk white girls are presents for black male predators.
Women are responsible for keeping men focused by stepping up their ho game.
White women are sexual props for black men’s revenge against racism.
Dixon made headlines when he made a thoughtful and eloquent speech to Mike Pence about diversity and inclusion. He is an excellent example of how men of color can believe they are progressive while still maintaining hypermasculine misogynist (and even racist) views towards women and rape culture ideas about sex. Porn sex scripts and hip hop masculinity are one explanation as to why Dixon and his legions of fans are oblivious to his own troubling contradictions. Again, you can be a man of honor and treat women like props. It’s the story of Hamilton. It’s the story of Dixon. It’s the story of toxic masculinity.
ENABLING FEMALE ENABLERS
If you point out gender regressive female characters you’re attacked, too. Point out that portraying women as obsessed with sex and romance and supporting their man with no narrative purpose outside of advancing the male protagonist’s story isn’t really all that darn progressive in a broadway musical and you’ll be called sex-negative and slut-shaming women’s choices.
Apparently you're anti-woman and not feminist if you don’t celebrate females codependently enabling tired old cliche stories of toxic hypermasculinity because, according to the current trendy faulty logic of millennials, feminism is about supporting all women--even the boys will be boys patriarchy enablers.
If you’re a white woman who doesn’t want to enable the women enabling rape culture in black males, you’ll be called a “racist feminist” who obviously just has a problem with black hypermasculinity because it’s black, not because it’s creepy. And if you’re a man calling out the female tropes, you will no longer be invited to the Stud Club. Chill out, prude dude, it's just “sex."
WHO REVIEWS THEATER?
It's no accident that the mostly male critics who have reviewed Hamilton have completely missed Hamilton's troubling undertones about gender and sexuality. Ben Brantley writing for The New York Times effused "the ballads that define the triangular relationship among Hamilton, Eliza and Angelica have a romantic urgency and ambivalence that had me in happy tears." Of course. Men cry tears of joy when woman worship them in spite of their flaws. When women's existence revolves around men. When they are "helpless" around male brilliance and "satisfied" if only they can land their man. It's the feminine ideal--for a certain type of man, that is. And just because female critics gush over Hamilton does not give the work a free pass, either. Plenty of women have internalized these hypermasculine and codependent roles as just "sex and romance."
HOW GROUPTHINK BULLIES AND SILENCES DISSENT
Point out problems with black hypermasculine norms? You're a racist.
Point out creepy gender tropes? You're a too easily triggered complaining controlling sex negative hardcore feminazi lying troll focusing on the wrong things mad at life on a rant who just likes to cause trouble and feel superior who didn't deserve a ticket to the show anyway, so there. (That is not an exaggeration. Just read the comments below.)
Point out that male critics might have a certain cluelessness about seeing regressive gender tropes in theater? You'll be accused of "sexism" against male reviewers.
Point out that female critics have normalized regressive gender and sexuality tropes just like the rest of the culture? You'll be told you're anti-women for not supporting all women's viewpoints--even those that enable rape culture.
"I mean, just lighten up already and stop being so politically correct. It’s just a musical!” Isn’t that exactly what white people tell black people when they call out invisible normalized cultural racism?
So what we’re left with is the groupthink bandwagon phenomenon of thinking it’s revolutionary to give the story of a white male patriarch a race makeover, while keeping all the regressive gender and sexuality tropes intact.
Hmmmmmm…
That's the danger of groupthink. People feel justified in bullying dissenting voices instead of facing the hypocrisy of a show they feel an allegiance to just because they didn't catch the problems themselves. "Hey, I'm progressive! I'm a feminist! I'm a person of color! And I like Hamilton! Hamilton can't be wrong, because I can't be wrong!" Enter cognitive dissonance followed by amygdala hijacking resulting in denial, bullying, dismissing and silencing without really addressing the evidence or arguments demonstrating Hamilton's major flaws. So the people pointing out Hamilton’s flaws are not heard. They are out there, just google “Hamilton negative reviews.” I’m not the first person (or last, I’m sure) to be troubled by Hamilton’s contradictions. I’ll be interested to see how the show fares with a San Francisco audience.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM HAMILTON’S POPULARITY
The problem is that even "progressives," "feminists," and "people of color" today drink the same cultural koolaid as everyone else. The fact that the problems with Hamilton aren't obvious is the real problem. After all, people in 1939 didn't see what was wrong with the racist portrayal of black slaves codependently enabling their white masters in Gone With The Wind.
I am literally applying the exact same analysis to Hamilton with respect to gender that Hamilton prides itself on making with respect to race. And Hamilton is praised for it. But make the same gender analysis and watch the cybermob form on cue to bully and dismiss.
The real lesson Hamilton's popularity teaches us is how very defensively regressive we still are about sexuality and gender in 2016. That’s the wake up call.
A luta continua.
TALKING TRUTH TO THE EMPEROR ABOUT HIS CLOTHES
At times the facade reached absurdity. Like at the very end, when Hamilton is portrayed as a victim because history forgot this immigrant bastard son of a whore. Yeah, because a white male of Anglo-Saxon descent who is memorialized on the $10 dollar bill is really a victim of history. How about all the blacks, women, and Natives whose own stories never get told and are only included as props to fluff or fight our White Male Saviors? Those are the real victims of history. Who will tell their story?
At the end, the entire theater rose to its feet. I looked at my companion and said, "I can't do it." He nodded in agreement. We remained in our seats, politely applauding. After all, the cast was very talented. The dancing and choreography were adequate for a Broadway show (it wasn’t up to the virtuosity of an Agnes DeMille or Bill T. Jones). The period costumes and minimalist set nothing to write home about. The story is a pretty cliche take on the standard narrative of glorifying flawed white men and female enablers who glorify those men in spite of their flaws.
Miranda himself tells the story of how, after reading a couple of chapters of Ron Chernow's book, he googled "Hamilton Musical" because he couldn't believe the story hadn't already been told. Exactly. Because it fits the same narrative mold of all the same gender regressive stories we tell over and over. Yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, this story has been told. Too many times.
The show's impressive strength was the clever political raps, and it’s a shame Miranda didn’t use his incredible skill to write a more inclusive and progressive work of art or that he didn’t educate himself on his own internalized biases about men, women, sex and romance before he wrote his opus magnum. Yes, even male artists who self-identify as feminist can still have very regressive ideas about sexual scripts and gender roles.
According to "Hamilton: The Revolution" just about every person that was an inspiration for Hamilton or participated in its creation was male. Miranda might start addressing his unconscious sexism by admitting that he doesn't know what he doesn't know about gender and maybe he should get some conscious women's perspectives on his creative team--and not codepedent females who have internalized enabling hypermasculinity and rape culture scripts about sex and romance and will just tell the Emperor what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man he is in his sick threads.
Maybe he’ll learn and do better next time. I'm not holding my breath. As it is, his brilliant beats and rhymes aren't enough to sustain the whole production and redeem its troubling flaws. I can only hope that Hamilton never makes it to a movie screen to infect even more young minds and set the clock back on sexuality and gender roles even further than the popular stage production already has. As a line in the show says,
The Emperor Wasn't Wearing Any Clothes.
We couldn't help wondering if the rarity and high cost of tickets to the show isn't helping to enable the miasma of adulation that surrounds this troubling work. My companion admitted, "If I had paid $500 for my seat, it probably would have taken me longer to admit to myself how bad it was." Sad. But true.
Keep your money and skip it.
Update Edit: Since this review has been posted, it has been 33% up voted. That's a much higher percentage than I expected. I'm pleasantly surprised. Maybe there's hope for us yet!
If you found my review valuable, you are not alone. You are part of the 1 in 3 people on the Hamilton subreddit who have read this and voted it a thumbs up.
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2016.03.21 18:23 SunTzuSan [BRAZIL / TRANSLATION] ' Most intolerant Movement I've ever met ', says ex-feminist Sara Winter

[Edited] Hello, shitlords. Remember that Brazilian ex-feminist who wrote a book criticizing Femen and feminism in general? I translated her interview for a Brazilian outlet.
Source: http://g1.globo.com/sp/sao-carlos-regiao/noticia/2016/03/movimento-mais-intolerante-que-ja-conheci-diz-ex-feminista-sara-winter.html
PS: Sorry if I broke any rule, it's my first time posting.
PS²: Sorry for messing up the post with repeated text earlier. :/
'Most intolerant Movement I've ever met', says ex-feminist Sara Winter
Ex-activist tries to start over in São Carlos (SP), but no topless in public. Mother of a 6-month-old boy, she now is against abortion and God fearing.
Disappointed with feminism, the former activist Sara Winter tries to start a new life in São Carlos (SP), but no protests with topless in public. At the age of 23 years, the former brazilian leader of Ukrainian group Femen changed his stance and opinion: "Feminism is the most intolerant movement I've ever met," she said. Mother of a 6-month-old boy, the former militant says that now is against abortion, is fearing God and also says she believes that it is possible to fight for women's rights in a more consistent and less aggressive. For that, she intends to enter politics.
In an interview to G1, Sara told how being a mother contributed to the shift in thinking and about the regrets during the years of militancy, including the fact that she had an abortion for the first time. "Within the feminist groups is very easy to find Cytotec. If you tell you're pregnant, you don't have a husband, make up any story, very quickly you get abortion pills", she said.
"There is pressure to use drugs, to deconstruct the monogamy that, for the movement, is an institution created by the Patriarchate to make wives to be submissive. You have to be in favor of drugs, of ideologies that lead people to relate with many other people at the same time. That shocked me a lot", completed the former activist.
Feminist groups consulted by the G1 reported that not all groups are equal and they don't know the issue of easy access to abortifacients, the pressure to use drugs, to deconstruction of monogamy, religious indoctrination or any other statement from a life experience (read below, after the interview).
Questioned why the movement is so alluring, Sara said that advertising is strong, but that the ideology is scary. "I thought the movement was very nice, but I have seen things that have nothing to do with what people expect. Feminists do not tolerate women who aren’t left-wing. I define the movement as hatred, hysteria, lies and seduction", said the former activist.
Outside Femen
Sara went on to defend motherhood, family love, understanding and mutual respect between men and women after splitting with Femen in 2013. At the time, the Ukrainian organization stated that the Brazilian "didn't respect the ideology" of the Group and also accused her of lying and do “dishonest things”, how not performing an action for which she received money from Europe.
Sara denied the accusation and said that the relationship was aggravated by the fact that the guidelines from Kiev have not been fulfilled, as the graffiti of the symbol of Femen in the “Christ the Redeemer” statue. For her, the international movement began with good intentions, but today is completely corrupted.
The disillusionment with the movement which advocates gender equality made Sara publish in December last year a digital book with 50 pages titled "Not a bitch! Seven times that I was Betrayed by Feminism " According to her, the work earned him thousands of messages of support and hundreds of disaffects. The former militant said that she suffers persecution on the internet and has been harassed. Check out the interview below:
G1- What led you to join the feminist movement?
Sara - My life wasn’t very easy, with a historic of prostitution and violence in the family. I went through various types of violence, including sexual. I saw many of friends go through that as well and then I decided that I wanted to somehow eradicate all kinds of violence against women
G1- What were the main reasons that led you to disappointment?
Sara - This is the most intolerant movement I've ever met in my life. It only supports women who follow a specific playbook: it has to be left-wing, cannot be a Christian, cannot be straight and [you] need to begin to deconstruct your aesthetics. If the woman straightens the hair, use makeup, wear high heels, [she] has to stop. Often you have to let the hair* grow. Some women feel comfortable with that, others don't. But if you do, you're going to have more voice in the movement. So they deconstruct your aesthetics, your belief, your sexual orientation, your political positioning.
*“Hair” is understood here as pubic hair or armpit hair.
G1- Why the movement is so alluring?
Sara - Because the propaganda that the movement does is beautiful. I would be very happy if feminism was exactly like the propaganda that it makes of itself: my body, my rules, all the women are strong, are warriors, are prepared for everything. We are in favor of the fight against violence to women, we are in favor that the rape is over. Any good citizen is in favor of all these things, but feminism makes [that in] a sensational and exaggerated manner and that affect people, especially young adolescents.
G1 - And today how you define feminism in Brazil?
Sara - I would define as hatred, hysteria, lies and seduction. Hate because there is no tolerance for anyone who does not agree 100% with the guidelines. Hysteria because in every act that we see [they] are [becoming] increasingly disrespectful, [they] are tarring churches, Saints, doing things in extremely poor taste. Lie[s] because eludes the younger girls saying that feminism is something cool and revolutionary. And seduction because there's this idea that feminism will help you, but when you get there it's not like that.
G1 - How woman can empower themselves?
Sara - I think a woman can empower herself when she doesn't listen to anyone's opinion to make decisions of her own life, whether men or women feminists. Because the woman, in an attempt to empower herself, ended up being a slave of other ideologies. For a woman to be empowered, she has to be mistress of herself, acting without fear.
G1- Do you regret being part of this movement?
Sara- Some protests, yes. In Belo Horizonte (MG), I broke a whole store and I deeply regret because I am against violence. In other action, I was with an activist characterized as Jesus Christ and we kissed in the cross. I made a video and asked for forgiveness to all Christians because I realized that offend other people, races, faiths and ethnic groups was not the way to get what I wanted. But in general I have no regrets of my activism, I really thought [that I] could change the world.
G1 – Today you suffer persecution?
Sara- The persecution that I suffer today is infinitely larger than I was suffering [before]. The city is a hotbed of leftist[s], feminist[s] because of universities. I'm more afraid now than before. I never thought I had to be afraid of the people who speak that will protect women. This persecution is because I know everything that rolls inside, all the strategies of mental domination, brainwashing, money, finance organizations, and now I'm telling it.
G1 – How do you think people see you today?
Sara- People like me much more now. I was amazed at this, especially with Christians who I thought [they] were never going to forgive me. I get many messages, about 50 per day in my social networks. They say: 'now you represent the Brazilian woman'. I realized that my militancy made most women look bad because they do not want to be represented by a crazy, hysterical, naked girl screaming in favor of abortion. They want a that woman represents [their] interests specifically on women's health, on education.
G1- Motherhood contributed to the change of thought?
Sara - A lot, because I've seen so many bad things in the feminism and when I found out I was going to be a mother I told “what now”? I felt a life growing inside of me, both in my soul and body. Then I met many pro-life projects that welcome women who quit the abortion and welcome [them] to carry the pregnancy until the end.
G1 – Which values you want to pass to your son?
Sara- I want [him] to know to respect a woman. I want to raise him to be a warm and gentle person, with values of volunteering. I want to create him based on the ten commandments of the Bible. I think this is very important, although many values have been lost today. But I want to rescue it.
G1- How do you support yourself financially?
Sara- With great difficulty. [I] give lectures and earn R$ 10 for each book sold on the internet. I still don't get alimony for my son and my name is dirty*. My mother helps me how [she] can, but I'm alone and I have to pay rent, water and electricity bills. I've sold everything I had to try to pay off my debts. I have faith that any hour the situation will improve.
*It means she does not have any kind of financial credit.
G1 - What are the next steps?
Sara - I want to write a new book telling the experiences of former feminist that left the movement and were persecuted. I also want to enter politics, a dream that I have since childhood. I want to combat violence against women and propose improvements in health and education. I know that in politics I can do something in a more substantial way, better than protesting in the street with [my] naked breasts.
Drugs and abortion
With regard to easy access on the abortion pills cited by Sara Winter, the Movement Women in Fight [Movimento Mulheres em Luta] stated that not all movements are equal. "We advocate the legalization of abortion for the woman to decide about her body. We want it to be done by SUS [Unified Health System] to end a very lucrative illegal trade. We are not hypocrites, [you don’t] need to be a [from] feminist group to have access to abortifacient medicines, [you] simply open the internet and find ways to buy. This would not exist if there were public policies for sex education, access to contraception and especially the legalization of the procedure, "said Marcela Azevedo, member of the national command.
Cibele Ferreira, representative of the collective Together [Juntas], from São Carlos, says [she is] unaware of the practice within the feminist groups. "The movement fights to be responsibility of State to ensure full access of women to information, to contraceptives and safe abortion in public health methods. Cytotec is banned in Brazil, it is hard to imagine that these women have easy access to this medicine. This type of statement ignores the many reasons a woman resorts to abortion and is an attempt to delegitimize the struggle for this right", she said.
The group Popular Legal Advisors [Promotoras Legais Populares] from São Carlos claimed it was unaware of the pressure to use drugs, to deconstruct monogamy, religious indoctrination or any other statement from a life experience. "It is necessary to submit official publications that this in fact is the positioning of feminist movements in General. The feminist movement in our vision and how we campaign, defends the inclusion of women in all areas, such as in education, health, work, politics, etc. In this argument, we believe that women can and must choose how they live, whether they want to have children or not, want to get married or not, and for that we need to have instruments for decision making. There is a diversity of women in our country and in the world, and we must first respect this diversity", said the coordinator, Raquel Auxiliadora.
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