Perhaps the most thrilling piece of working on the Fall Show, Angry Young Women in Low-Rise Jeans with High-Class Issues, has been the exploration of social sexual stigmas about male and female roles and how these stigmas influence my personal sexuality. Clearly, the play addresses many sexual experiences and concepts, but I found myself pushing even those boundaries.

I found it quite curious that as I was parading around in next to nothing, the male actors, techs, etc, were quite vigilant and almost delicate with how much attention they gave my scantily clad body. Conversely, my male scene-mate (Lukas, a.k.a. Barry) would routinely walk around in barely anything and the entire cast simply viewed it as normal… Funny, even.

Bottom line: Somehow (societally) we have made it wrong to be human and routinely shame men simply for being men.

Bottom line: somehow (societally) we have made it wrong to be human and routinely shame men simply for being men and how dare they actually LOOK at a women running around with not much on… Especially one who is incontestably asking for it… Begging for it, even. There seems to be no threat to a man to be “oogled” over. So, why not a woman? Again, we’re not talking about a shy, wall-flower of a woman not making eye contact… We are talking about a grown woman who is clearly comfortable in her own skin or she wouldn’t volunteer her time to get next-to naked on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers.

So, my personal conclusion is that we have allowed women to believe that there is somehow a threat if a man looks at you with longing or lust even.

So, my personal conclusion is that we have allowed women to believe that there is somehow a threat if a man looks at you with longing or lust even… as though that needs to create something to run from, be ashamed of, or be angry at. I think we have a little more room as women to OWN our sexuality and accept our sexuality, attractiveness, and “objectification” as total and complete power. In essence, Women, you need not be threatened… if you CHOOSE power over threat.

Are there other issues at play? Certainly. There are certainly men who cross the line. I get it. But, I do think far more often, as a culture, we lean toward censoring who we are, editing what pieces of ourselves we are allowed to embrace, and making each other wrong for loving, owning, embracing, and yes, even flaunting our sexuality. Participating in the show really allowed me to crystalize this point of view which I have found extremely freeing, cathartic, and most importantly, powerful.

So, how ’bout you? What do you think about our current social expectations around sexuality, objectification, and power? What did AYW challenge you to address?

Let me hear your story,

Amy E. Smith

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