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re: Well, sorta
Posted by: Singapore/Fling 03:11 pm EDT 07/28/20
In reply to: re: Well, sorta - Michael_Portantiere 12:44 pm EDT 07/28/20

"(1) he wanted to state that, based on Paulus and Parks' (and McDonald's) own words about what they were going to do to PORGY AND BESS, the piece should not be represented in the title of that production as the work of "The Gershwins,""

And he could have done that without using hostile, aggressive language that sought to undermine the credibility of the artists who were making that work. That's where I think he went from respectful disagreement into attack mode.

"unless you're prepared to state that Sondheim felt comfortable criticizing Parks, Paulus, and McDonald BECAUSE they're female, but didn't feel comfortable criticizing the work of Fish because he's male."

I'm not prepared to state that, nor was I ever prepared to state that. I simply acknowledged that Sondheim was writing to a female creative team. Pointing out that small fact seemed to upset you. You raised the question of whether the response was based on gender, and you helped advance the argument that it was by inadvertently pointing out that Sondheim has not written similar letters addressing male creatives.

In terms of whether he should have written differently to men versus women, I would say no His letter would be just as rude and inappropriate directed at men. He shouldn't have written it to begin with. But he did, and we should ask ourselves if gender might have knowingly or unknowingly played into that. We should ask ourselves if it was easier for him to write this letter to women rather than men. Because while not everything comes down to gender, it's naive to pretend as if all people are treated equally by our society and its power structures, and white men in particular need to be aware of how they carry their status when they address others with less status.
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