Monday, August 20, 2012

Cute chunky play

I liked this Play of the Week selection for many reasons: Eric Percival's amazing take on "Pete from New Jersey", Larissa Adamczyk's comedic skills - in several places in this video she reminds me of David Hyde Pierce - high praise indeed - and the play itself.

The play is pretty well-written - not perfect but definitely better than most of the submitted entries.

But also it deals with a subject that is both hugely common and hardly ever addressed - women being accosted by men. Sometimes known as the "street hassle."

Young women especially have to put up with this kind of thing, and virtually no woman gets to the age of thirty without being on the receiving end of some weird or creepy come-on from some random stranger.

And it doesn't stop even when you're over 40 - I mentioned on this blog, a few months ago, being accosted by a guy - and I haven't yet mentioned another incident, which happened a month or so after the "Midnight Cowboy on Steinway" incident: as I was walking home from the subway wearing my business lady suit, some youngish guy comes up to me and tells me he's from Brazil and invites me to accompany him back to his place. At first I didn't understand what he was saying -  he did have an accent and an unfirm grasp of English. At first I thought he was trying to get a donation for a charity, since I am over the age when a woman is routinely accosted on the street. (I originally thought that men were just more polite in the NYC metropolitan area, when I first moved up here when I was in my late 30s - finally I realized I had just aged out of the constant harrassment zone .) Anyway, back to the boy from Ipamena - eventually he got his meaning across to me, and I'm like - wha? Of course I told him, politely, to go away.

The reason why the street hassle is rarely the subject of plays or TV shows or movies, even though it's practically a rite of passage for women is obvious - because men still completely dominate the media. Since men don't have to put up with this nearly as much as women, it's considered a non-issue and why would anybody care? Except women of course, who do things like create web sites devoted to trying to stop the street hassle, like Holla Back.

I should mention that the author of this piece says it's based on a true incident. Of course I was not surprised.