Julia @ 'Uncle Vanya' - It's the Ford vs. Kavanaugh case
What’s it about?
There’s a professor who has a very young and attractive wife, and the town doctor and the professor’s brother-in-law are head over heels in love with her, causing lots of sexist turmoil.
I wanted to go out with my mom during her day off this week, so I asked her if she would like to go see a show. She had gone with me to two other shows before and she said this next show better not deal with anything sad like cancer. Oh yea, cause legit every other play we’ve seen was about cancer. Like, why?
I knew that the name Vanya in ‘Uncle Vanya’ was Russian and asked my parents if they knew about it. My dad started giving me this whole big lecture about the playwright Anton Chekhov and so I wasted a half hour pretending to care until I just cut him off and asked my mom if she wanted to go or not.
My mom and I both ended up falling asleep for the majority of the show…cuz the show just didn’t connect with us. And we’re Russian. I honestly forced myself to close my eyes and think of the fantasy world in my head so that I did not have to listen to all the sexist stuff in this play.
Uncle Vanya and a doctor were both in love with the wife of a professor, Eléna. They were only were in love (horny af in reality) because she was HOT. That’s it. Not because she was smart or achieved anything.
And she knew about their feelings. They constantly pursued her and she even said: “No”, “Stop, please," and “You disgust me.” My blood was boiling. I tried to talk to my mom about it, but she was saying there was nothing Eléna could do. The doctor at one point told her it’s her own damn fault for making everyone love her, because she was so beautiful and forced himself on her with a kiss. OH! AND GUESS WHAT?
Vanya saw the kiss and threw a fit like a 3 years old!
I was telling my mom about this after the play and all she said was there was nothing Eléna could do.
Editor’s Note (Christine): Sounds like a true Russian woman. Doesn’t give a damn. #OverIt
The end of my mother’s sentence annoyed me. Basically, because you think there is nothing you can do then that meant someone like Eléna shouldn’t do anything except feel guilty for being attractive.
But, who says she shouldn’t do anything?
Logical Solution: Eléna could demand for her husband to tell the other men to leave her alone and if he refused she could threaten to leave him.
My mother and I often clash in viewpoints dealing with certain things. We both think we are right all the time. She doesn’t consider herself a feminist, and that is fine. I don’t care. But, there are things I don’t feel comfortable talking to her about — like sexual harassment. I’ve been harassed by men on a multitude of occasions and she has often told me I was overreacting when I would say how scared and frustrated it made me. These situations, which I can’t go into detail about, were not just some guys catcalling me as I passed by. They were moments when I felt like my personal space was invaded and something inappropriate or harmful might happen. Why does she get pissed at me when I was minding my own business when these men approached me and ignored my requests to be left alone? I try to get all philosophical on her and then she starts to get angry at me for accusing her of being a bad mother, which I’ve never said.
My mother raised me to be strong, smart and clever. But sometimes I had to teach myself things because she didn’t know how to teach me. I taught myself feminism and how to stand up for myself without relying on others for support. She actually supports me with my decision to be a singer and work in the music industry instead of some office job I’d hate. Yet, sometimes I had to fight her on that as well. I know she is looking out for me, but I am also looking out for myself.
Eléna could only look out for herself as well. Nobody was doing anything for her. She married a rich man because in her time, it was that or marry a poor man and live a poor life. She couldn’t do anything to make enough income to live on her own. If she had been sexually assaulted, I hardly believe anybody would believe her.
It reminded me of the Ford vs. Kavanaugh case that just happened. My mother doesn’t believe Dr. Ford because it happened so long ago and she said it’s unfair to Kavanaugh now and that she’s doing all this for attention. Ford gets nothing out of this except death threats and it’s not fair that she couldn’t do anything back then, because of her trauma and fear.
I have been trying to stay away from political issues, because I’ve never been ‘ready’ to talk about it. But I have been seeing this phrase being thrown around:
When I have a son and he asks someone out and gets rejected, I’ll tell him not to pursue that person anymore.
“They don’t like you. Move on. Don’t annoy or creep them out. Leave them be.”
And yes, I’ll tell my daughter the same thing.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.