fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Pushing Boundaries

I went to see two fringe shows yesterday. Pushing Boundaries is Ellouise Schoettler's storytelling piece about the women's movement and, especially, the quest for the Equal Rights Amendment. The story is an important one, as I think a lot of younger women (and men) take their opportunities nowadays for granted. Ellouise was an unlikely activist, a housewife who had been happy to leave behind her time as a nursing student to marry a medical student. Her husband, Jim, brought home a copy of The Feminine Mystique and it helped her understand her discontent with her life. There was also personal tragedy (which she mentions, but does not tell the story of) and a friend who told her not to call again until she'd gone out and done something, leading her to return to school to study art. Her college experiences led her to activism (relating to the anti-war movement) and she discovered she liked it. Some of her work led to things we think of as routine today, such as choosing artwork without displaying the artist's name (and, hence, gender). She has some regrets for the fate of the ERA, but looks at today's world as an overall success for the women's movement. She ended with a Q&A, which was really more of a comment period. Perhaps because it was a rainy Saturday morning and the audience was small, she didn't get a particularly lively discussion. That's a shame as the piece should provoke more people to tell their own stories and fill in the history.
Tags: fringe festival, storytelling

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