by Elena Meijer, United World College Maastricht
14th April, 2019
Precisely pinpointing the origin of this year’s feminist play “Why Are We Still Talking About This?” is rather difficult. The play was partially the result of the desire echoing from various corners of the community for a second version or redo of last year’s “The Vagina Monologues”. The play also emanated from a more personal driving factor: my own experience as a #MeToo victim. This being a quite fresh wound for myself, and with the recent incidents which occurred at Pearson College finally being brought to light, it seemed a fitting and appropriate moment to start a discussion about this in our community. Still, the play did not solely birth from issues relating to sexual abuse/misconduct, but more so from the general misinterpretation of feminism and the wrongful preconceived ideas of feminism that exist(ed) in our community.
To dedicate some words to how this play was set up: I approached Ell asking her whether we could present a feminist play to the community this year; her answer being that I should come up with something tying in to her already long-existing idea of the theme: “Why Are We Still Talking About This?”. That same night, I wrote one of my pieces called “Into The Mind Of A Dirty Person”, which was when the idea to let the community write the script first came up. After having performed my piece at the first meeting with the cast, it became clear that many of us invisibly and silently carried the #MeToo mark. But more importantly, the meeting proved there were more than enough experiences that could be – through the subtle ways in which words and language have the power to capture and convey – be turned into powerful pieces. Pieces which would seize and strike the audience because of their personalness and verity. Pieces that reflect hard truth and present-day realities for some, rendering feminism not only a relevant but an all the more important and legitimate issue today.
The diversity in this school provided the audience with multiple understandings and perspectives of feminism – hopefully, letting the audience take a relook at their own definition of feminism through a multicolored lens. In essence, this was the purpose of the play: telling stories that will move the audience and make them rethink and perhaps reshape their definition of feminism. There is still a long way to go as far as the global and general conception of feminism, but I hope that “Why Are We Still Talking About This?” was a significant and memorable step in the right direction for the UWCM community.