“The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare

I saw this performed by the local high school. They set it in the wild west, which allowed Kate to actually shoot at her suitors.

I love Shakespeare. I love that the high school does a play by the bard every year. I wish, of course, that they also learned to slow down and enunciate their words, but what can I expect for 7 dollars?

…But this play turned my stomach. What starts out as a strong woman, someone I could cheer for, turns into a broken women bleating the message.

Petruchio ‘tames’ Katherine buy torturing her with lack of food and sleep deprivation. By the end, she will do whatever her husband Petruchio says–and eloquently defends her ‘choice’ to do so. It’s horrifying.

Yes, it’s a comedy, and it is a successful one. There are a lot of funny moments. But the scene where Kate begs the servant for food did not make me laugh.

It was a different time, I tell myself at my desk as I look at the framed poster of Rosie the Riveter. It was a different time.

Dr. Laura would say that it makes sense, what Kate says at the end:
“Thy husband is …one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body
To painful labour both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks and true obedience;
Too little payment for so great a debt.”

Dr. Laura posits that men love their women and will do all kinds of heavy lifting if their ladies are sweet to them and show appreciation.

To a large degree, I concur. I think that women need to recognize and appreciate the good stuff men do for them and not sweat the small stuff.

So what if he is lounging around in his ratty sweats? Don’t nag him to throw them away. Sit down next to him and he’s more than likely going to put his arm around you and give you a kiss.

So, if that is the message to take away from TOTS, it’s not a bad one.

It was a different time, right? Then, women were utterly dependent on their men to make money and provide food and a place to sleep.

I was talking to my co-worker, a man born in Costa Rica, about my impressions of the play.

“It’s still that way in some places,” he said.

We’ve got a long way to go, baby.

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