Which is an addendum to this post: Dear Broadway, Honestly, Why the Fuck Am I Even Here?
In the past few days, there’s a lot that I’ve thought and a lot that could be said here about the James Barbour situation.
I could ask you to think seriously about whether Barbour would have been punished more harshly, or given less opportunities for a second chance, if the victim had been a young man and not a young woman.
I could ask you if you’ve ever been the victim of any kind of sexual assault. Or really, truly known anyone who was. Whose life was changed forever in the wake of that crime.
Or if you’d feel the same way about ‘second chances’ if he’d committed, and confessed to, some other kind of violent crime.
I could talk about the fact that 60 days in prison seems paltry compared to the long term impact that his act would have had on his victim, but that is my opinion.
And even more importantly, all of that — getting bogged down in the technicalities of the law, or arguments over what is appropriate punishment for a person who commits and confesses to such a crime — is actually beside the point. My original point has nothing to do with the law, it has to do with how I feel as a paying member of the Broadway audience.
As a woman, I feel uncomfortable with, and alienated by this casting decision. And I know for a fact very many other women (and men) do too. This feeling contributes a larger sense that Broadway is not behaving like the kind of community that values women, or wants women to feel as if it is a safe space for them. It also makes me wonder if this Broadway — the one that casts men who confessed to sexual conduct with a minor — is a Broadway that I personally want to be a part of, or financially support.
That’s the point I wanted to make. That the James Barbour casting is one factor — admittedly a large one — in my sense that Broadway can be a very sexist and misogynistic place. One that is not welcoming to women, despite the fact that we are the people keeping it alive.
And I believe that we deserve better. That we can BE better.
Broadway can be better.