My, how times have changed! A friend and I just went to see The Phantom of the Opera here in Charleston and I could not stop thinking about how Christine is portrayed. I am a huge fan of live entertainment and this was no exception this was beautifully done, the acting was superb, etc. There was nothing wrong with the performance at all.
If I have seen The Phantom of the Opera it was something I didn’t remember well, I was unsure what the story line was and my friend gave me her version of cliff notes. Pretty much there is a man who haunts the opera and when a dancer tries out for the lead role, he is mesmerized by her and becomes obsessed. He then haunts her (aka stalks) and makes her believe he is the “Angel of Music” and he has given her a gift and she is indebted to him.
realize how far women have come on the backs of women who fought to rise above the social norms of their times.
I didn’t know anything else this play going in, I figured it was a take on the Hunchback of Notre Dame in some ways but it isn’t. Please realize I am writing from my one experience with this play and my understanding of it, I did not watch the movie which I feel compelled to do now.
Christine was portrayed as a doll that needed Raoul to save her, as a piece of property that the Phantom and Raoul fought to possess. Oh please! The only moments I wanted to cheer Christine on was when she proved she could sing and when she showed tremendous compassion and forgiveness towards the Phantom. Other than that, Christine was just an object of Raoul and Phantom’s affection and obsession.
The play gives the illusion that Christine has free will but within its own confines. Modern-day phantom would be shot during the attempted kidnapping if not before when he showed his face after trying to terrorize me with his stalking.
The sad thing is that there are still women today that want to be the ‘princess’ or treated like a doll. They learn to contour their faces like K.K. (her name never to mentioned here, forbidding she thinks this is a positive reference), how to straighten their hair until there is no life in it, and believe that IF they look and act a certain way they are beautiful to others.
I know, I used to want to be one! I never accomplished the level of high-maintenance it requires to be an it” girl because I am too low maintenance and cost conscious. I hope that the gun industry can help shake off this ‘I’m a girl and I need a man to complete me’ nonsense. I hope women stop standing behind their significant others at gun shows because no one at the table is talking to them.
I hope gun vendors, stores, ranges, etc. learn that women are not only capable but intelligent and willing to learn and should be treated with respect, not with kid gloves or talked down to. Together, I hope we can all kill the notion of the Damsel in Distress. Let’s truly make her a phantom of the past, something to laugh at when we see her in cinema and live entertainment. But also realize how far women have come on the backs of women who fought to rise above the social norms of their times.
Don’t be a damsel in distress, be the hero you want someone else to be for you, you have it IN YOU. Learn, grow, and have fun! I know if together we work to be the change, change will come. Embrace your sisters in shooting, cheer them on, encourage them. Let’s vanish the Damsel in Distress together.