The “Slut” and the “Mistress”, Gender and Ethnic Stereotypes: The Female Immigrant Representation in Two Selected Israeli Plays

By Ester Levanon-Mordoch.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper will propose a looking-glass reflecting how female drama roles, placed in the narrative as marginalized immigrants, are represented in a mainstream repertory theatre. The model plays that are analyzed in this paper were written as claiming to criticize double standards regarding the acceptance and assimilation of the “welcomed and wished- for” immigrants. Reading these Plays from the perspective of feminist critic, reveals the representation of the central female characters to be suffering from a doubly-stereotyped characterization. They are stigmatized both as “women- stereotypes” and as “unwelcome-immigrant stereotypes”. The question is whether contrary to the playwrights’ attempt to criticize state institutes and hegemonic society, these plays unintentionally unveil the inherent stereotyping imbedded in the male playwrights “unconscious” world-view and gender-bias when it comes to female representations. This paper is based on a wider study (Levanon-Mordoch, 2005) that examined the texts of original plays, Israeli drama, in a major repertory theatre, titled “From Whore to Amazon - And Other Representations In Between: Representations of Female Characters and Gender Issues in Israeli Drama: Two Decades in the Cameri Theatre (1982- 2001)”. The theoretic fields underlying this study are feminist critical theories and studies about the inter- relations of sociology and theatre.

Keywords: Drama and Feminism, Female Representation in Drama, Female Immigrant Representation

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.87-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 593.449KB).

Dr. Ester Levanon-Mordoch

Lecturer, Humanistics Dept, Drama and Arts and Literature Section, Kibutzim College of Education & Oranim College of Education, Kibbutz Gazit, Israel

Dr. Ester Levanon-Mordoch (1947- ) is a member of Kibbutz Gazit, in Israel. By profession she is a lecturer of Literature, Theatre, Feminism and Gender Studies at two Teachers’ Colleges, Kibutzim college of education & Oranim college of education, Israel. She majored, at Tel Aviv University, in Literature and Theatre. Her M.A. Studies centered on Poetry in General, and on Israeli modern poetics specifically. Her PhD research, after “diving” deeply into gender studies, feminist criticism and education towards gender equality, was devoted to looking into the repertoire of mainstream theatre from the perspective of Feminist Critic. In addition to her academic work she is also involved in public and political activities: participant in peace movements to further peaceful solutions of the regional conflict; a member of educational forum for the advancement of gender equal opportunities; Vice-Chair of IWN-Israeli Women Network. She recently ended a double term as SIW (Socialist International Women) Vice-President, and still serves as an Israeli representative to the organization.

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