What does Caryl Churchill believe in? How does she portray feminism in the play Top Girls?

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play Top Girls manages to both detail the many positive strides women have made in history and also make it clear how far they still have to go. The first act of the play has several women from various periods in history, back to medieval times, who were marginalized because of their gender, and invites them to tell their stories via an elaborate luncheon with a contemporary businesswoman. The woman speak with articulate detail about the nature of their difficulties and some of the horrible events that occurred in their lives, such as the public murder of Pope Joan, who ruled as pope while posing as a man, became pregnant and later gave birth during a papal procession and was stoned to death in the street. Churchill gives voice to marginalized women, yet portrays contemporary women as too focused and self-centered to care about having children.