Why is Oleanna an anti-feminism play?

Oleanna is an anti-feminism play because the audience can see how a woman can easily destroy a man's career by making sexual accusations against him. In the play we see that, as a result of feminists' struggle to protect women and their rights, society is more likely to take the woman's side than the man's side when an allegation is made against a man but can't be proven.

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Oleannais a play written by David Mamet. It was first put on stage in 1992 and follows the story of Carol, who accuses her university professor, John, of sexual harassment.

In order to help you answer your question, it is first of all important to explain what anti-feminism...

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Oleanna is a play written by David Mamet. It was first put on stage in 1992 and follows the story of Carol, who accuses her university professor, John, of sexual harassment.

In order to help you answer your question, it is first of all important to explain what anti-feminism is. Whilst feminism is the desire to push women's rights and to reach total equality between men and women, anti-feminism is the opposite: anti-feminists often feel that this desire and fight for equality is artificial and unnecessarily complicating everyday life. In an anti-feminist view, feminism taken too far can even lead to discrimination against men.

Given this explanation of anti-feminism, it should now become a bit clearer to you why Oleanna can be seen as an anti-feminist play. As this is only a two-person play, the audience never witnesses what brought on the change of behavior in Carol between act 1 and act 2. However, one thing is clear: what would have been interpreted as just a friendly conversation with a university professor is suddenly something much worse. John's supportive pat on Carol's shoulder in act 1 is now classified as an act of sexual harassment. This inappropriate, yet presumably innocent, gesture ultimately destroys John's career, as John ends up suspended from his work and denied tenure, as it is interpreted as sexual harassment.

From an anti-feminist viewpoint, this clearly shows how women can use the feminist movement to their advantage. Because of the very fact that the feminist movement has made sexual harassment towards women socially unacceptable, it has now become possible for women to abuse this protection. Women can now use this to their advantage: the play claims that they can easily accuse men of sexual harassment and destroy their lives and careers, without needing much substantial evidence to back up their claims. You could therefore conclude that an anti-feminist would argue that most institutions, like the university in the play, would back up a women's claim and act against the accused man, as they will not want to run the risk of being seen as sexist themselves.

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