What Are You, a Feminazi?

Lauren Stern

“Feminism started with the first woman on the planet, so we just need to change the history books,” the woman who introduces The Feminazi proclaims. And so, the lights at the Palace Theater dim as the witty, comical and thought-provoking one-woman act written and performed by Suzanne Willet begins.

The name of this satirical piece really says it all since the word “feminazi” is most definitely a derogatory term used to describe radical feminists. Ironically, the audience learns that Suzanne Willet titled the play after this anti-feminist word as a way to reclaim the term as hers, as a term of the feminists of the 21st century.

This insightful social commentary on feminism juxtaposes the performance of four opinionated women stating their views on the white-male dominated society in which they live. With the use of very simple yet appropriate costumes and props, Suzanne successfully acts out each character part, including that of the older female preacher named Fran Schneider, the white middle class woman named Sarah Whitcomb, the Jewish mother known as the Virgin Mary and the misogynist Feminazi. Each of these four women has a lot to offer in terms of presenting the audience with the feminist issues that plague our everyday lives.

Fran rambunctiously raps at a rally in Florida to empower older women by proclaiming absolutely hysterical lyrics such as, “I’m all sexed up but you think it’s wrong because I’m as old as your mom.” Sarah sings about how her life is like diaper changing in the sense that “mothers are conditioned to deal with sh–” but white middle class women should take a stand because “even gated communities need their own voice.” The Virgin Mary provides a comical documentation of her experience as the mother of Jesus and how she may be the “mother of God” but she is really just a typical mom who makes mistakes. And last but not least, the Feminazi dictates how the nation is plagued by sexist pigs. In her highly amusing retelling of the Snow White story, the Feminazi demonstrates how the strong, masculine prince, who is always the dominant figure in society, rescues Snow White, the submissive, white, young and na’ve female.

And so, at the same time that this play mocks the Feminazi, it also makes a bold statement about the power structure in our society. Through this unexpectedly hilarious parody on feminism, Suzanne Willet actually attempts to make an impact on the audience by proving that perhaps a paradigm shift in the male dominated social order is necessary. Thus, there are many instances of audience engagement such as the sing-along to Sarah’s proclamation on the working woman, the rather phallic demonstration with a banana and a man in the audience, and the commandment to chant along with the Feminazi that, “I am not Snow White.” The audience is even encouraged to attend a discussion with Suzanne after the show. One is not supposed to watch this show passively, but rather, one is supposed to actively take a stand for women’s rights in America.

Like Fran proclaims, “women will no longer be shut up, shut down and turned off.” It is thus clear that when asked, “What are you, a Feminazi?” Suzanne Willet would overwhelmingly say yes and would hope that other people would, too.