A Feminist Guide to Broadway Musicals

by | November 12, 2010
filed under Feminism, Pop Culture

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a huge musical theatre nerd. On Wednesday I picked up a copy of Stephen Sondheim’s new book Finishing the Hat and it got me thinking about musicals and feminism. What musicals are more feminist than others?

For the purposes of this highly unscientific analysis, musicals I’m deeming more feminist had strong female characters and challenged prevailing narratives about gender, race, and/or sexuality. Musicals I’m considering less feminist reinforced the idea of women as passive and submissive, and/or had racist or homophobic elements.

The Best Feminist Musicals

Some Really Un-Feminist Musicals

I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy the following musicals, just that we should seriously consider their underlying messages.

I’ll leave it there for now but if you have any thoughts/opinions on this I’d love to read about them in the comments section!


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