Contemporary Feminism, according to Christine Macleod


Use Macleod’s feminism article, The Politics of Gender, Language and Hierarchy in Mamet’s “Oleanna, for this assignment. You will break down her argument. First, write down her thesis in your own words. What is her main argument? You will then write down 5 of her main points. Next, you will write a 300-word response, using […]

 Christine Macleod’s Ideas about Contemporary Feminism

Macleod, author of the article The Politics of Gender, Language and Hierarchy in Mamet’s “Oleanna,” is strongly opposed to the notion that a few rogue female characters justify anti-feminism movements. Macleod believes that aggressive confrontation is not the solution to gender issues. In her work, Macleod has submitted credible proof to support her ideas. Firstly, she submits that masculine-oriented authors, such as Mamet, paint female characters as monsters that deserve nothing but reproach. In addition, despite insisting that his work is gender neutral, Macleod argues that Oleanna’s male directors take a decisive stand which renders them biased (201). By painting Carol as the at-fault character, and the university professor as the victim of feminist mannerisms, Oleanna helps the audience pick the most preferable side.

Throughout Oleanna play, John is given the authority to make things happen while Carol struggles in desperation. In one instance, John insists that Carol’s grade is an “A” insinuating that he can make it that way even when Carol does not deserve such a high score (Macleod 208). Moreover, Oleanna play tends to support the traditional notion of male dominance.  In most sexual conflicts such as rape, women have traditionally been on the blame for sending the wrong signals that stimulate the men to act. In this particular case, however, John’s actions, including offering private tutorials and holding Carol by the shoulder, are not viewed with a suggestive eye (Macleod 211). Finally, John’s resolution to use physical means when confronting Carol is a familiar approach employed by most men in similar situations to portray superiority (Macleod 212).

There are some aspects of truth in both Macleod’s and Mamet’s ideas with regard to the contemporary social context. Men instinctively prefer to succeed in life, at the expense of their women counterparts (Blais & Dupuis-Déri 24). In response, women try to fight for the equalization of both sexes. Carol’s sexual manoeuvres cannot be credited to be morally right. Similarly, John’s response is not honorable either. That being the case, I opt for neutrality in this case.
















Works Cited

Blais, Melissa, and Francis Dupuis-Déri. “Masculinism and the Antifeminist Countermovement.” Social Movement Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, 2012, pp. 21-39.

Macleod, Christine. “The Politics of Gender, Language and Hierarchy in Mamet’s “Oleanna”.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 29, no. 02, 1995, pp. 199-213.


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