Misogynist Versus Masochist

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Books & Reading, Rude & Risque, Teachers

(We are reading ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’ The Professor a fifty-something, balding, portly man is explaining how people interpret the play to be very misogynistic because it’s about a husband ‘taming’ his ‘savage’ wife. My professor asks us to think of a different reason for Petruchio’s behavior towards Kate.)

Student #1: “Maybe he’s just showing her how cruel she is by pretending to be her.”

Professor: “Maybe, but that would mean she would still be tamed in the end.”

Me: “Maybe he paid her to act that way.”

Professor: “A capitalist theory! Interesting! Does anyone have other ideas?”

Class: “…”

Professor: “No? Well I’ll share mine then. See, I thought this play actually was misogynist when I first read it. But a few years back, I developed another theory after reading a rather popular book. Has anyone ever heard of Fifty Shades of Grey?”

(The class mumbles replies and gives the professor strange looks.)

Professor: “For those who don’t know, it’s a Twilight-esque romance with a BDSM twist. But after reading it, I started to wonder maybe Kate liked being ‘tamed.’ It makes sense doesn’t it? Doesn’t her speech about the perfect wife sound like she is describing a slave? And once she finished, what did Petruchio do?”

Student #2: “He dragged her to bed!”

Professor: “Straight to bed! Kate’s speech got them both so hot and bothered, that they left the room the minute she finished!”

Student #1: “Holy crap.”

Me: “It actually makes sense.”

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