April 20, 2017

"Trump and Clinton Swap Sexes in Off-Broadway Play 'Her Opponent.'"

I've blogged about this before — in "Fantastic theater experiment: A male Hillary and a female Trump."
Using text and gestures and tone from the 2016 debates, actors play the 2 candidates, with the gender flipped. The audience is surveyed before and after, and pretty much everyone is stunned to discover that gender bias did not work at all as they thought it did. The male Hillary was rather repulsive, and Trump's approach to communication was quite successful coming from a woman....
We heard a lot of “now I understand how this happened”—meaning how Trump won the election. People got upset. There was a guy two rows in front of me who was literally holding his head in his hands, and the person with him was rubbing his back.
Here's an article about the theater experiment, which you can see in NYC. The title is "Her Opponent."
The two creators are admittedly liberal and expected the project to reinforce the shock they experienced on election night — “I was struck by the aggressive body language that Trump was using and thought it would never be tolerated by a woman,” recalls [co-creator Maria Guadalupe]of the debates — but found themselves understanding how the outspoken businessman and reality TV star won the presidency. After each performance, [director Joe] Salvatore conducts a discussion with the audience, who generally dislike the male Clinton character’s mansplained fact flood and “all the nodding and smiling that a woman needs to do to be listened to,” says Guadalupe, and favor the female Trump character’s visible passion and clear messaging.
Obviously, Guadalupe is wrong about what a woman "needs to do." It's more like what she thinks she needs to do. The unsmiling, forceful, engaged female Trump has a better effect.  I think the show is evidence that women can be like that. They don't need to tone everything down and try to act pleasing. And maybe they shouldn't. It's phony. Now, Hillary Clinton was her own special version of phony, so you can't just generalize.

There's a clip at my old post. And here's another clip (within an MSNBC program):



Here's a clip showing one rehearsal technique:



I'm so interested in this show! I hope they put the whole thing on line in the end. It is so educational. Such a great perspective on how we experience gender.

54 comments:

Achilles said...

Hillary isn't really different than any progressive statist. It doesn't matter if they are male or female. This is the key take-away from the whole thing. Progressives all come off as uppity jerks who think they know better than you.

This is because they are all uppity jerks who want to control your life.

Luke Lea said...

Think Margaret Thatcher.

buwaya said...

Its not mostly gender I think. There may be some gender reaction going on, in that perhaps liberals have a more positive default attitude to a woman who speaks in their native idiom of accent and tone. But mostly not.

It is the poisoned well of Trump. Trump has been massively maligned for almost two years in a huge, relentless propaganda campaign, and to a large degree it has worked. A great number of people simply cannot process what he has to say. A non-Trump stranger has few of the automatic filters that come on that block the absorption of the message.

Chuck said...

I think that in all fairness, I would like to watch this performance, and I'd especially like to watch it in a theater live with Professor Althouse and then discuss it afterward.

But honestly, I never judged Donald Trump's personal odiousness based on a Presidential debate. Is there any more forced, stylized, stilted, restrictive environment, than a nationally-televised presidential debate?

I judged Trump's odiousness on decades of his behavior, his consistent language, actions, and his general vulgarity.

B-b-b-b-b-ut... HILLARY!!?!! Yeah, Hillary. My judgment of Hillary was such that I voted for Trump.

These questions of debates, and messaging, and persuasion filters, et cetera, are for the people who vote for President based on likability, and their own feelings about interpersonal crap.

I vote for the Republican. After working hard to try to make sure I know what "Republican" means.

Anonymous said...

So, if I may ask. Apparently liberals keep saying "Now I understand how Trump won" after seeing this gender-switched reenactment. Are they really saying: "Now I see that Clinton was annoying and patronizing?" Or are they saying: "Now I see that Trump had the better message?" "I now see that Trump was more charismatic?" What are they now understanding? Seeking to understand their understanding.... -- Jessica

MikeR said...

The rehearsal video was neat. I'd love to see it amplified: side-by-side of Trump and King speaking simultaneously, then side-by-side of Clinton and Gordon speaking simultaneously.

Sebastian said...

"Trump's approach to communication was quite successful coming from a woman" It was quite successful coming from a man.

The experiment tells us more about the blinding effects of liberal bias than anything else.

Virgil Hilts said...

Trump (regardless of gender) always wins the who would you rather have a beer with contest (even though Trump does not consume alcohol).
That is a big problem for the Dems - they have forgotten that they need candidates with whom people would like to drink beer. They should have nominated Cory Booker or Joe Biden.
Also why the first female president will be Republican. Except for Tulsi Gabbard (who unfortunately is from Hawaii) not very many top women in the Dem party are beer-drinking-with worthy.

MikeR said...

"The experiment tells us more about the blinding effects of liberal bias than anything else." Good point. I found Clinton talking annoying as well.

Joe said...

Hillary.Isn't.Likable.

To know her is to hate her. It's really no more complicated than that. That she got so many votes in spite of that indicates a real fundamental problem in the Democrat party--they depend on a cult of personality.

tcrosse said...

Seeking to understand their understanding.... -- Jessica

Seeking to understand why it took a gender-switch for them to understand what so many of us grasped in the original version.


rehajm said...

Didn't we once have a universal understanding successful candidates possess some kind of charismatic hook?

'I'm the woman' isn't much of a hook.

Darrell said...

Yeah. Hillary lost because she was a woman. Right.

Darrell said...

A competent prosecutor should be able to charge Hillary with one felony for every SOS email on her private server and two felonies for every classified message. That's just for starters.

Lance said...

Reminds me of the bit from Ender's Game where Valentine, who is compassionate, takes the role of "Demosthenes" the war-mongering demagogue, and Peter, who is ruthlessly self-seving, takes the role of "Locke" the enlightened internationalist. Peter of course winds up as President of the world while Valentine goes into exile to save her little brother.

Mark said...

...who generally dislike the male Clinton character’s mansplained fact flood and “all the nodding and smiling that a woman needs to do to be listened to,” says Guadalupe...

Doesn't anyone remember Margaret Thatcher?

AprilApple said...

ack. Even a male Hillary is intolerable.

traditionalguy said...

Ah, ha. Another Russian Trick.

Hillary spent 40 years being a mean man to prove she is equal; and suddenly somebody changed the rules so the mean men lose.

Pass the vodka.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Doesn't anyone remember Margaret Thatcher?

Or Goulda Meir

I've read that the reason you never see people smile in old portraits and photographs is because getting a portrait done or a photograph taken was a serious business and people wanted to look serious in them.

If someone is telling women that they need to be smiling all of the time if they want people to listen to them, they are being misinformed. Especially if you aren't naturally warm and humorous. Which Hillary is not. Then you just look phony.

wildswan said...

Quite a show. I'd like to see the whole thing, too.

As I watch I keep thinking that the Hillary had the debate questions and she had Trump's whole debate strategy, thanks to surveillance by CIA lackeys. That's a nuance not in the show - as much of it as I saw. To me this inside knowledge explains that weird laughing face she kept turning to Trump. She was thinking: "there he goes and I'm ready." But she wasn't thinking - "how do I connect with the American worker when I laugh like that and when I have no program for them?" Possibly because she had inside knowledge, she forgot to try to reach the outsiders. She won debate points but she didn't answer the question - "where's my job? what about terrorism?" And so she was better as a debater than as a Presidential candidate. And Trump understood that at the time - he kept hammering away at those issues. He disregarded little tiny points she had ready and so he held his own despite Hillary and her government/media sponsored cheating.

Francisco D said...

I don't mean to offend Clinton supporters, but I had them both figured as sociopaths during the 1992 election and the staged 60 minutes interview. No matter how hard the media tries, they can't put lipstick on pigs.

Hillary became more odious over time as Bill faded into money grubbing obscurity. She strikes me as a despicable and totally untrustworthy human being. Trump is a blowhard jerk. I had to make a choice. I chose the blowhard.

It had nothing to do with gender.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The simple fact is that Hillary Clinton has the charisma of a chipped drinking glass. And negative leadership abilities. She reminds me of the character Rob Schneider played in down periscope.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=down+periscope+rob+schneider&&view=detail&mid=01127BD3347188C2A15001127BD3347188C2A150&rvsmid=0D61BE581F10F9612

rehajm said...

traditionalguy said...
Ah, ha. Another Russian Trick. Hillary spent 40 years being a mean man to prove she is equal; and suddenly somebody changed the rules so the mean men lose. Pass the vodka.


Now that's funny!

Tarrou said...

This is wrong, Ann. Women are the objectively superior sex, and so any setbacks or failures they experience can only be the result of perfidious international jewry. I mean, perfidious black-body-destroying white maleness. Silly me. I keep getting those two mixed up.

eric said...

I'd like to see them do this with shows like, "Everybody loves Raymond" and see how that works out.

Yancey Ward said...

I don't think the following comment from the previous post can be topped:

rehajm said...

"What an unusual way to help lefties experience the smell of their own shit."

The Godfather said...

To me, the male "Hillary" came across as gay -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- but the female "Trump" did not come across as butch. I think this is good news for those who would like to see a successful woman candidate for president. A woman can be forceful and dynamic without ceasing to be perceived as a woman. The examples of Thatcher and Mier mentioned by other commenters prove the point. The real Hillary wasn't able to do that. Probably because she doesn't have a genuine, honest, sincere bone in her body. When the first woman is elected president, her platform will not include that she would be the first woman elected president.

MaxedOutMama said...

Yes, the results of the experiment (which I think is great!) utterly contradict some of the stuff in the article.

In the end, Hillary's failure to sell herself to the public was a personal failure, not a gender failure. That's got to be the lesson here.

Maybe all the professionals who make a living off politics are coaching female candidates to do as Hillary did, but this election made all the political professionals look like fools, didn't it?

I admire what they have done here, but the article is confounding and irritating.

Sebastian said...

"When the first woman is elected president, her platform will not include that she would be the first woman elected president." Because her claim will be that she is the first black woman elected president.

tcrosse said...

To me, the male "Hillary" came across as gay

Not so much gay as Prissy, schoolmarmish, a scold. Just like Herself.

A woman can be forceful and dynamic without ceasing to be perceived as a woman.

Carly Fiorina managed this useful trick.


C Stanley said...

It would be a hoot to see the male Hillary do the shoulder shimmy thing.

Mark O said...

What does a woman want?

tcrosse said...

It would be a hoot to see the male Hillary wearing the Oven Mitt.

Birches said...

In the video at your first post, the Lady Trump appeared more likeable than she does on the MSNBC video. Perhaps it's because I couldn't see her frowning as much. I feel like her voice register was higher too. Anyway, Male Hillary! is still pretty awful. The smiling is deranged.

Comanche Voter said...

Hey a perennial prevaricator is still odious--no matter whether a male, female, or any of the 32 other sexual flavors are out there now.

Comanche Voter said...

Doesn't anyone remember Maggie Thatcher, Golda Meir, or for that matter Bella Abzug?

Pardon my language, but you can be a "tough old broad", and you can have the occasional temper tantrum (Maggie when she was giving someone a "handbagging" was reportedly quite ferocious) and people will forgive and accept that so long as you have a reputation for telling the truth. Hillary lost that reputation for telling the truth long before she reached puberty, and, like virginity, once you have lost it, you can never get it back.

Not only will people not trust you; most people won't like you if you are a liar.

madAsHell said...

Bella Abzug is just another way to say Beautiful Subtraction.

Valentine Smith said...

Forget the bullshit. Trump had the better arguments all along. Simple as that.

Susan said...

Blogger C Stanley said...
It would be a hoot to see the male Hillary do the shoulder shimmy thing.

______________

They would have to find an even more massive personal attentedant to load someone​ the size of Trump in the van if he did the seize up on the sidewalk thing and they needed to perform the load the side of beef manuver.

Curious George said...

"Chuck said...
I think that in all fairness, I would like to watch this performance, and I'd especially like to watch it in a theater live with Professor Althouse and then discuss it afterward."

Click.
BANG!
Thump.

traditionalguy said...

The well done book, Shattered, has revelations including an intense debate practice time for Hillary learning to act like she could care less what Trump said, and that his existence only amused her.

She did everything her experts told her to do. So she blamed them for giving her bad advice.

But she had no clue how to show leadership, which was the job that she had applied for.

cubanbob said...

She did everything her experts told her to do. So she blamed them for giving her bad advice.

But she had no clue how to show leadership, which was the job that she had applied for."

Trad Guy, spot on!

Kirk Parker said...

Francisco,

Go ahead and offend the Clinton supporters! They are, after all, people who supported a couple of obvious sociopaths--to our great detriment as a nation.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Why stop with reversing the genders? They should also perform this with two women, then with Lena Dunham and Jerry Seinfeld, then with Anderson Cooper and Caitlyn Jenner.

J Lee said...

Invitations to an upcoming performance are being sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and Mayor Bill de Blasio. The creators would also love to have Clinton herself in the audience (“I don’t know how she’d feel about it, but she’s a strong woman,” says Guadalupe), as well as Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live.

That certainly would be interesting, because for all those people, maintaining the conventional wisdom about the debates and the reasons for Hillary's defeat remains a part of their professional careers -- i.e., liberals who are not in the public spotlight who watch the play are free to admit Hillary's flaws and Trump's assets when their words and mannerisms are gender switched. But for people like Cuomo, de Blasio or even Alec Baldwin, coming out of "Her Opponent" and admitting the same thing could lead to quite a lot of blow-back from others invested in the standard narrative and who couldn't be dragged kicking or screaming to see a play which might question those views and force them to admit that other than her gender and her spouse, Hillary had no retail political skills to be the Democrats' presidential nominee.

sparrow said...

I think the sincerity of Trump was such a breath a fresh air that it won people over. As you said, people detect and react to phony; which is pretty ordinary for politicians. Trump was clear and breathtakingly forthright: a man easily read quite unlike Obama who always had a mysterious hidden quality.

sparrow said...

By dissacaiting the mannerisms from the genders people were able to see it more clearly.

sparrow said...

But that makes me wonder if many in the liberal sphere are inherantly more sympathetic to a woman and that softened their viewpoint. Interesting experiment.

tim maguire said...

They're both more likeable in their female form. What does that say (if anything) about gender politics and that "it's tough being a woman" meme?

Todd said...

The creators would also love to have Clinton herself in the audience (“I don’t know how she’d feel about it, but she’s a strong woman,” says Guadalupe), as well as Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live.

"people" keep saying that. Why do they think that? Is it because they have to? Really? Is she "strong" because she helped her rapist husband get away with it? Is she "strong" because she used her political influence to make tons of money? Is she "strong" because she could stand in front of crowds of people and cameras and lie her ass off? Is she "strong" because she managed to avoid a much deserved stretch in the the pen (more than once)?

Honestly, what makes her "strong"? Next "everyone" will start pushing the meme that Chelsea is strong too because very soon it will be "her time"...

exiledonmainstreet said...

" Is she "strong" because she could stand in front of crowds of people and cameras and lie her ass off? "

Yep. That and being a total bitch. That seems to be what feminists think of as being "strong" these days, as they high-five each other for being "nasty women."

Whenever I see one of those "Well behaved women seldom make history" I immediately assume that a spoiled woman who thinks it's her Goddess-given right to be rude and demanding is behind the wheel.

Kirk Parker said...

Based on the title I thought this was going to be another piece of trans-gender propaganda.

tcrosse said...

It shows that Libs will tolerate blatant assholery from a woman but not from a man.

Martin said...

While some of it is about gender, I think the real benefit here is by switching genders it creates two new persons and we can divorce ourselves from a lot of the baggage we carry.

The male Hillary no longer embodies Whitewater and bimbo eruptions and Benghazi, the female Trump does not seem like the thrice-married, horn-dog host of The Apprentice, and so on. It makes it easier to hear what they say and see how they say it, less-filtered.