What Women Shouldn’t Want

Amblin’ Alameda

What Women Shouldn’t Want

Morton Chalfy

One of Alameda’s many outstanding features is its location. We sit in the very center of action in San Francisco Bay; draw a circle around us ten miles in diameter and everything important is within it. On Sunday we took advantage of our proximity to The City of Fog to have brunch with a friend followed by a matinee (and I think premiere) performance of “The Cable Car Nymphomaniac” a musical by Tony Asaro and Kirsten Guenther. Presented at Z Below this piece takes off from the actual 1960’s case of a woman involved in an accident on Muni who claimed it turned her into a nymphomaniac and who collected over a million dollars from the city because of it.

“A Woman Shouldn’t Want” is a song that details the restrictions placed on women in the sixties and before. It comes down to the proposition that a woman shouldn’t want what men consider their inborn prerogative of freedom to do as they wish, especially sexually. This is an attitude built up over thousands of disgraceful years of restricting women so men can avoid feeling threatened and unfortunately continues to hold sway over much of the world. It is still the major unfinished work of humanity, to see everyone, not just women, as equals.

We went to the theater for a lark, thinking that the preposterousness of the subject matter meant a light-hearted satire was in store and were very pleasantly surprised by the serious approach to the underlying argument and the very high quality of the production. Theater is one of the very oldest of arts and has always been used for political and social expression. It’s great to see that just across the Bay Bridge that tradition is alive and flourishing.

It was equally great to get back home in just over twenty minutes due to the lack of immobilizing traffic on Sunday. Crossing the bay toward Alameda it was achingly evident that we here in town are living through the changing of an era. Alameda Point is so central to the geography of the Bay Area that as it becomes developed it will inevitably have an impact on all the areas around it. The increasing visibility of Alameda as the Point is built up will attract more people and stress our transportation abilities to the breaking point. More ferries and probably more complaints about traffic are in our future over the next twenty to thirty years of build out.

We might become so important to the area that we show up, by name, on the TV weather reports. Now that would be indicative of our arrival on the scene!

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