Op-Ed: On Being a Woman of Color in an All-White Production Jennie Rhee February 29, 2016 Opinion I have zero theater experience – minus the one time I was in a short skit in high school – but I decided that I would get over my fear of public speaking to participate in the Vagina Monologues. The Monologues perfectly summed up the adversities (and triumphs) we face as women. Everything that I had ever felt in the past 22 years of being a woman had been verbalized so perfectly. As an avid supporter of being a boss bitch, on being confident in your own skin no matter the circumstances that all of us have been through, I knew that I had to audition. Even if I flopped and didn’t get the part, at least I went completely out of my element and left my mark as a Korean woman. As outgoing as I am, I still do suffer from social anxiety and going out of my way to try something so brave was a lot to consider. (I’m an indoor cat at heart hehe.) I don’t know HOW, but I landed the role as a narrator for the show. I did not do well in the reading, but I made the directors laugh, and ended up snagging the part. But when it came time for all of us who made it to come together for our first sit down, it became very clear to me that I, Ara, and Haley were the only women of color in the cast. And as much as I love the rest of my white female friends, I cannot help but admit to the fact that it is very lonely being the one of three minorities amongst a group of 20 women. We all intrinsically understand what it is like to be a female in this society, but there is such a disconnect between the girls and I due to cultural differences. I can’t blame them for not knowing what it is like to be a woman of color since they are not one, but I would like for that awareness to be there. A lot of the girls have mentioned how white the cast is, but I don’t think they understand what it truly feels like to have that sort of privilege. And by privilege I mean, they all are used to being around just each other, that they don’t really notice the lack of diversity as being harmful. Maybe the way that I go about it may not be the best, but I don’t mind making situations uncomfortable by calling out the inherent privilege that many of these girls have. Participating in such a powerful movement like this is only for women who are educated and have the time and money to sacrifice to be a part of this production. The script itself uses vocabulary targeted for those who have had higher education. And as much as I love all of these women, they will never understand what it feels like to walk into a room and be the only person of color there and be bombarded with microaggressive racist comments, or get side comments or side glances from people who don’t understand my culture and see me as being “rude.” They do not understand that I have to work so much harder to be seen and to be heard because I will always be looked at upon differently because of the color of my skin. I will face many a obstacle time and time again because of the color of my skin. But it isn’t all bad, though… I am a part of this community, and I am a Korean woman on stage. I just hope that one day, there will be more of my colored sisters on stage with me, showing America that we are influencers in the culture. No more being left behind in the dust. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.