Tonight, we went to the Women’s Project Theater in the Upper West side to see the show Hatefuck… or Hatef**k, or Hatefk, depending on how able you are to digest profane language. The show tells the story of a very intense and opinionated literature professor who accuses a best-selling novelist of trading in anti-Muslim stereotypes in exchange for fame and fortune. They are both Muslim of varying degrees, but despite their initial clashing, they end up finding themselves attracted to each other. The play begs the question of… how much are you willing to do in order to have your voice heard? How far are you willing to go in order to be paid well and “respected,” even if that means portraying your own people in a way that is not actually true?
There’s a very powerful scene where the professor and the novelist are yelling at each other, and the novelist says to her that people of their color do not have the right to complain about things like sexual harassment or mistreatment, that that is what only white people have the luxury and privilege of doing. They have to take every chance they get and suck up everything else because they have no choices, and that given that white people have the majority of the power in the world we live in, sometimes you have to accommodate and pander to what they want in order to have your voices heard, because otherwise, who will give you the chance? Your own people don’t have the power to give you that chance, but the white people do, so are you really going to pass that rare opportunity up?
That was probably one of the most depressing scenes I’ve seen in theater in a long time… Because it is so true.