Ep6 – Usual Girls and Femme Sex and Sexuality, Part One

In This Episode

Read Full Transcript

We are currently working on uploading full transcripts for all episodes. Please email us at: support@bpn.fm & request this episode be moved to the top of the queue.

The first of a critical two-part discussion, this episode focuses on Ming Peiffer’s Usual Girls. The play premiered in 2018 at Roundabout Underground for an extended, sold-out run. Catalyzed by the allegations against American Apparel’s Dov Charney, playwright Peiffer began to investigate the stories of women and the milestones in the sexual maturation of girls in America that can lead to a fraught and vulnerable relationship to one’s own sexuality. Peiffer put the patriarchy, rape culture, sexism, misogyny, and racism on trial in her professional debut work.

What does healthy sexual development look like? How can femmes claim (or reclaim) their own sexuality? Is it possible to shed the culturally imposed shame and guilt and adopt an outlook of pleasure? What should effective sex education teach and when? What sexual stereotypes do we impose upon different communities, be it Black, Latinx, Asian, and how do we counter them? What are the consequences of teaching abstinence-only, medically inaccurate, or emotionally devoid sex ed? Peiffer, host Ruthie Fierberg, and experts Dr. Tracie Gilbert, a sex educator, writer, researcher, and consultant with over 25 years experience, specializing in work with Black communities; Professor Lisa Speidel, assistant professor and general faculty in the Gender and Sexuality department at the University of Virginia, and editor of The Edge of Sex; Professor Celine Parrenas Shimizu, Director of the School of Cinema, member of the graduate faculty of Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University, filmmaker, and author; and Justine Ang Fonte, a disruptor in health education and Director of Health and Wellness at an NYC K-12 school, gather to discuss everything from pleasure to self-discovery, recovering from violence to self-defense and all the coming-of-age in between.

Referred to in this episode

 

Create the change

 

Why We Theater is a product of part of the Broadway Podcast Network, edited by Derek Gunther, and produced by Alan Seales.

Follow us @whywetheater on Instagram & Twitter.

Our theme music is by Benjamin Velez. Hear more at BenjaminVelez.com.

Our logo is by Christina Minopoli. See more at MinopoliDesign.com.

Special thanks to Genesis Johnson, Dori Berinstein, Leigh Silverman, Patrick Taylor, Tony Montenieri, Elena Mayer, Wesley Birdsall, and Suzanne Chipkin.

Connect with Ruthie!

RuthieFierberg.com

Instagram: @ruthiefierceberg

Twitter: @RuthiesATrain

 

About Our Guests

Ming Peiffer, Playwright

Ming is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter from Columbus, Ohio, and the first Asian woman to be nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Play in its history. Her play USUAL GIRLS  earned 3 Drama Desk Nominations including Outstanding Play, John Gassner Award Nomination, Hull Warriner Award Finalist, Relentless Award Honorable Mention, New York Times Critic’s Pick. Her work has been developed and/or presented by Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, The New Group, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE Arts Center, The Flea, The Wild Project, New Ohio, Soho Playhouse, The Gene Frankel Theater, FringeNYC, among others. Awards and fellowships include: 2017 Kilroy’s List, NYTW 2050 Fellowship, Youngblood Member, The Kennedy Center’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award Recipient, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center NPC Finalist, Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist, Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award Finalist. Ming has training from both the Stella Adler School of Acting and the Shanghai Theatre Academy where she lived abroad studying Traditional Peking Opera. She studied poetry at The New School and holds a BA with Honors in both Theater Arts and Mandarin Chinese from Colgate University. MFA: Columbia University 2016. Ming is currently under commission at The New York Times, Roundabout Theatre Company and Annapurna Theatricals.  In Television and Film Ming has developed projects with F/X, Amazon, AMC, Wiip Studios and has staffed at Netflix and Hulu. She is currently a Supervising Producer on the Amazon show DEAD RINGERS.


Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed, MPH, sex educator

A child of Pilipinx immigrants, Justine is a sexuality educator and the Director of Health & Wellness at a K-12 private school in New York City. Justine is a consultant and speaker on intersectional health and sex education for teachers, parents, and students in both public and private institutions across the United States on topics such as consent, gender, and pornography literacy. She received her Master’s in Education from the University of Hawai`i and her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. She is also the co-creator of Raised Pinay, an original production of Pilipina-American storytelling and benefit for the Philippine reproductive health non-profit, Roots of Health, of which she sits on the Board. When she’s not fighting for reproductive justice, she is baking up new recipes and watching reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. @ImJustineAF


Tracie Q. Gilbert, PhD, sex educator, writer, researcher, consultant

Tracie teaches Black people from all walks of life how to claim (and, in some cases, re-claim) sexual wellness as a community right! Using a wide range of interactive, high-quality workshops and conversation series, Tracie lifts the veil on “The Talk”, helping Black communities unpack the mental, historical, and cultural barriers that keep us from having honest, productive conversations about sex and sexuality. She has nearly 25 years experience teaching urban youth, young adults, and their advocates. She received her Masters of Science in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, and her doctorate from the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. Ms. Tracie was the winner of the 2011 Women for Social Innovation’s Turning Point Prize, which was used to begin the Empowered Mom’s Think Tank, a 10-month initiative geared toward helping African-American female caregivers talk to their young people about sensitive sexual topics.


Celine Parreñas Shimizu, Director of the School of Cinema, San Francisco State University

An award-winning film scholar and filmmaker, Celine is Professor and Director of the School of Cinema. Her books include The Proximity of Other Skins (2020) and The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian American Women on Screen and Scene (2007) and The Feminist Porn Book (2013). Her numerous peer-reviewed articles are in the top journals in the fields of cinema, performance, ethnic, feminist, sexuality studies and transnational popular culture in Asia and Asian America. Her films include The Celine Archive (2020) which is premiering at the Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival in October 2020 and The Fact of Asian Women (2004) which won four national festival awards. For more information, please go to celineshimizu.com.


Lisa Speidel, Ph.D., CSE, Professor of Gender and Sexuality, University of Virgina 

In addition to her assistant professorship in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department at the University of Virginia, Lisa is also a Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).  Her book, The Edge of Sex: Navigating a Sexually Confusing Culture from the Margins, co-authored with Micah Jones, was published by Routledge in 2020. The Edge of Sex is an anthology of unheard voices from the margins, bringing together 37 writers to discuss their experiences of sex and sex education in America. Dr. Speidel has worked locally and nationally as an educator for over 27 years, with a focus on examining the role of masculinity, healthy sexuality, gender-based violence, and the intersection of racism and other forms of oppression. The courses she teaches include Human Sexualities, Men and Masculinities, Global Masculinities, Gender Based Violence and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She also has been teaching women’s self-defense for 27 years both in the Charlottesville community and as a credit based course at the University of Virginia. Twitter: @drlisaspeidel Instagram: @lspeidel

 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


JOIN OUR VIP LIST

Text LISTEN to 63566 to join our Text List

RECEIVE OUR LATEST NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This