A Feminazi is defined as a ‘feminist to the utmost extreme’ – a man hating, bra burning, unshaven lesbian woman who isn’t a supporter of equal rights so much as that the male species should slowly be eradicated and extinct. It’s an offensive term created by (you guessed it) a conservative man that wanted to halt and stall equality for women.
Kirsty Mac has been called a Feminazi a lot, and she’s chosen to own the label to the point where it’s become the title of her newest show. Throughout the show, Mac talks about her experiences with love, family, dating and, among other things, the Internet and how they interact with her position as a self-proclaimed feminist and so-called ‘feminazi’. It’s a fantastic concept with a lot of potential, but the show doesn’t quite get there in the end.
The problem with the show is that it all feels a little half-baked. If you’re going to call a show Feminazi, one expects that the audience will be led through a complex and funny dissection of what life is really like for a feminist, about the various issues existing within the feminist movement and how one interacts with the various incorrect assumptions pinned onto the label of ‘feminist’.
Mac, however, doesn’t go deep enough into these issues. She glazes over them at a rapid pace instead of taking the time to explore the very funny material that she’s working with.
At one point during the show, Mac talks about Germaine Greer who is as seminal and important to the feminist movement as she is problematic and genuinely disagreeable. Rather than slam Greer for being ridiculous and, in doing so, call to attention the various issues within feminism and that feminists face more broadly, Mac takes a cheap shot at Greer’s appearance. It’s still funny, but it could’ve been so much funnier.
If we take the idea of ‘nailing a joke’ as a literal image, throughout Feminazi Mac has lined up her nails, but only ever hammers them part way in. Jokes feel incomplete and rushed. When she does take the time to really drive her points home and explore the subject matter, like she does it in relation to the familial pressure to have a baby and ‘become a mother’. The results are hilarious and had the crowd in stitches.
Mac clearly has the ability, insight and experience to really cut to the heart of the issues she’s talking about; to find the humour but also highlight the very serious problems that need discussion, but there isn’t enough discussion throughout the show.
When Kirsty Mac gets it right in Feminazi, she’s unstoppably good, but she’s not hitting it hard enough throughout the show. This is an interesting and brave show, but it’s one that needs some development to be as good as it truly can be.
Reviewed by Anthony Nocera
Rating out of 5: 2.5
Venue: Gluttony- Pigtails, Rymill Park, Adelaide
Season: 25 February – 5 March 2015
Duration: 50 mins
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)