Wherein Activist Clara takes down the Patriarchic/Capitalist/Industrial Complex Cultural Paradigm, A.K.A., The Nutcracker

I’m not a purist. I’m ready for different takes. I’m a self-identifying feminist,and up-to-date on political and social issues. I consider myself to be rather progressive, and as such am cautious when partaking in things Disney, things gender-“normative”, or commercially Christmas related.

Case-in-point, this year, we’re having our normal Thanksgiving wherein my belly-dancing hula-hooping mother-in-law and my tribal-drumming father-in-law host us at their place for a vegan meal with our Wiccan Goth pals in Santa Cruz. See, not a hardline traditionalist.

And so, when considering taking the kids to a “Nutcracker” performance this year, I decided to look into the less time consuming, expensive, non-traditional productions rather than the famous San Francisco Ballet performance.

Heck, I’ve even previously been to the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band’s “Dance Your Own Nutcracker”, where all genders and gender-questioning and gender-transitional folks of all ages are encouraged to don tutus and dance around on a big dance floor whilst the band plays Tchaikovsky. For some reason, I just thought that sort of Nutcracker-liberalism was not to be outdone. But since the SFLGFB’s show was sold out on the Saturday that I wanted to go, I looked into another show put on in the Mission that a local parent mentioned on a neighborhood list serve.

The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie…Featuring The Grrrl Brigade & Jr. Grrrl Brigade, The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie is a twist on the Nutcracker classic. The Culturally and politically infused storyline includes youth ages 5-18 that inspire us to continue fighting for peace, diversity, and social equality! The story opens in the home of Mr. & Mrs. McGreed (the richest people in town). We go on a journey with Clara (the maid) and Drosselmyer (the rebellious daughter) and discover that what makes us truly rich is following our dreams and creating a global community where all cultures and people can thrive.”

Look, I’m all for multiculturalism, feminist texts, and social justice. It’s just that…doesn’t this seem not only heavy-handed, but just downright iron-fisted for “The Holiday Season”? I mean, can’t we do something semi-traditional, or at least do something joyous with the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band, without feeling guilty? I want sweet with my Nutcracker Suite, a la the Sugar Plum fairies, not saccharine as in “what makes us truly rich is following our dreams”. However nice “following dreams” might be, it sounds like an 80’s public service spot produced by a big 3 network.

Also, didn’t we stop calling things “grrrl” in the 90’s?

If I’m going to go to a Nutcracker performance and wear a Che Guevara beret and combat boots, I want to do it because I feel like it, and not because I’ll feel judged if I don’t. Isn’t that reasonable?

Sorry for being like, sooooooooo counter-revolutionary.

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