Representations of Irish Women in Vaudeville
In Chapter 2, I discuss a number of protests organized by various Irish American societies in response to stage depictions of the Irish and argue that, on occasion, the ethnicity of the performers themselves played a crucial part in these protests. At times performers used their own Irishness in an attempt to justify potentially inflammatory portrayals, pointing out that they did not mean to cause offence, being Irish themselves. Often though, for those protesting, the Irish background of a performer only served to heighten the insult. Others saw the involvement of Irish American performers as a positive influence, preferring to be represented by one of their own than, for example, by an English performer. The ethnicity of the performers, however, was not the only factor at play in such protests. Gender also influenced Irish responses to their stage counterparts and for some Irish Americans negative stage portrayals of Irish women seem to have caused particular offense.
KeywordsDomestic Violence Irish Woman Polite Society Theatre Floor Female Performer
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