July 4, 1970 - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco California
San Francisco Mime Troupe Production
"An Independent Woman or A Man Has His Pride"
​​​​​​​The San Francisco Mime Troupe was part of the local scene during the Vietnam War years. They put on free shows with an anti-capitalist theme in parks across the city.  “An Independent Female or A Man Has His Pride" was billed as the SF Mime Troupe’s first feminist play. Set in the Old West, the melodrama was also the playwright Joan Holden’s first production.
Most people watching the show had a good time. But from a feminist point of view the play was a disappointment. (See the last photo.) The main feminist character was molded on the sneering villains of nineteenth century melodramas. Plus, the script was so over-the-top, it made the battles facing women seem old-fashioned and irrelevant. Most everyone got a laugh, but the play didn’t challenge anyone to look at their own lives or question their assumptions about gender roles.

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