In the Guardian, David Mamet, in London for a new production of his play Oleanna, ponders the artistic problem of men writing women and draws a lesson from a Brown University student's reaction to a dress rehearsal for the play's 1992 premiere:
The play ended and I asked the folks what they thought. 'Don't you think it's politically questionable,' one said, 'to have the girl make a false accusation of rape?'
I, in my ignorance, was stunned. I didn't realise it was my job to be politically acceptable. I'd always thought society employed me to be dramatic; further, I wondered what force had so perverted the young that they would think that increasing political enfranchisement of a group rendered a member of that group incapable of error - in effect, rendered her other-than-human. For if the subject of art is not our maculate, fragile and often pathetic humanity, what is the point of the exercise?
Link via Critical Mass.
Update: Related in only the most tenuous way, an interesting observation from The Note at ABC News contrasting a prominent person's attitudes toward certain institutions vs. the individuals of which they are comprised:
You all know the deal: this is just the third primetime news conference that this President Bush has had, in part because of his disdain for the ways of the Washington press corps (as contrasted, paradoxically, with his abiding affection for most of the human being reporters who cover him).