This was the fourth of Dave Sudak's classes at CFHS, Tucson. This one was the smallest (15 students) class and very quiet and attentive for 8:30am!
Here is what some of them had to say:
"I feel like if more women like the ones in the play speak out, the more the military will need to and be forced to acknowledge that something needs to be done to help women not only succeed in the military, but also to thrive in it."
"I feel concerned. These experiences are horrific yet inspiring."
"Every single one of us has a job, and that's to fight (figuratively or literally) for others. I don't understand how women in the military can go through so much, just for us."
"Now that more and more women are joining the military, there is a whole new perspective that people do not understand and this is an incredibly real way to show what it's really like. . . Incredibly real and incredibly depressing."
"I feel angry and sad that war happens. Why? It seems so fruitless to me. The soldiers are the ones fighting it, but all it really is is the bickering of a few men in high places who send out their soldiers to solve their problems. I keep thinking of the Iraqi people, for so long now their world has been an image of constant fear and suffering and it is so unfair for them. And for me that I live such a good life."
"I feel angry. I want to be an officer, a gentleman, and the rape stuff pisses me off. Makes it seem like all people in the military are the bad guys. But, they are not. They serve and I truly believe that honestly women should not join. . . There really are honorable servicemen. I am compelled at their devotion. Men do combat, women don't. why? Women have the right to serve. There needs to be stricter policies on rape. I will NOT ALLOW it. I'll be a great officer. The best. The one who looks out for women."
"I feel as though my life has been altered, my eyes have been opened to the reality. The fact that there is a great big world out there. . . I feel as if I'm trapped in a bubble. . .."
"I feel lost. Never knowing the experiences of others. I am ignorant, trapped in a world of good and safety.. . What is it to feel bad about something that I have little control over, like war, and death?"
"I remember my feelings when my dad was deployed to Iraq. I remember how angry I was at everyone. I wanted to know that my dad was ok. I want to know what he actually felt when he was there. He doesn't talk about it. I want to know why he went to Iraq."
"It's difficult to resolve an issue with as much depth as women in the military, or war itself. Is it wrong to subject women to something as gruesome as. . . war and harassment? Can we prevent them from serving to protect them? Can we prevent war all together?"
Here is a paraphrased summary of general feedback from Dave's classes the day after our visit. . .
"Students were very open about the challenge of the small performance space. Many students-including doodlers and those who seemed like they weren't giving the performers their undivided attention--admitted to feeling shy, especially about watching the performer in such close proximity. . . A few (mainly boys) expressed feeling that men got an especially bad treatment, and that the play could have balanced the harsh reality of violence toward women with some more positive experiences."