Gender Paradigms: A Post- Feminist Reading of CarylChurchill’s Top Girls

The study focuses on Caryl Churchill’s play Top Girls from a post feminist perspective. The play was a reaction against policies of the first female prime minister of England Ms. Margaret Thatcher. Marlene in the play represents Ms. Margaret Thatcher and she is a great admirer of Thatcherism. The economic policies carried out the first female Prime Minister England did not favour the working class instead those policies paved way for a boon in the corporate sector. Marlene was considered as a top girl as she could become the Managing Director of Top Girls Employment Agency. Expectations were so high when Ms. Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of England. All expectations went in vain when the economic policies disappointed the working class, especially women and favoured the middle class. Just like Ms. Margaret Thatcher, Marlene also did not do anything for the welfare of her own gender and exercised the coercive power of the oppressor. Marlene conducts a dinner party in a London restaurant and invites five surreal guests. Each guest has a special story to tell and they eat and drink like ordinary men. A post feminist reading of Caryl Churchill’s play Top Girls reveals that the working class people and women have to undergo trials and tribulations under an oppressor irrespective of gender.

Keywords: Gender, patriarchy, paradigms, matrophobia, surreal, oppression, middle class, Thatcherism, hierarchy, feminist, career and employment

Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls breaks the shackles of traditional roles assigned to women. The play depicts a world unique to women alone and the topic of their discussion is directed towards the atrocities of the patriarchal world. Women of the past and present appear in the play to expose their association with the male dominated world. Elaine Aston in An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre argues that “ Churchill’s technique is laudable as it places the spotlight on women and their roles.

Sijo Varghese C.

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