Helle Lee’s “Macho Like Me”

by Latina Fatale on 02/14/2011 · 3 comments

in Popular Culture

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Yesterday I went to see Helle Lee’s “Macho Like Me”, a one-woman play/monologue at The Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. Written by and starring Helle Lee, the play is based on one woman’s journey of making a documentary about living her life disguised as a man in order to gain a perspective as to whether or not men have it easier in life.

Helle Lee cuts off her hair, changes her name, and modifies her body language as well as facial expressions in order to completely submerse herself into her new life as a man. She initially chose to live her life as a man for 10 weeks, but at the ten week mark she decides to attempt to continue on as a man for a year.

Throughout the time that she lived as a man, Helle claims that she felt oppressed while living as a man because she was unable to touch other men or talk about her feelings with them due to society’s expectations as to how men “should” act. Helle eventually gives up living as a man after approximately six months.

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and was really entertained by the monologue. At the same time that Helle Lee performed on stage, excerpts of the actual documentary were projected onto the screen behind the stage. It was a really nice touch to see how Helle Lee went through her actual physical, behavioral and emotional transformations.

Throughout the play, I couldn’t help wearing my feminist hat while thinking, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to feel sorry for men because society expects this or that out of them”. Many of the behavioral patterns that she claimed were male characteristics seemed to describe my personality pretty well, and I am a female. Certainly man of us women don’t prefer to be hugged and touched by people that we have just met, we don’t form immediate connections with other women, we don’t love to talk about our feelings all day long, and we enjoy the “talking shit” type of culture/interaction that she observed when men got together as a group.

I couldn’t help but thinking that many of the characteristics that defined males in her play and documentary were inconsistent with many of the men that I have known in my life. A male told me about and invited me to this play, and I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that him and a few other male friends were nothing like the way that men were portrayed in the film.

But then I just had to remember that it is just a play, and that I needed to stop overanalyzing everything, which according to Helle is one of those things that many of us women do a lot of. LOL.

If you are in the LA area, I recommend seeing the monologue. You can find out more information about it on the Macho Like Me website.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy February 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This play seems really interesting. Thanks for the review. I don’t live on that coast but hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to see it in some other form.

Just checking out your blog and your content is great. (Love the Cisneros quote in the sidebar.)


Latina Fatale February 16, 2011 at 4:44 am

Thanks, there is also a documentary about it too! -Anarela


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