A division of the genders will not help us now.
PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
- playwright Samuel Beckett
I am writing this column to fit the series on awe because the Artistic Director of Stages Theatre in Houston says he was left in awe with their play “POTUS.” (Note that I am intentionally leaving out the subtitle). This is actually a mini and quasi play review.
The play has been popular on Broadway and now in regional theaters. It is a farce in style, subversive, and protesting in a raucous and raunchy way. The cast is all female, as is most of the audience, and sort of devoted to saving the President, a president said to be a composite of many in our country’s past. The timing could not be more important given the current attack on the rights of women in the United States and elsewhere.
The day after seeing “POTUS,” we saw another type of farce, “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett. The play is now 70 years old. Here there is an all-male cast, apparently looking to be saved by Godot, who has been said to possibly be a god. However, I wonder if that savior could be a woman, if not a feminine god.
Ultimately, any solution to the world’s divisiveness must be from a coalition of all genders. If we make progress in that regard, that will qualify as a development of awe. We in psychiatry in the United States clearly have made much progress with our leadership across the gender spectrum in recent years.
Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry, and is now in retirement and refirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.