THE SEX ACT

by Alana Valentine

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THE SEX ACT

by Alana Valentine

Two university law students, Marlowe and Neil, decide to turn one of their degree assignments into a play about the passing of the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act. They recruit another student, Olga, who is intensely hostile towards feminists and sees the whole thing as a wonderful way to send up the generation she calls ‘gender terrorists’.

As the assignment progresses, their own personal flaws, feelings, contradictions and problems in regard to their personal relationships are revealed, and their understanding and estimation of the achievements of the legislation changes. But for Olga, who keeps being visited by a pesky Germaine Greer in her dreams, the process reveals unpleasant truths about herself and her lover and propels her toward a change that is both irrevocable and life changing.

Intercut with these scenes of the young adults in the present, are dramatised scenes of the passage of the legislation involving all the historical participants in the real-life drama - Senator Susan Ryan, representatives of the group Women Who Want to Be Women, Prime Minister Bob Hawke, Opposition Spokesman Ian McPhee, and others.

A timely examination of the struggles of feminism in a ‘turkey slapping’ 21st Century, and a confrontation of Australia as the only country in the Western world without a constitutionally guaranteed Bill of Rights.

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