‘Oleanna’ (Carol): “The issue here is not what I ‘feel.'”

Oleanna David Mamet monologues

'Oleanna' by David Mamet

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Carol is an insecure and naive college student. She's also, at times, conniving and determined.

Gender: Female

Age Range: 20's

Summary: Carol drops by her professor's office to gain his help with her classwork while John the professor, is in the midst of buying a house to celebrate his nomination for tenure. By their second meeting, Carol has decided John sexually harassed her, and their conversation dissects the first.

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CAROL: The issue here is not what I “feel.” It is not my “feelings,” but the feelings of women. And men. Your superiors, who’ve been “polled,” do you see? To whom evidence has been presented, and who have ruled, do you see? Who have weighed the testimony and the evidence, and have ruled, do you see? That you are negligent. That you are guilty, that you are found wanting, and in error; and are not, for the reasons so-told, to be given tenure. That you are to be disciplined. For facts. For facts. Not “alleged,” what is the word? But proved. Do you see? By your own actions. That is what the tenure committee has said. That is what my lawyer said. For what you did in class. For what you did in this office. They’re going to discharge you. As full well they should. You don’t understand? You’re angry? What has led you to this place? Not your sex. Not your race. Not your class. YOUR OWN ACTIONS. And you’re angry. You ask me here. What do you want? You want to “charm” me. You want to “convince” me. You want me to recant. I will not recant. Why should I…? What I say is right. You tell me, you are going to tell me that you have a wife and child. You are going to say that you have a career and that you’ve worked for twenty years for this. Do you know what you’ve worked for? Power. For power. Do you understand? And you sit there, and you tell me stories. About your house, about all the private schools, and about privilege, and how you are entitled. To buy, to spend, to mock, to summon. All your stories. All your silly weak guilt, it’s all about privilege; and you won’t know it. Don’t you see? You worked for twenty years for the right to insult me. And you feel entitled to be paid for it.

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