“Why are you rolling your eyes at me?”
“Because you’re brainwashed like everyone else who is old!”
(Quote from the first playtest)
Requirements: 2 players and this text
Setting & Gameplay
Seven 3–5 minute scenes, set in seven different eras, of a mother and a
daughter arguing. It’s about how expectations on women have changed (or
not changed) during the last two centuries. Expect comedy, drama,
seriousness and some heartfelt realizations.
In each scene, the mother is 40 and the daughter is 16 years old. All
mothers love their her daughters but is very concerned and exasperated
with her for the reason that the mother player picks from list in “Why
Each scene begins with the mother saying “now listen young lady…” Both
players should try to use the phrase “I love you, but…” at some point in
each scene. The daughter player is responsible for ending the scene, and
does so by walking out angrily from the room (door slamming optional).
Switching roles: The mother player in the 2010s scene plays the same
character in the 1980s scene, but this time when that character is
younger and is having a fight with her own mother (new role for the
other player). In this fashion, the players steps back in time in this
chain of mothers and daughters up until the 19th century.
Why We Fight
This list is written from a Scandinavian white middle class perspective.
Feel free to adapt it!
- You have to take down the naked pictures from online
- You can’t have an open relationship and multiple partners - love is about commitment.
- Bodypaint is not clothes!
- You can’t neglect your studies to spend time with some boy! Or girl!
- You can’t get engaged to someone you’ve only known for a few months! You need to play the field and get experience.
- Boys and girls can’t be just friends - boys are only interested in sex.
- You can’t pursue this engineering dream - you will never find a man.
- You can’t get a tattoo; it will forever mark you as a whore and/or criminal
- You have to shave your legs, it’s part of becoming a woman.
- You can’t wear a miniskirt!
- You cannot be seen to be cleverer than the boy you’re interested in.
- You can’t run a marathon - it might dislodge your womb and ruin your chance of children.
- It’s no use to pursue an education since you say you want children. Choose.
- You can’t wear a bikini! That’s the same as being naked!
- You can’t shave your legs: it is patriarchal!
- If you are going to spend time around men, I insist that you get on the pill. You never know what might happen.
- You can’t work in a factory, it will take a man’s job away and is unpatriotic.
- There aren’t enough men - unless you start wearing makeup, they will never look at you.
- You can’t wear a skirt above your knees!
- You can’t go walking with a boy after dark - it will ruin your reputation
- You can’t ride a bike: it will displace your womb.
- You can’t wear makeup, the men will think you are a whore.
- You can’t wear a skirt above your ankles!
- You can’t wear trousers - they’re for men.
- Don’t support the Right to Vote movement, it devalues femininity.
- You can’t be alone with a boy without a chaperone.
- You can’t wear a bathing suit.
- You can’t go out in the sun.
- You can’t kiss a man before you’re engaged.
- Don’t let the boys know that you have opinions about non-house related matters.
- You can’t play with boys any longer now that you’re a young woman.
Last scene - 2040s
- What will mothers and daughters fight about in the future?
Thanks for playing! If you wish, you can debrief by share arguments
you’ve had with your own mother, or your children. What do you think a
male version of this would look like? I would love a short play report
emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org!
This larp was written by Susanne Vejdemo (email@example.com), who is
immensely grateful for all the feedback from the Facebook group Larp
Women Unite and the playtesters at the New York City Larp Designers’