If We Are Women


102 pages
ISBN 0-88754-532-7
DDC C812'.54




Reviewed by Laila Abdalla

Laila Abdalla is an associate professor of English at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, and former professor at McGill University.


This play is not just about women; it is also about the vulnerability of
the human race, regardless of gender, class, education, upbringing, and
expectations from life.

The characters in the play represent each other’s polar opposites,
without becoming stereotypes. Their wide differences serve rather to
point out their shared similarities, particularly the precariousness of
the human condition. For example, both the illiterate
“pioneer-stock” grandmother from Saskatchewan and the Jewish
mother-in-law with two degrees are insecure about their knowledge and
education; their fear of being detected as frauds leads them to subject
others to the embarrassments they fear most. Both Jessica (who just
buried her lover of 8 years) and Polly (who just lost her virginity)
face the insecurities of love; they’ve experienced the freedoms of
modern love, as well as the limitations of ingrained roles imposed on
lovers through generations of societal expectations.

But If We Are Women is not only a “litany of carefully nurtured
sorrows,” in which men are not unfaithful, the battered recover, and
the young begin the process of long-awaited maturity and its
accompanying loss of naiveté; the play is also an exploration of
living, full of compassion, irony, small doses of anger, and large doses
of humor. Glass is an expert playwright: careful with detail, sensitive
to timing, and supremely sensitive to the complexities of her


Glass, Joanna McClelland., “If We Are Women,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/6527.