Part of an actor’s job is to hunt for meaning and subtext in a writer’s words. The really good and intuitive ones tend to find something complicated and rich in your play that you did not even know was there. Naturally, it is then your job to pretend that you totally meant to put that there, so that you remain mysterious and painfully intelligent. The actor playing Della (the baker / the hero) in the upcoming production of my play The Cake asked why her character sometimes calls herself and other gals Ladies, and other times Women. My initial reaction was that it was just sort of a random choice, as the two are practically interchangeable. BUT ARE THEY? Kind of not. I looked back through the script and when Della says lady, it’s more casual, colloquial, and when she says woman, she is referring more to herself or other women in the biblical sense, like a woman as wife, a woman as mother, a woman as sex. Lady is sort of dismissive and quick, while woman has this breadth and depth, like the word itself bears the weight of the entire Role. I think this is explains why every time I hear or see myself described as a woman I feel I immediately feel like I need a better bra but also that I should start my own business because I could but also I should be washing my husband’s clothes in the river all at once. It might be the biggest word there is. LADIES AMIRIGHT?