« AN UNUSUAL SEMESTER: MY ROOMMATE AND THE CULT (UPDATED) | Main | EXCITING UPDATE »

Comments

The Happy Feminist

I agree! I am going to try to be open-minded enough to attend a play at some point.

Paul

As a feminist of long standing I say what is new under the sun?

Mystical Seeker

It's hokey because saying "vagina" isn't cutting edge -- especially if you make a big deal about the fact that you are saying "vagina."

I actually wonder if it is cutting edge in our society to say the word "vagina". Case in point--San Francisco, which is supposedly such a left wing city, not to mention sexually liberal. Back in 2002, here is a news item from the San Francisco Chronicle (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2002/02/19/ED62608.DTL):

IT IS ONLY a word. Six letters. It is not an expletive. It is not slang. You can find it in every anatomy and medical book printed in the English language.

But you still can't say it on morning television, at least not in most markets.

Recently, when a woman appeared on KTVU's "Mornings on 2" to promote V-Day, an anti-violence movement centered around "The Vagina Monologues," the woman was told not to mention the word vagina on the air. It is OK to use the word on newscasts that air later in the day, but not in the morning, said news director Andrew Finlayson.

"In the morning, we recognize that a lot of parents are watching the show with their kids," Finlayson explained. "As a parent, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable hearing that word in front of my kids. I think a lot of people would find it objectionable. Children might ask what it means.

Considering that half of those children actually have a vagina, that was a pretty amazing statement. I would say that our culture still has a lot of taboos around the subject.

Winter

Ah, but I still think you should read the play Happy. It's not very long and it would be really interesting to find out what you think after you've read it. No doubt there are problems with the text, but I still believe it's an important feminist work which has had resonance with a lot of younger feminists. One of the problems with the text is the fact that, despite the title, quite a few of the monologues do not have much to do with "vaginas." Perhaps Eve Ensler didn't think the "Vulva Monologues" would sound so good though!

bmmg39

Anyone else have a problem with the monologue about the girl who was a victim of statutory rape but described it as a "good rape" because the perpetrator is a woman?

Just go see A DOLL'S HOUSE or something.

boy genteel
Men's Rights = Women's Rights = Human Rights

PeaceBang

I've seen the Monologues several times and I find it precious and cloying. It's usually performed by college aged women who are just becoming aware of feminism, which might have something to do with it. The director's choices can make or break the piece, and when I've seen Eve Ensler do it I just felt like barfing. God, she's self-congratulatory. She certainly loves her OWN vagina. (rolling eyes)

The Happy Feminist

I don't know the specifics of that Monologue, Bmmg39, but I had always assumed when reading about it that the justification was that this description is based on the words of an actual statutory rape victim. So the idea is less about excusing statutory rape and more about honoring the point of view of a real person/victim. I do not excuse statutory rape does not mean but I do respect the subjective experiences of particular individuals who are victims of statutory rape (by perpetrators of either sex). I recognize that not every statutory rape victim views his or her experience in a negative light.

(Of course, I am weighing in here on a controversy I know little about. Anyone who knows more about the play and the controversy should feel free to weigh in! I have no particular interest in defending or condemning the play since I haven't seen it.)

I also understand that Ensler modified that Monologue in response to the criticisms about the so-called "good rape."

kim

I'm so glad to hear that Betty Dodson is still around! I saw an exhibit of her paintings in the late sixties or maybe 1970/71.... Pretty memorable!

will

"I do not excuse statutory rape does not mean but I do respect the subjective experiences of particular individuals who are victims of statutory rape (by perpetrators of either sex). I recognize that not every statutory rape victim views his or her experience in a negative light."

And yet, we have statutory rape laws because we have decided that statutory rape victims are victims who are not old enough to make proper decisions about this experience.

I do not think you would be so accepting of the glorification of a young female's statutory rape experience by a male.

The Happy Feminist

I do not think you would be so accepting of the glorification of a young female's statutory rape experience by a male.

I thought about that when I wrote my comment. I think you are imputing a double standard to me that I just don't believe in. I have known female victims of statutory rape by a man who have insisted that they had a positive experience in their relationship with the rapist. It's not my place to tell them, "No, you really had a negative experience and you just don't know it." There is no right or wrong way for a victim to feel. Theater is all about exploring people's feelings and motivations and actions even, or perhaps especially, if they are different than what we would expect. So I don't a priori condemn the monologue (again based on the real statement by a real person) of an underaged statutory rape victim characterizing her rape by a woman as a "good rape." That's the victim's subjective experience-- hearing and understanding her subjective experience doesn't mean that we objectively accept the notion of a "good rape."

Now I can't speak to the context or the specifics of this particular Monologue but I am not going to jump to the conclusion that it was necessarily wrong or inappropriate.

The comments to this entry are closed.