Valentine’s Day. It’s that time of the year set aside for husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, to express their love, commitment, and affection for each other. To feminists on college campuses, however, it’s a propaganda tool designed to objectify the female body and recite bilious rhetoric. On this day, February 14th, hundreds of women’s groups will be performing “The Vagina Monologues” at our institutions of higher learning as part of the “V-Day” initiative. Recently, I saw the performance at my own ‘academic’ institution, Roger Williams University (RWU). Participants in the play asked and answered mind-bending questions such as “What does a vagina smell like?” and “If your vagina could talk, what would it say, in two words?”
One scene was titled “Reclaiming Cunt,” which is all about the linguistic aroma that can be derived from the “C” word. Erin McGreevy, director of the women’s center at RWU, has no objection to casually using the “C” word. After the showing, in fact, she said that the word “ ‘cunt’ should be viewed as a good term. Why not? Women should use it in everyday language.” In reality, though, what sane lady would take satisfaction in being called a ‘cunt’? Can you picture a scenario involving a candlelight dinner in a quaint restaurant overlooking the Potomac River in which the guy takes his girlfriend’s hand, gazes into her eyes, and says, ‘honey, you’re such a cunt’. That’s not exactly recommended prose for scoring points in a relationship.
RWU student Ernest Offley’s favorite part of the play was called “The Little Coochi Snorcher that Could.” One wonders why he would admit to liking this scene, because it lionizes statutory rape. A woman in her middle twenties is featured seducing a 13-year-old girl. The older woman taught the younger “different ways to give [herself] pleasure,” while also doing everything to the youngster’s vagina that the little one had “always thought was nasty before”.
Krystle Lachance, another RWU student, believes that “women’s bodies have been concealed over the years. The “Monologues” try to get them [bodies] out there in a personable way.” Some of these “personable” ways involve garrulous moaning, talk of menstrual cycles, and asking a six-year-old girl what her vagina would wear if it got dressed.
After seeing the “Monologues”, fellow student Sara Tesh said the play “empowers women to discuss a side of them that most people don’t get to see. We should be more open about masturbation. It shouldn’t be a hush-hush subject.” Women should feel free to discuss their vaginas openly, added McGreevy. “The vagina is our center. Everything that a women has is in her vagina—physically, spiritually, intellectually, it’s all in the vagina.”
But according to Professor Christina Hoff Sommers of Clark University, “The woman who ‘discovers’ that her clitoris is her ‘essence’ and says, ‘My vagina is me’ [as Ensler’s play states], is insulting herself, and all women. One of the many laudable goals of the original women’s movement was its rejection of the idea that women are reducible to their anatomy. Our bodies are not our selves. Feminist pioneers like Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth fought long and hard so women would be respected—not for their sexual anatomy—but for their minds.”
Furthermore, the “women’s centers” that sponsor this play are just instigating confusion to an already confused student body. Colleen Vincent Palletti, one of the “Monologue” performers said, “I don’t see myself as a woman and I’m definitely not a man, so I’m kind of a combination of the two.”
Even stranger is the justification for the frequent use of grisly language located in the “Monologues”. The play’s brainchild, Eve Ensler, claims that it increases awareness of domestic violence. As part of its mission,
- “V-Day is an organized response against violence toward women.”
- “V-Day is a vision: We see a world where women live safely and freely.”
- “V-Day is a process: We will work a long as it takes. We will not stop until violence stops.”
- “V-Day is a day: We proclaim Valentine’s Day as V-Day, to celebrate women and end violence.”
But how does a play riddled with vulgarities do anything to console female victims of abuse or even serve as a preventive measure against violence? Instead of serving the cause she claims to champion, Ensler encourages students to act out stories that lack any nexus to hostility. The tale of “Bob” who loved to look at vaginas for hours on end and the scene featuring a 72-year-old masturbating woman are hardly the best way to bring awareness of female brutality on college campuses. Such scenes are only cheap pornographic displays.
Sadly, women’s centers, which are supposed to provide support, resources, and sound counseling, have partnered with radical feminism. Impressionable college students are being told to give up a historical and romantic day so that feminists can talk about their body parts on stage and make perfunctory connections to domestic violence. In 2004, the “Monologues” were performed in over 1100 communities and colleges. College students, like those at RWU, are being conned. They feel smug and pleased with themselves for supposedly making a difference. Yet they are only contributing to the degradation of culture by aligning themselves with a movement that is attempting to erase Valentine’s Day and supplant it with V-Day. If feminists really want to empower women, they would refrain from showing them “The Vagina Monologues” and would instead sponsor forums teaching tested principles of hard work, discipline, and vigilance.
Jason Mattera was named one of the top conservative student activists in the country by the Young America's Foundation for two years in a row, named Best College Republican State Chairman in 2003, and is a senior at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.