The Vagina Monologues

This is the time of year when Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues, is read on many college campuses around the country. The Cardinal Newman Society has made a name for itself by protesting those Catholic college campuses where it is read.

Some comments on the subject: Paul Cat and Christina Dehan are against it, “Sr. Mary Eve” writes at Busted Halo in favor of it.

I stopped by Barnes and Noble today and read the play.

I am left wondering what the fuss is about, and why there is so much outrage.

The play is a series of monologues based on interviews that Eve Ensler did with a wide range of women: old, young, straight, lesbian, etc. She asked them to talk about their vagina–something that they didn’t normally talk about. She got them to open up with all sorts of powerful stories. Guess what? Not all of them reflect pure Catholic moral theology. But they do reflect the real human condition. And I conclude it is right and proper to use a text like this as a jumping off point. If a moral theology cannot have a discussion based on the real human condition, with all its joys, sorrows, fears, hurts, sins of omission and sins of commission, is such a theology Catholic?

Why so much anger about this play? It isn’t advocating rape, or lesbianism, or anything else. It is advocating encouraging women to speak. It is advocating that we listen.

If this was a play based on interviews with men, would we hear the same level of outrage? I don’t think so. Because we’re more used to hearing men talk about such things–if just in the locker room.

3 thoughts on “The Vagina Monologues

  1. It probably has more to do with the shrill, crass sermonizing of so many of the play’s supporters, who DO advocate promiscuity and lesbianism.

    When they were selling tickets for this at UCSB, they had a 6-7 foot model of…well…external female anatomy related to the play’s title.. While I have no problem with frank dialogue in proper settings, in-your-face marketing doesn’t grab me, nor does the typical feminist-college-student attitude toward female sexuality. Many people who don’t go to see the play out of disgust are disgusted with the people who are putting it on.

Comments are closed.