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.
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.