Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Vagina Monologues Canceled at Notre Dame

First the Queer Film Festival was cancelled, and now the Vagina Monologues.

For the first time in eight years, Notre Dame students will not perform The Vagina Monologues at an on- or off-campus location.

Junior Miriam Olsen, a producer of last year's show, said the group of students in charge of organizing the production of "The Vagina Monologues" this year decided not to continue the show.

Instead, Olsen said she, along with several other students, declined to produce the show because they believed the controversy on campus that follows the show is ultimately counterproductive to the show's purpose.

The "show's purpose", as stated by VM creator Eve Ensler and those who champion the production, is (ostensibly) to raise awareness about violence against women. How on earth the contents of the Vagina Monologues serve to "raise awareness about violence against women" is question that I have yet to encounter a coherent answer to.

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  • Just when I am about to despair, Notre Dame once again gives me hope.

    By Blogger Tom, at Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:29:00 PM  

  • pays to protest egregious behavior by the people governing the University. I believe that Father Jenkins probably put a stop to some of the nonsense to begin a slow move towards removing Obama from Commencement. I pray so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, April 08, 2009 12:00:00 AM  

  • I wish to comment on Eve Ensler's purported reason for the VM's. What nonsense...the show degrades and insults women. Misguided people such as Eve will do anything for their 15 minutes of fame or (several years) There is a Judge which she will have to face eventually, however so pray for her. I will.
    Cecilia Frantz, Ph.D.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, April 08, 2009 12:07:00 AM  

  • AC:

    I wouldn't get your hopes up about Obama being disinvited. Fr. Jenkins didn't stop the play; it was the students who put on the play decided that the "controversy" (i.e. students and faculty opposed to its presence) surrounding its performance was too much for them.

    Fr. Jenkins' position was to allow the play to be performed under the condition that a panel discussion would follow to discuss and debate the play's themes and message. This turned out to be (to use a phrase I coined) "a great idea, just not a very good one", my way of saying that it sounded very high-minded, charitable, and intellectually enriching, but in practice was a dud. The reasons were thus:

    * Most of the students who went to the play left before the panel discussion started. Since the whole point of Jenkins' panel discussion idea was to enrich the students by showing how the play's themes and content held up under scrutiny, the post-curtain exodus pretty much defeated this purpose.

    * Whomever put together the panel must have used HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" or Fox's "Hannity" as their template, where the host and 3 guests on one side of an issue shout down the 1 guest on the other. The panel was heavily weighted with those in favor of the play.

    * Those on the panel championing the play quickly moved from offering comically delusional praise of the play - one panelist compared the play favorably to Augustine's "Confessions" - to comically delusional claims about males and male sexuality: One panelist claimed that "Homoeroticism is seen as wrong or unnatural because it interferes with, violates, the superior status of men." This was followed by condemnations of the "penis culture" of the Church, society, and (no, I'm not kidding) the Holy Trinity. How one could respond to these claims without a) rolling on the floor laughing, or b) walking across campus to burn the entire Dept. of Gender Studies to the ground, is beyond me.

    So it's pretty clear that the "panel discussion" thing wasn't going as Fr. Jenkins intended. It also seems clear that the protests by students, faculty, and the Sycamore Trust (they sent numerous letters) contributed to the play being abandoned.

    By Blogger Jerry, at Wednesday, April 08, 2009 12:09:00 PM  

  • Dear Jerry,
    Thanks for your explanation. It was very enlightening, but now I don't know if I am more depressed or thoroughly disgusted.
    Can those fueling this whole anti-Catholic morals and values be actually serious about what they bring to young minds at a University? May God have mercy on Father Jenkins for going along.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 09, 2009 1:27:00 AM  

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