CULTIVATING LIBERALISM
FOR ALL CLIMATES
SINCE 1759
 
Google
 

Free alert to Candide's Notebooks
Your email:

JOIN ME AT MY BULLSHIT SITES

Vagicil Secretions
The Hoohah Monologues

Funnier than bans

Random House’s web site includes “reading guides” with some of the books it publicizes. One of the guide questions about Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” reads: “In her introduction to ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ Eve Ensler writes ‘Vagina. There, I’ve said it. Vagina - said it again.’ The word ‘vagina’ is used more than 100 times in ‘The Vagina Monologues.’ How comfortable do you feel saying the word? Would you be willing to have ‘a vagina interview?’ Do you think most women are comfortable talking about their vaginas?”

Don’t ask, if you happen to be driving by the theater in Atlantic Beach, Florida, not far from Jacksonville, where the monologues were to be staged earlier this month. The marquee had “Vagina Monologues” displayed as prominently as any other production. Then a driver went by. She was offended by the word. There. Being displayed. Vagina. Or rather, she was offended that her niece riding with her saw it. The complainer complained to the performing house’s management. The complainer proved not nearly as pinheaded as the management. The word vagina was changed to the word Hoohah on the marquee. I hoohah you not. Hoohah. I went through the index of H.L. Mencken’s “The American Language,” including the supplements. Hoops. Hoover. Hooroosh. Hoople. Hooker. Hooverize. Hoodoo. Even Hooter. But no hoohah.

In fairness to the management, the place is a comedy club, and it made the change as much for fun as for effect, and publicity. It may well enter the lore of the Vagina Monologues. But “parents” applauded the change, according to the television station that reported the—can we say flap, considering the subject matter? It’s all just another day for the Vagina Monologues. At West Chester University in Pennsylvania on February 13, members of the university’s Women’s Center discovered their sponsored sign advertising for the upcoming performance of the Monologues defiled: the word “vagina” had been cut out of a bright pink banner displayed on the right hand side of the student union. In Providence, Rhode Island, Providence College students will be staging the monologues off campus for the second year in a row because Providence College president Brian Shanley, a Reverend no less, banned the play on campus. “My views about it have changed a little bit, based on what I’ve read and seen,” he tells the Providence Journal. “There are some very powerful narratives in it. It makes you want to cry. If the play were all about violence against women, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it at all.” He considers Ensler’s take on sexuality “not consistent with the mission of a Catholic college,” which prompts one to want to say something about scatology and Sherlocks, but why bother: Catholicism has long been the Lost Cause of the North.

At Boise State University a student writing a column for the student paper was all shriveled up over the fact that at one point in the monologues, a twenty-four year old seduces a thirteen year old and a six year old “describes what her vagina looks like, what it smells like and what it likes to wear.” Jonathon Sawmiller, the incensed writer, calls it all “child pornography.” But as a commenter noted at the bottom of the piece, “It must be difficult to feel left out of the party.” Between the censorious stinks over vaginas and the other ones over scrotum, it’s a wonder we have time left to fight wars on drugs, terror and Arabs. Then again maybe that’s why we’re fighting those wars like our head is stuck in the wrong holes.

| permalink  
 
Bookmark and Share

THE DAILY JOURNAL
Read Pierre’s Latest at


 
The Latest Comments
 
GOOGLE GOOGLE NEW YORK TIMES NEWSPAPERS NETFLIX UK INDEPENDENT NETFLIX
 
  
RECENTLY IN THE DAILY JOURNAL: NOTEBOOKS ORIGINALS
RECENTLY IN THE DAILY JOURNAL: CRUMBS & CRIBS

   
 
Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe in Rojo   Add to My AOL Subscribe in FeedLounge Add to netvibes Subscribe in Bloglines Add to The Free Dictionary