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Monologues Must Go

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The Vagina Monologues Must Go

Less than six months ago, Saint Louis University joined 26 other Catholic colleges and universities across the nation when it allowed an on-campus performance of Eve Ensler’s production, The Vagina Monologues.

For those unfamiliar with the play, an overview from the Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization dedicated to the renewal of Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities in the United States, explains, “The Vagina Monologues presents women discussing their sexuality and sexual encounters, replete with vulgarity, explicit language and graphic descriptions of lesbian activity and masturbation.”

The Newman Society continues, “One scene describes the seduction of a sexually inexperienced 16-year-old girl by a 24-year-old lesbian, who first intoxicates the girl with vodka. Instead of presenting the incident as sexual abuse that would be prosecuted as statutory rape in many states, the play declares the girl's ‘surprising, unexpected, and politically correct salvation.’”

The Vagina Monologues is offensive to women; it is antithetical to Catholic teaching on the beautiful gift of human sexuality and also to the teachings of the Church on the human body relative to its purpose and to its status as a temple of the Holy Spirit,” wrote Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., last year in a public statement. He also stated that “this text separates the beautiful gift of sexuality from its purpose, which includes the expression of a gift of oneself to another in a permanent union of life and love. Indeed, the play also separates the gift of human sexuality from the woman herself, from her body and her spirit and from the bearing of children.”

“The Monologues characters place little emphasis on love and service to others, which are primary elements of women’s dignity. This love and service are best modeled in the roles most natural to women: those of spouse, mother and virgin,” stated the Catholic Women's Joint Statement on the Monologues from the Newman Society.

Along similar lines, Pope John Paul II stated in On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, “A woman’s dignity is closely connected with the love which she receives by the very reason of her femininity; it is likewise connected with the love which she gives in return.…Woman can only find herself by giving love to others.…A woman is strong…because of the fact that God ‘entrusts the human being to her,’ always and in every way, even in the situations of social discrimination in which she may find herself.”

Some students, faculty and administrators are under the misconception that the University seeks to promote discussion and understanding by allowing the production to continue on campus. Would the University sponsor a speech by an Imperial Wizard of the KKK in which he tried to ‘promote discussion and understanding’ of the Ku Klux Klan, racism and cross-burning? Would the University invite a member of Hezbollah to ‘promote discussion and understanding’ of why it believes the extermination of all Jews advances the cause of peace in the Middle East? Of course not. Why? Because some views are beyond the bounds of decency and deserve neither respect, nor a platform subsidized by a Catholic college or university—or any organization for that matter—committed to advancing the causes of peace and justice.

Unless the University community—students, faculty, administrators and alumni—bands together now to permanently halt the production of The Vagina Monologues on SLU’s campus, in little more than six months, the production will return and we will be faced with the realization that the University cares little about continuing to abandon its Catholic identity.

 

Gene Diamond is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences

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Monologues Must Go