As you might know, many college theater groups perform Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” every year on Valentine’s Day to help raise funds for women’s rights groups and anti-violence organizations, and also to raise awareness about a variety of issues concerning women. Well now one all-women’s college in Massachusetts no longer wants the in-your-face vagina play on their campus. In fact, Mount Holyoke College’s theater group has canceled the production of “The Vagina Monologues” this year because it’s not “trans-friendly” enough.
What? Are you serious?
Source: Random House
I’m all for equal rights for everyone — heterosexual people, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, intersex people, transgender individuals and any others, but when are we going to draw the line? Is everything going to all of a sudden need to be trans-friendly? And what exactly does that mean?
Well according to Erin Murphy, a rep for Mount Holyoke’s Project Theatre Board, “At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman.” She went on to write in a campus-wide email: “Gender is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions, and many of us who have participated in the show have grown increasingly uncomfortable presenting material that is inherently reductionist and exclusive.”
If you don’t know about “The Vagina Monologues”, it features a variety of women’s issues and topics, from sexual discovery to homosexuality to rape. And to be honest, I’m not sad that Mount Holyoke is ditching the show… I think it’s outdated and many other universities should follow suit. But I absolutely don’t get Holyoke’s reasoning for retiring the play. If we say we don’t want a play because women are talking about their vaginas, then aren’t we excluding or possibly offending a huge group — all the women who have vaginas?
Apparently, the school is now going to create their own original play called “The Student Body” about sex and gender instead. I guess this is a logical decision for Holyoke considering that the all-women’s college recently decided to begin accepting male students who identify as women. But I’m not sure where canceling the “Vagina Monologues” will lead. Not every play or school event can cater to the small percentage of people who identify as transgender. So, what’s next?