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V-day, redefined by feminists

"Modern feminism is perverse." There, I've said it. "Modern feminism is perverse"--said it again. I've been saying this for a long time, and fortunately for me, politically correct feminist activists never cease to help my case. The bizarre response of "feminist thought" to the idea of love that we consider by custom every Feb. 14, is a brilliantly awful example. On campuses throughout the country, many students will spend part of this Valentine's Day attending a production of the infamous play, The Vagina Monologues. This "play" has become the centerpiece of a new holiday called "V-Day" (as in violence, vagina but certainly not St. Valentine), which instead of celebrating romantic love, focuses on the victimhood of women.

Now, it would seem that we could all agree that violence against women is a bad thing, hands down. What is remarkable about The Vagina Monologues, however, is the degree to which, in addition to being an atrocious play, the performance both champions violence and cheapens love. A friend of mine from Georgetown University once astutely quipped, "What do you get when you glorify the rape of a minor, promote lesbianism, insult heterosexuals and attack men?" His answer and mine: The Vagina Monologues.

What is the deal with this play? The Vagina Monologues was written in 1997 by a radical feminist, Eve Ensler, it takes about 20 minutes to read and consists of a number of monologue vignettes involving the gratuitous use of the word "vagina." One can immediately understand the base appeal it would have to undergraduates with a particularly low sense of humor. At times, an outlandishly serious tenor accompanies grand statements about the importance of a woman's genitalia to the human spirit and such. The tone pretends avant-garde, and the only good taste one is likely to encounter in any aspect of this production at Duke will probably come from the chocolate vagina lollipops handed out for publicity in the Marketplace. One of the most touching scenes in the play comes early on when an old woman undergoes therapy at age 72 that enables her to masturbate in the bathtub, at which point she cries tears of joy. I kid you not.

Were this play simply about the coarse titillation of a vulgar audience and taboo jokes it might pass muster as a common Duke event; however, the contents and lessons of other parts of the production make it truly horrific. Male bashing is constant and overbearing. Every man mentioned in the play is portrayed as a rapist, a killer or an unfaithful and abusive husband, and the only mention of "beautiful" love is that of lesbians. In one of the most triumphal scenes in the play a young girl discovers "how to give myself pleasure so I'll never need to rely on a man." This play and its radical feminist backers have no place for romantic involvement between a man a woman, the kind that we honor in marriage and that provides the basis for family life.

Alas, it gets worse, much worse. The audience is told with great sympathy and enthusiasm about a 24-year-old woman who brings a 13-year-old girl to an apartment, gives her alcohol, and thoroughly molests her. This young girl recounts, "She does everything to me and my [vagina].... She makes me play with myself in front of her." Most civilized people would immediately recognize this as rape. If done by a man he would rightly go to jail, and by statute, the same holds for a woman pedophile or rapist. What happens onstage? The girl explains, "People say that it was a kind of rape.... I say if it was rape, it was good rape." How is that folks--a pro-woman, anti-violence, V-Day event about good rape? Modern feminism is perverse.

Few movements have done more to degrade the highest ideals of true love than the activist brand of feminism present on America's campuses, and such feminism is continually greeted with uncritical applause from both students and faculty. On a day meant to celebrate love and romance; The Vagina Monologues is a shining reminder of how corrupted our notions of love can become. Modern feminism, it appears, is not particularly pro-woman, and in the end, St. Valentine may have more to offer both women and men than V-Day.

Bill English is a Trinity junior.


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