Le Petit Grignotage
Last week, Notre Dame University once again allowed The Vagina Monologues (written by Louise Brooks-look alike Eve Ensler) to play on its grounds' during Holy Week, of all times. One can only grasp the bitter irony of this timing when one considers that, during the holiest week of the liturgical year, the campus gave air time to a play promoting lesbianism, sado-masochism, and masturbation, all via a monologue coming from a disembodied vagina. The bishop of the diocese issued a strongly worded letter to Fr. Jenkins, priest of Holy Cross and president of the University, criticizing the decision:
As bishop of this historic diocese, entrusted with the spiritual welfare of all those who live within its borders, including the students at our beloved Notre Dame, I believe that, once again, I must publicly and respectfully disagree with Father Jenkins' decision.God bless him. You can read the rest here.
Going on its tenth year, Monologues hasn't only suffered criticism from conservative circles; pro-sex feminists like Betty Dodson have complained that the play is a blast of hatred at men and heterosexuality--which it, of course, is. And Monologues supporters, happy to push their misanthropic vapidity onto unsuspecting college students, have been less than tolerant. In 2000, when Robert Swope wrote a piece in the Georgetown paper condemning the hypocrisy of one lesbian rape scene and the Monologues' so-called campaign of violence against women, the female weeping and gnashing of teeth was such that he wound up fired from his position. That's grrrl power for you!
Ah yes, Valentine's Day--that day on which tradition celebrates the gift of love between man and woman, the giddiness of romance, the swoon of ardor, the potency of amour; a day to exchange gifts: roses, chocolates, a cold bottle of bubbly shared over a warm, candlelit meal, and by a roaring fire, perhaps; and, for those Catholics among us, a day on which to pay homage to Valentinus, a Roman priest martyred for his faith, patron saint of affianced couples, lovers, and happy marriages.
Not so for these hags of war. Valentine's Day must be forever known as Vagina Day, or V-Day, a day on which the battle cry is raised against acts of horror committed against the fairer sex, the "grisly memento mori of violence", as Camille Paglia put it, of rape, incest, battery, sex trafficking--acts that rob the woman of her dignity by reducing her to an object, an item to be used, a piece of flesh, a mere vagina.
And the Monologues does its bit to promote peace by...reducing women to mere vaginas. But it is all done with humor and grace, aging hipster Ensler insists! Judge for yourself; monologues include:
--The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could, in which a thirteen-year-old girl is given alcohol and seduced by an older women, and in the end declares it to have been "a good rape".If this is Ensler at her gracious best, then I hate to think what she's like when crass.
--I Was Twelve, My Mother Slapped Me, a choir describing menstrual periods;
--My Vagina Was My Village, a compilation of testimonies of Bosnian women victimized in rape camps;
--My Angry Vagina, in which a performer rails against douches, tampons, and gynecological instruments;
--The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy, in which a dominatrix eulogizes her "love" of women, the monologue ending in a triple orgasm;
--Because He Liked to Look At It, in which¦ nevermind.
While the above scenes were being performed under the Golden Dome of Notre Dame--a university dedicated to and named after the Woman of most sublime dignity, whose very existence embodies purity, innocence, and modesty--only several hundred yards away the Easter Octave Masses were taking place in the basilica, the sacred Gospel read, the ancient prayers chanted, the words of consecration spoken over the host that would become our risen Lord.
Some students, seeing the incongruity, staged a protest on the first night of the performance. After the opening skit, thirty students scattered throughout the audience stood up and walked out, leaving in their empty seats a flyer containing the following:
Upon leaving the play, we are headed as a group to the Grotto, where we will pray for the students, faculty and administration of the University of Notre Dame, and particularly that our institutional participation in such a demeaning cultural fad will come to an end. As loyal sons and daughters of Our Lady, we are confident that she will hear our prayer.
You can read more from Christine at her own blog, Laudem Gloriae.