Argument against Loyal Daughters’ logic is illogical
Letter to the Editor | Thursday, February 22, 2007
I would like to make a few points with regards to Jon Buttaci’s Feb. 20 Letter to the Editor (“Loyal Daughters’ humor detracts from true dialogue”). Buttaci complains of a skit in which a logic professor implements Modus Ponens as a means for equating rape with premarital sex. Buttaci declares that the professor utilizes “false logic to try to point out a contradiction in University policy that does not exist.”
However, he failed to include some very important information. The skit, for example, ends with the professor asking his class to take into consideration the following question: “If rape leads to suspension and expulsion, and, consensual sex leads to suspension or expulsion, does it follow that rape is equivalent to consensual sex? Is this valid? Anyone?”
I don’t know about Buttaci, but more than once in my life, I have had professors specifically ask questions that may not elicit clear and definite answers. Sometimes, I have even had professors ask my class questions that they knew were not valid or logical. They did so to provoke careful thought.
Nowhere in the skit does the professor state that he is making a good argument. Instead, he poses a question which leaves the audience thinking. Buttaci claims that the play’s “humor and seemingly innocuous content is much more effective in keeping viewers from any intellectual consideration of the issues than “The Vagina Monologues” was, and therefore is much more dangerous.” Mr. Buttaci leads me to believe that he has not seen the subject matter which he so vehemently denounces.
Several of the skits in “The Vagina Monologues” have left me laughing hysterically; “The Woman Who Liked to Make Vaginas Happy,” which details various orgasm sounds, is just one of them. To claim that it has less humor than “Loyal Daughters” is a serious oversight. Buttaci additionally failed to mention that the skit ends on a completely serious, non-humorous note. He claims that “viewers are too busy laughing to actually think, ‘Wait a second: this is terrible logic!'” once again causing me to think he didn’t even see the performance. Personally, I did not find the ending of the skit to be funny at all. Neither did the other 359 viewers packed with me in the Decio theatre this past fall. In fact, I clearly remember a dead silence falling across the audience at the end of the skit. To me, this skit was one of the more prominent parts of the play. As I lay in bed that night, I considered and reconsidered the argument, because its possible implications were incredibly stunning.
My final point is this. Attempting to defame those involved with “Loyal Daughters” and “The Vagina Monologues” through exaggerations and oversights of the material is cowardly.
If Buttaci is going to attack us, he should attack us for something that we have actually done that is out of line with the Catholic character that he so readily defends.