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Vagina Monologues do not focus on violence

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In The Observer editorial of Feb. 18, the “overriding goal” of The Vagina Monologues is associated with that of the V-Day movement, namely, “to stop violence against women.” It also suggests that, therefore, Notre Dame might properly host the play even though “parts” of it “undoubtedly challenge … Catholic teaching on human sexuality.”

The characterization of the play is, I suggest, surpassingly risible to any disinterested reader or viewer. By my count, out of 24 units in the play, four, consisting of six pages, deal with violence against women. The other units are encomia to lesbian sex, lesbian seduction of adolescents, sadomasochism, fornication and masturbation, stitched together by passages salted with obscenities and vulgarities of all grades and types.

What else, really, should be expected of an author who boasts in her introduction that in her performances she has managed to have “thirty-two public orgasms a night”? One hopes she was able to control herself somewhat better at Notre Dame. Defend University sponsorship on some other ground, if you will, but not on the ground that this play is anything in the main other than a paean to lesbian sexual libertinism.

William Dempsey


class of ’52

Feb. 21