The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



New approaches for feminists

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, January 30, 2006

I feel that those who are ardently in support of the “Vagina Monologues” are making an egregious error when it comes to their approach of dealing with Father John Jenkins. It seems that they have chosen the “Vagina Monologues” as the sole medium in which the abolition of violence against women is to be advanced. It appears that they believe that if the “Vagina Monologues” are banned, that this is tantamount to banning the advancement of such a worthy cause. Even feminists question the goals of the “Vagina Monologues.” Pro-sex feminist Betty Dodson, author of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” saw the play as having a negative and restrictive view of sexuality and an anti-male bias. She called the play a blast of hatred at men and heterosexuality. If the play is so contentious, why not explore other mediums that will allow them to gain the public’s attention?

Furthermore, why not turn all of the attention now focused on the “Vagina Monologues” into something that will benefit their cause? There’s a saying in marketing, “Any publicity is good publicity.” If Jenkins does decide to scale back the event, why not set up a conference on violence against women? If Jenkins decides to cut off their ability to collect funds, why not set up a dinner to benefit the victims of domestic violence instead? Judging from the public outcry, I’m sure these events would be well attended.

One thing cannot be denied: those who are strong supporters are passionate about their cause. I hope that this passion will not be wasted debating whether the “Vagina Monologues” should be allowed the full support of University facilities. If Jenkins does decide to scale back the event, I hope that their passion can be redirected into other mediums that will achieve the abolition of violence against women and the betterment of our society.

Chris WeinachtsophomoreCarroll HallJan. 25