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Monologues’ deserves a fair shot

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kim Stoddard (“Letters to the Editor,” Feb. 19), I would like to ask you, first of all, which “part of the script” of “The Vagina Monologues” did you read? Did you read one skit? Half a skit? Because I am baffled as to how you arrived at the exact opposite conclusion I did after reading the entirety of the play. The point of the “Monologues,” which you seem to have missed, is in fact not to reduce women to “one body part,” but to do the opposite.

The “Monologues” are meant to point out that society has made women into one body part that can be objectified through things like rape and sexual assault. The “Monologues” combat this degradation of women, and enable and empower us to find our voices, which have been historically silenced because we were seen for so long (and by some, still are seen) as the “lesser sex.”

Furthermore, the “Monologues” are testimonies of women reclaiming their bodies and their souls, both of which have been violated. The “Monologues” are about reclaiming the part of the female body that has been seen as a shameful thing, something which makes women objects and not human beings with souls.

Now, with regard to this whole debate about whether the “Monologues” should be allowed on campus, I would like to point out that we show SUB movies like Closer, which is rated R for “sequences of graphic sexual dialogue, nudity/sexuality, and language.” So why can’t we have on campus a play that deals with the sexuality and empowerment of women? Notre Dame wants us to expand our minds and our perspectives.

This debate has been running in The Observer forever, now, and has been brought up in previous years also. If “The Vagina Monologues,” and the discussion of them, isn’t expanding our minds, then I don’t know what is. The “Monologues” may not align with Catholic teaching, but isn’t that the point? Seeing things from different perspectives? Discussing different perspectives?

Finally, I would like to point out that you, Kim, chose to educate yourself about “The Vagina Monologues” by reading the play. Only a portion of it, but still, you examined the piece for yourself. Doesn’t that in and of itself say that students on this campus should have the choice and the right to do the same thing, and go see the “Monologues” for themselves? (And, after all, everyone would still have the choice NOT to go see it.) I also think that you, Kim, should go read or watch the entire play before you pass your judgment on it so entirely.

Melanie LeMay


Pasquerilla West Hall

Feb. 19