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A statement of protest

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, March 30, 2008

Many of you have heard about the walk-out protest that occurred at the opening performance of this year’s production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” Being that our statement has not been accurately represented in The Observer thus far, I, independent of my fellow protesters and objectors to the play’s presence on campus, would like to take this opportunity to clarify our intentions to you. The following is a reprint of the statement we left in our seats following our Mar. 26 departure from the Monologues. I hope that this might help you to understand our reason for our actions and, if not, I wish you my very best in your academic and personal quest for truth.

A Statement of Protest

We have chosen to attend, and immediately depart from, this performance of “The Vagina Monologues” in order to protest its performance on campus for seven out of the past eight years. We sincerely hope that this will be the last time.

The argument back and forth is interminable and we feel no need to give one more explanation of why we hold this play’s annual performance at Notre Dame to be unacceptable; as a Catholic University, the instruction of the local bishop on issues of faith and morals ought to be sufficient, all the more so when it has been so thoroughly explained (see http://www.diocesefwsb.org/COMMUNICATIONS/statements.htm).

Rather, we are leaving this statement in our empty seats in order to clarify the intent of our protest. We mean no disrespect to our fellow students who have chosen to perform this play, nor to those others who have come to attend it. For this reason, we have sought to minimize the disruptiveness of our protest. Yet we feel compelled to visibly demonstrate our opposition to the play – because it in turn shows such disrespect for the true nature and dignity of woman.

Our Lady’s University can do better than this. It is particularly upsetting that the play’s performance has been scheduled during Easter Week, the central focus of the liturgical year. We have been told that this timing occurred not at the request of the student organizers, but at the particular instruction of the administration. It encourages us to learn that our fellow students were not seeking to deliberately antagonize the rest of the community in this way – but all the more causes us to question the prudence of those of our University’s leaders who have been responsible for making a string of decisions in open defiance of Bishop D’Arcy.

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.

Mary K Daly


Welsh Family Hall

Mar. 30