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Viewpoint letter fun! Fill in the blanks

Andrew Nesi | Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to Play:

To complete the Observer letters to the editor below, fill in the blanks by selecting from the three options in each of the parenthesis. Enjoy!

To the Editor:

I disagree with the March 10 Letter to the Editor, entitled _______________ (“St. Mary’s Is Only Here for Sex and Demeaning Cartoons,” “Golden Dome for Everyone: Homosexuality at Notre Dame,” “Vagina Monologues Should Be Performed Under Dome”).

Notre Dame must remain a paragon of our beautiful Lady’s spirit. And, as _____________ (Genesis 1:1, 2 Kings 2:24-look it up, trust me, John 3:16) reminds us, the Bible, our beautiful Lady’s beautiful book, explicitly forbids the “Vagina Monologues” from being performed on Catholic campuses not named ___________ (Georgetown, Boston College, Saint Louis).

Unfortunately, the liberal minority that is _________ (The Observer, the English Department, the Society of Women Engineers) seem to want to turn our Lady’s University into __________ (a socialist state, a Godless Hell, an abortion clinic housed in that cool looking power plant with the glass façade near North Quad).

First, _______________ (the forces of evil, the anti-God cabal, Fr. McBrien) tried to force us to ____________ (watch the Vagina Monologues, support Barack Obama, pay a living wage).

Next, they wanted this Catholic university to____________ (hire more non-Catholic faculty, eliminate parietals, start a Native American Studies minor).

Finally, they insisted we ____________ (support a Queer Film Festival, support a Queer, support a Film Festival).

What’s next? _______________ (Birth control in LaFortune?, Tariq Ramadan?, GreeND?).

Luckily, there is still one paragon of Fr. Sorin’s vision of this great University: ____________ (the Irish Rover, Fr. Hesburgh, Golden Tate). With this guidance and strength, Notre Dame can once again look all critics in the eye and say ____________ (“Never again will we dream a dream too small,” “See, we still deserve your money, conservative-Catholic donors,” “Suck it, Trojans”).

In the name of ________________ (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit),

D. Mahon

______________ (Freshman, Grad Student, Alum)

______________ (Old College, Off Campus, Class of 1957)

To the Editor:

As the ____________ (chairman, chairwoman, gender-neutral chairperson) of this year’s VoCP-Vaginas on Campus Project-I want to commend the University for allowing the performance of the “Vagina Monologues.”

As ____________ (Shakespeare, Ibsen, Garcia Lorca) can attest, great plays often encounter stiff opposition amid cries of immorality. D. Mahon’s March 11 letter fits the pattern. Mr. Mahon betrays a_____________ (offensiveness, ignorance, penis-first chauvinism) typical of the writings of a ______________ (freshman, grad student, 1957 alumnus).

Mr. Mahon, I want to teach you a lesson. A lesson about Jesus. This is a man – do we even know he’s a man, Mr. Mahon? – who gave voice to a prostitute. But you seem to think he would not grant the same voice to _______________ (a woman with an “angry vagina?,” a woman who was “a moaner?,” a man who “liked to look at it?”). Jesus was about empowering the oppressed – and who is more oppressed than _____________ (a woman in the Catholic Church, a white 21-year-old woman from a lakefront Wilmette mansion, a woman who has been unable to share her feelings about her vagina with a scholarly audience).

As such, it seems clear that the Vagina Monologues ought to sit alongside ________________ (Fr. Sorin’s diaries, the Bible, DuLac) in the Notre Dame canon.

But our respect for females and their genitalia must go beyond a few days of performance in March. Each day, we must ________________ (denounce female genital mutilation in Africa, yell the c-word on South Quad before our 9:35 class, respect St. Mary’s).

Such an act will ensure academic freedom in the truest sense. After all, how are women supposed to express themselves in the classroom if they can’t ____________ (walk around naked … errr, liberated?, shave their heads but not their armpits?, perform spontaneous vagina-related skits in the Basilica?)

Second, we must fire Charlie Weis and hire _____________ (Pat Summitt, C. Vivian Stringer, Ty Willingham).

But perhaps most importantly, Notre Dame and St. Mary’s women must band together to ___________________ (reject those who continue to imply through words and actions that women are inferior, make female sexuality as acceptable as male sexuality on campus, vote for Hillary Clinton). We can only do this in one way: by _____________ (working together!, requiring students to read The Pussy Ranch, Diablo Cody’s blog, every day!, smoking. A lot!).

With the help of VoCP, and the performance of the “Vagina Monologues,” I hope Notre Dame can educate ignorant Catholics like Mr. Mahon. Women of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s: we must stand together and support academic freedom. After all, ________________ (this is a university founded on the legacy of a woman!, nothing says liberation like a play in 101 DeBartolo!, a woman divided cannot stand!)

In the name of (Our Lady, Our Lady, Our Lady),

Katherine P.

______________ (Sophomore, Junior, Senior)

______________ (BP, McCandless, Kampala, Uganda)

Andrew Nesi is a junior American Studies major from Fairfield, Conn. In between viewings of “Juno” over spring break, he found six full-length gray hairs on his 21-year-old head. It was depressing. He can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.