Note: I just posted a very similar article on my blog but I thought it was apropos to our continuing discussion of language and culture.
For five years now UVSC's Gender Studies Club has been putting on Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues as part of their V Day programming. And for five years the controversy often gets more of the spotlight than the production itself.
Organizers of the event, which always donates 100 percent of their profits to charity, usually have to put up with some form of grief; from their posters getting torn down, to the school refusing to use the "V" word, to outright hostility from legislators. And of course this year is no exception:
You hate the one about the moans, don't you (College Times, February 18 2008)
It is amazing that after five years that this production still stirs up the pot. For those of you who are not familiar with the production, The Vagina Monologues is a series of...well...monologues in which women talk about their experiences as women. Nothing is left out. Masturbation, menstruation, rape, physical abuse, psychological abuse...all the joys and the horrors of being a women are all there in black and white (OK...usually it is in black and pink feather boas, but you get the idea).
The subject matter is often shocking and the language is strong but I don't believe it is the intention to offend. Instead these "charged" words are to cause the audience to lower their guard just a little...to think about things that all of us, men and women alike, are told are dirty and wrong. To confront these notions in a forum where "anything goes".
It is always a powerful experience. If you are planning on attending expect to laugh until your sides hurt and cry like a baby. February 26th at 7 PM in the Ragan Theater.