Thursday, February 7, 2002
V is for “Vulgar”
A word of warning to those of you who would rather not expose yourselves or your children to the more tasteless aspects of feminist politics: They’re coming to television. Once again, the radical feminist movement is attempting to hijack Valentine’s Day with a PR campaign aimed at encouraging women to “empower” themselves by demeaning themselves. Eve Ensler, author and sometime star of The Vagina Monologues, the off-Broadway flop resurrected as a paean to feminist sexuality, is once again using Valentine’s Day to promote her play and her politics. And this year the pay-TV network HBO plans to air a production of Monologues on Valentine’s Day-and in prime time, no less.
The original press release for the play proclaimed, “The play brazenly explores the humor, power, pain, wisdom, outrage, mystery and excitement hidden in vaginas.” Hmm. A vagina may indeed hide many things but wisdom?? Ensler has said that if women “empower themselves and their vaginas, the world will be a better place.” How she can utter such things with a straight face is a mystery to us, but her play has certainly attracted the attention of numerous celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Jane Fonda, who have lent their names and influence to promote the play, and actress Glen Close, who gushed that Ensler has “given us our souls back.” Jane Fonda contributed more than $1 million to help promote the play and its message, and Ensler has collected additional corporate money from corporations like Tampax. The play has been performed on every continent in approximately 28 countries. Last year, a crowd of 18,000 at the Madison Square Garden performance raised $2 million to help fight violence against women.
Ensler appears to believe that the very word, “vagina,” has the power to inspire women to change their lives by asserting their sexuality. It appears some 128 times within the play’s 106 printed pages. Time was when the women’s movement concerned itself with more dignified causes like voting rights and equal pay for equal work. Perhaps we haven’t come such a long way, after all, when women are celebrated for uttering private words in public-crude behavior that would have once inspired mothers to wash mouths out with soap.
The Light Side
Further proof that social scientists often spend a great deal of time and money discovering things that the rest of the human race already knew. The following item appeared in the February 2002 issue of First Things:
“An AP story reports on a new study that finds that ‘feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a very primal level, not on some higher, more intellectual plane.’ Science marches on.”