by kwheele4 on March 25, 2021
PC, Keep Banning the Vagina Monologues: The Best Thing to Do for Women on Campus
by Rosie the Riveter ’21
Providence College’s previous president, Flat Stanley, banned The Vagina Monologues back in 2006 and has likely not gone a year without being reminded of this ban. Despite the message of the monologues, a group of PC students still puts on the show each year and is still able to garner substantial audiences of students, faculty, and staff.
But you know what? A Catholic institution run almost entirely by white men is definitely the proper authority to have the audacity to ban such a controversial event. That makes a lot of sense in the year 2021.
For those that don’t know, The Vagina Monologues is a play that was written by Eve Ensler and has not only had its time on Broadway, but also has been performed by many liberal and progressive colleges and universities across the U.S.
The play documents the following: “consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, vaginal care, menstrual periods, sex work, and several other topics through the eyes of women with various ages, races, sexualities, and other differences.”
For a Catholic college, it is absolutely sensible for the discussion of consensual sexual experiences of women to stand as a valid reason for the monologues to be banned from occurring on this campus.
The very few monologues that discuss positive sexual experiences throughout the whole performance, of course, outweigh the other issues of gendered oppression, gendered violence, and the female body that are discussed.
PC is, of course, far beyond the need to discuss any of these issues because it does not have any problems with violence directed towards specific genders or races. The College is easily exempt from any discussion of such matters given their perfect track record.
The one class that the women’s and gender studies program offers on Violence Against Women is acknowledgement enough by PC that violence against women is at epidemic proportions. The handful of classes that deal specifically with the issue of race at PC is acknowledgement enough of racial violence that runs rampant across the U.S (but definitely isn’t present at PC). The zero classes on LGBTQ+ experiences at PC are acknowledgement enough by the College of violence against members of this community (which also definitely doesn’t happen on campus).
Flat Stanley is right—some episodes of the play are too vulgar and reduce women to their vaginas. A thoughtful conversation about women’s sexuality and encouraging women to feel liberated by their bodies and sexualities is far too much for a Catholic institution to take on.
Not only that, but the fact that profits from the performance of The Vagina Monologues were originally sent to the V-Day project, which raises money to help women impacted by domestic violence and encourages education on the subject, is all the more reason to keep banning the program—and instead PC will continue to send a lump sum to a similar organization each year (if they’re still even doing that). Since apparently V-Day being connected to The Vagina Monologues makes it too controversial to donate to, PC will continue to select different organizations that aid women that experience domestic violence.
In sum, PC, just remember that you are absolutely correct in taking on this position against The Vagina Monologues. You are absolutely not sending any sort of hurtful messages to the Survivors and women on your campus.