Wednesday, April 26, 2006


A Notre Dame alum and rape victim expresses her thoughts on recent happenings at UND.


As I became acquainted with most of the faculty and students involved with the production of "The Vagina Monologues," I quickly noticed a rather common trend. Despite being dedicated to the protection of women, most of the women I encountered who were directly involved with the production of "The Vagina Monologues" held a very limited and sometimes even warped understanding of a woman's true beauty and power. They simply equated sexual forcefulness with liberation and healing. In essence, they advocated a position that it is healthy for women to act in a similar manner to the men who had hurt them - domineering, insensitive and completely self-absorbed. It was hard for me to warm up to this idea.


Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.


Laura T said...

Hi :)

I saw the Vagina Monologues at Seattle U last year, and have to say, the best part of the whole experience was the opportunity to dialogue about it afterwards, not just with the community who stayed to discuss it, but with my women's group and with my family.

It is an imperfect world we live in, and being Catholic does not protect us from the weaknesses of our fact, the breathtaking paradoxal beauty of it is that it enables us to bring to them to the cross and humbly ask for grace, mercy, and transformation...

The Vagina Monologues is an imperfect production. For sure. However, I truly celebrate and support the opportunities to explore and question and challenge all of the controversy it generates. It's a great opportunity for growth and awareness.

The woman you reference wrote a very thought-provoking article from her experience...and that is exactly what the Vaginal Monologues is about ...and some of those stories are mighty uncomfortable to hear. Still, I think it is vitally important for women to be able to give voice to their stories...that in itself is a healing thing worth honoring.

I hope you someday get a chance to see it and hear it for yourself :)

Seminarian said...


If I can say anything about the Vagina Monologues, its that they get people talking...a lot. There are very challenging points to consider in the monologues that need to be discussed.
I just pray that people do question its content, as you seem to do, and find their faith in Christ. As you say, it provides an opportunity to take them to the cross of Christ.

I saw part of the monologues at WWU, but didn't know what it was at the time. They were showing it in a little theater on campus and I heard some rather interesting language coming out of the place and peaked in. I read what it was in the Western Front a couple days later. I had no idea that 3 years (?) later I'd be reading about controversy on other campuses.


Laura T. said...

Thanks for your comments Bryan! One of the missing voices/stories in VM is that is doesn't give voice to women's stories who have encountered meaningfulness and liberation in their sexuality through chastity and celibacy...and so it's great when people can point to that missing aspect and say " There's another experience/reality here that is not being named ..." I've been tempted to write Eve Enser about that :)

I'm very thankful that in my life, I have never been raped. However, I have been sexually harrassed in the workplace and sexually persued and harassed by a priest as a teenager, and I was too young and too naive back in the late 70's and early 80's to have the words to name those things for the wrongs that they were and are...and for that, I am thankful to the feminist movement that brought these experiences to court, and gave women a vocabulary to name what it is and know that there is legal protection for that sort of behavior that for centuries lay under the banner "men will be men" and "you (the woman) probably asked for it" vulgar as VM can be, and as difficult as it is to watch and hear, these are stories of women who have been through some very difficult experiences and have the need to name them. I see it as a way to bring it to light, or as you understood what I was trying to say, to the cross. These stories are filled with grief, and anger, and a search for hope. It has a very Catholic spin, IMHO.

Thanks for your thoughts on this !
It's a great discussion for a seminarian to have :)
Blessings, Laura

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