College cancels “The Vagina Monologues” because it doesn’t include trans women

This is just another example of the Authoritarian Left cutting off its nose to spite its face. The Ann Arbor News (from Michigan) reports the following (click on screenshot):

Most of you have heard about Eve Ensler‘s play “The Vagina Monologues,” first produced in 1996. It’s become an iconic feminist work and has raised a lot of money for women’s causes. As Wikipedia reports:

The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler which developed and premiered at HERE Arts Center, Off-Off-Broadway in New York and was followed by an Off-Broadway run in 1996 at Westside Theatre. The play explores consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, and several other topics through the eyes of women with various ages, races, sexualities, and other differences. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called the play “probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade.” Ensler originally starred in both the HERE premiere and in the first off-Broadway production, which was produced by David Stone, Nina Essman, Dan Markley, The Araca Group, Willa Shalit and the West Side Theater. When she left the play, it was recast with three celebrity monologists. The play has been staged internationally, and a television version featuring Ensler was produced by cable TV channel HBO. In 1998, Ensler and others, including Willa Shalit, a producer of the Westside Theatre production, launched V-Day, a global non-profit movement that has raised over US$100million for groups working to end violence against women and girls anti-violence through benefits of The Vagina Monologues.

According to the Ann Arbor paper’s report, the play was deep-sixed for reasons you’ve probably guessed: it’s not “inclusive” of transgender women who don’t have vaginas (some of them, of course, do have surgically constructed vaginas). From the paper:

YPSILANTI, MI – Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Resource Center will no longer host productions of “The Vagina Monologues,” noting that the play’s version of feminism excludes some women.

The WRC announced its decision in an email, which came after the center evaluated responses from a survey. Survey respondents opposing the production consistently indicated they were concerned that the play centers on cisgender women, that the play’s version of feminism excludes some women, including trans women, and that overall, “The Vagina Monologue” lacks diversity and inclusion.

Modifying the script to the play written by Eve Ensler is not an option, due to copyright laws, the WRC stated.

“We feel that making this decision is in line with the WRC mission of recognizing and celebrating the diverse representations of women on campus along with the overall mission of the Department of Diversity and Community Involvement, in which the WRC is housed, of supporting and empowering minoritized students and challenging systems and structures that perpetuate inequities,” the email from the WRC said. “We truly believe that it is important to center our minoritized students and this decision is in line with this mission driven value.”

The play, as far as I know and as I hear from women, was pretty good, and, to use a word I don’t often use, was “empowering.” That is, it buttressed women’s self-esteem at a time when they were more oppressed than they are now. And I expect the play would still have a salubrious effect.  But the empowerment that women will receive from this is, apparently, more than counterbalanced by the proposed damaged done to transgender women who don’t have vaginas and thus don’t feel included.

What is the proportion of all American women who fit in this class? A paper last year in the American Journal of Public Health came up with a meta-regression estimate that 390 adults per 100 000 are transgender individuals. Assuming that’s roughly equal in men and women (there’s some evidence of a slight disparity in a Dutch study), then 0.39% of people who feel they’re women were born biological men. It is the feelings of this small moiety of women that has caused the Women’s Resource Center to cancel the play, and the implicit assumption is that the good done to the 99.61% of women with vaginas who watch the play is outweighed by the harm done to that 0.39% because they’re not included in the class “people with vaginas” (PWVs).

But that’s assuming those people are harmed. While some transgender people have previously objected to Ensler’s equation of women and PWVs (the play was canceled at American University and Mount Holyoke College as well), it’s not clear that they’d be palpably harmed beyond the usual “offense”, and certainly not harmed to the degree that women with vaginas would be empowered or helped.

I suspect this is more about virtue signaling than improving society. Is canceling the play a net good? Could the University mitigate any harm by using part of the ticket revenues to help all women, including transgender ones? How many plays could be canceled because they portray clearly cis-gendered people in a way that might “exclude” transgender people?

In the end, the drive for “inclusion” often divides people more than it unites them, and in this case also withholds a valuable piece of theater from a population that would, by and large, benefit from it.

 

170 Comments

  1. Posted November 28, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    One of the dumbest things I’ve heard today!

    • rickflick
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Very eloquently put.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Yep. My response was, “FFS!!!”, and very loudly.

      • Mike
        Posted December 3, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Mine was WTF? but the sentiments the same.

  2. Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    So, some group of people are hurt when women talk about their lives and want to censor that speech?

    Hmmm, how very male of them.

    And seriously, let’s stop denying biology here. Transwomen are a subset of men. Thus much of recent trans activism is simply a group of men trying to take things away from women.

    • Rita
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      The decision was apparently the result of a majority of WRC members surveyed, not a “group of men trying to take things away from women”.

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        So a group of men has somehow convinced a group of women to cave in to their demands? That’s not that unusual.

      • lkr
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        It does not state that a majority in the survey opposed VM — only that those who did consistently made the same complaints. Add that this appears to have been a comment line with all the disproportionality that entails [organized talking points, very likely open to sock-puupetry and folks with no connecton to EMU].

        Sad, some might say

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      It is not right to call them men, and the whole issue is not ‘simple’. There is a terminology that helps one to navigate through it.
      Transwomen are anatomically male, so they are of the male sex. But that is just their equipment and it does not comport with their mind tells them. In their mind they are female. I fully believe that they are completely sincere in this declaration. So their sex is male but their gender (their identity) is female.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Right. So they wish they had vaginas. So they (or their misguided sympathisers) want to shackle everybody who *does* have a vagina just in case they feel upset that they don’t.

        Sheesh.

        cr

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Anorexics are also completely sincere when they declare themselves to be fat.

        Why do we need a neologism, ‘gender’, to account for a sex dysphoria, yet no equivalents to account for any other dysphorias?

      • Kelly
        Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Transwomen are anatomically male, so they are of the male sex

        ———————-

        You’ve just committed hate speech. Many transwomen consider their penises to be an example of female anatomy, and to deny this is to erase their lived experience, which is, according to many on the far left, a hate crime!

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      “Much of recent trans activism is simply a group of men trying to take things away from women.”

      + 1

  3. Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    So ridiculous. It is like you having to stop producing “Why Evolution is True” because of all the Intelligent Designists it leaves out in the cold.

    We need to work harder at turning this kind of virtue signalling into “iniquity signalling”. As you suggest, no way is cancelling this play a net good. Where are the protestors when we need them?

    • rickflick
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Where are the protestors when we need them?

      I’ve checked. They is us.

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Yes, but we’re somewhat ineffective. We’re not out there in Ann Arbor demanding that the show must go on.

      • Richard benton
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        My arms are tired of holding up this sign

    • phil brown
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      What would the protest be about? All they’ve done is to decide not to host the play. They’re not stopping anyone one else from putting on the play. Do you think they should be told which plays they have to put on?

      • Davide Spinello
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        No. But one can point out the stupidity and authoritarian motivation behind the cancellation.

        • phil brown
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          What is the “authoritarian motivation”? What is authoritarian about deciding not to put on a play?

          • Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

            If you’ve read all this and still don’t get it, perhaps you should question how you are spending your time.

            • phil brown
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

              https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/authoritarian

              “Favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.”

              I’m just wondering how Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Resource Center’s decision not to put on this play fits the definition of “authoritarian”. Surely being authoritarian entails forcing *someone else* to do something?

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        As multiple people have told you, the objection is to their reason for canceling. Are you suggesting we don’t have the right to object?

        You seem to be more about objecting to our objection. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel? Are you with those that thought the play should be canceled? If so, why? What is your thinking on this?

        • phil brown
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          I’m not objecting to you or anyone else disagreeing with the criticisms of the play described in the article. I was just disagreeing with those who called this move an act of censorship, or describing it as authoritarian, which just seems factually incorrect.

          • Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            As long as it only seems factually incorrect, I am happy.

            • phil brown
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

              If I’m just being dense, then fine. But can you explain to me how the decision not to put on the play is authoritarian?

              • Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

                It’s not the decision but the people that complained forcing the decision that were authoritarian. They’ve decided that a feminist play should also include trans-gender women. They assume an air of authority as if they were the culture police.

              • phil brown
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

                Last comment. I don’t think “assuming an air of authority” (if that is indeed what they are doing) makes one an authoritarian. Stephen Hawking may justifiably have assumed an air of authority when discussing quantum gravity, but I don’t think he was an authoritarian about it, forcing people to accept his views.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

                @phil

                But they *are* forcing people to accept their views. Specifically, by banning Vagina Monologues because it doesn’t conform tot heir views. That’s authoritarian in my book.

                cr

              • BJ
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

                Paul, you know I’m very anti-social justice types, but I have to agree with Paul that this specific instance isn’t authoritarian. They didn’t force the play to be censored (like many deplatformings where the students/faculty shout people down or make clear beforehand that they will disrupt the event to get it cancelled). Some people disagreed with the decision to put on the play and their views happened to win out. We’re arguing that our view should win out, but that’s not authoritarian either.

              • Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

                Isn’t the authoritarian aspect the application of a set of rules to a situation, rather than an actual resolving of a real problem. They don’t need actual trans women to complain in order to break out the rules, judge the party to be in violation, and apply punishment. They are not rules that have been voted on to apply to all of society but they apply them as if they were.

              • BJ
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

                Sorry, I meant to say that I have to agree with phil brown, and disagree with Paul and infinite.

              • BJ
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

                @Paul

                Are you replying to me, or phil brown? Things get so confusing once the comments stop nesting. I don’t know why WordPress does that.

  4. darrelle
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    A perfect example of an “own goal.” The people who instigated this are sorely lacking in imagination if they couldn’t come up with a way to use The Vagina Monologues coming to their school to much more positive and long lasting effect than getting it canceled will achieve.

  5. Christopher
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    And how furious would trans people have been if Ensler HAD written a new part about trans w/o vaginas?! It’s a bit of catch-22 that African-Americans fall into as well, which is to be angry about not being represented but then getting pissed off because you wrote their part, thus stealing their voice. A bit of whinging nonsense, really. If you don’t see yourself represented or don’t like what you see, then fill that void by written for yourself and your particular subculture. Sounds fair and logical. (Which is why it’ll never catch on) And is there any reason why there couldn’t have been a one-act play as an opener or closer, like a warmup band for the main gig, focused on trans experiences? Again, fair and logical, non?

    • Rita
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Again, you’re ASSuming that this decision was made by a group of transgender women, where it actually appears to have been a decision based on a survey of WRC members, who are not necessarily transgender women. Don’t blame transgender women instead of pointing to the real cause, which is the authoritarian left.

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        “…the real cause, which is the authoritarian left.”

        Yes. It’s virtue signaling at its stupidest.

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Isn’t it usually the case that the people who are supposedly put upon by these things are not the ones complaining? In fact, I would not be surprised if trans women would defend the “Vagina Monologues” if asked.

        • Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Agree, transgenders identify as female regardless that they have no vagina. There would no better way to make a stand for the gender you regard as your own. The show must go on.
          With transgenders not benefiting from the play revenue, perhaps they should, to promote their issues, and THAT would be inclusive, that way these regressive’s would in part be appeased…
          hmmm, maybe or maybe not.
          I can see how some women would get upset by the inclusion. Anyhow female, male and anything in-between in the end, we are all ‘foible-y’ human.

          • Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            The whole “lack of inclusion” argument just doesn’t make sense. Every story is not about everything so they all fail their inclusivity test.

            • Kiwi Dave
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

              Yes indeed. None of Lear’s daughters are trans that I’ve noticed; two of the three women are malevolent; the play is heavily dominated by aristocrats, mostly with serious character defects and little social conscience, with only a very brief appearance by a poor person; Edgar’s pretence of madness and Lear’s descent into dementia are not clinically accurate.

              I apologise for formerly enjoying the play and thinking it the pinnacle of theatre.

              • Kiwi Dave
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

                Bah! Can we have an edit function? … is trans…

              • Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

                What I am really upset about is the lack of cats!

      • Christopher
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Regardless of who is to blame, be they women with vaginas, men with penises, men with vaginas, women with penises or any combination you care to dream up, my point still stands. There is room for all voices, it’s not a winner take all situation but if everyone is silenced then we all lose. Trans people could still have been given a time and place to do a play about their experiences that need not alter or silence Ensler’s play, but in case you haven’t noticed, the control left isn’t really interested in, as we said in my generation, equal rights, not special rights, it’s very much about special rights these days, including shaming your logical allies into silence, as has happened in this particular case.

      • I Heart My Cat
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. The play hasn’t even been non-inclusive per these groups’ criteria:
        https://www.buzzfeed.com/1demerith/performing-in-the-vagina-monologues-as-a-transgender-woman

  6. Dave
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    It’s called ‘The Vagina Monologues’, not ‘The Women with Vagina Monologues’. Maybe the Trans who are offended should put together a ‘Women Without Vaginas Monologues’ if they want to have something like it.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Ooh, I can think of a title for it too, but I won’t share it as this is a family show…

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Monty Python – so predictive in The Life of Brian

    Stan: I want to have babies.
    Reg: You want to have babies?!?!
    Stan: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
    Reg: But … you can’t HAVE babies!
    Stan: Don’t you oppress me!
    Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      “Its symbolic of his struggle with reality”
      It’s disturbing how often a satire on religious and political attitudes in the 1970s, based in the first century AD, is directly relevant to modern social discourse.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        My favourite line of my favourite skit in my favourite film. It never fails to crack me up.

        For the 0.39% of people who haven’t seen it, here’s a link:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgp9MPLEAqA

        I wonder how Life of Brian would fare if it were produced to day. It presses just about every ‘triggering’ button on the menu.

        cr

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          My favourite scene is, of course, the Latin one because all the mistakes made are very common in Latin and I’ve always found it extremely funny. I was taking high school Latin when I first saw this scene.

          Centurion: What’s this then? “Romanes eunt domus”? “People called Romanes, they go the ‘ouse”?
          Brian: [terrified] It… it says “Romans go home”.
          Centurion: No it doesn’t. What’s Latin for “Roman”? [Brian hesitates.] Come on, come on!
          Brian: “Romanus”?
          Centurion: Goes like…?
          Brian: “Annus”?
          Centurion: Vocative plural of “annus” is…?
          Brian: “Anni.”
          Centurion: [writing] “Romani”. “Eunt”? What is “eunt”?
          Brian: “Go”.
          Centurion: Conjugate the verb “to go”.
          Brian: Ire, eo, is, it, imus, itis, eunt.
          Centurion: So “eunt” is…?
          Brian: Third person plural, present indicative. “They go”.
          Centurion: But “Romans go home” is an order, so you must use the…?
          Brian: [getting his earlock pulled, increasingly panicked] Ah, imperative?
          Centurion: Which is…?
          Brian: Uh, uhm, “i”! “I”!
          Centurion: How many Romans?
          Brian: Aah! Plural, plural! “Ite”! “Ite”!
          Centurion: [writing] “Ite”. “Domus”? Nominative? “Go home”, this is motion towards, isn’t it, boy?”
          Brian: Dative? [centurion draws his sword and holds it to Brian’s throat] Ah! Not dative! Not the dative, sir! Ah! Ah! Oh! Accusative, accusative! “Domum”, sir, “ad domum”.
          Centurion: Except that “domus” takes the…?
          Brian: The locative, sir?
          Centurion: Which is…?
          Brian: “Domum”!
          Centurion: “Domum”. [writing] “Um”. Understand?
          Brian: Yes, sir.
          Centurion: Now write it out a ‘undred times.
          Brian: Yes sir, thank you sir, Hail Caesar sir. [calming down]
          Centurion: Hail Caesar. If it’s not done by sunrise, I’ll cut your balls off.
          Brian: Oh thank you sir. Thank you sir. Hail Caesar and everything sir.
          [at sunrise the wall is covered in writing]
          Brian: [exhausted, finishing the last line] Finished!
          Centurion: Right. Now don’t do it again.
          [Brian climbs down the ladder, steps back and surveys his handiwork. Three Roman centurions appear, look at the wall, then turn to Brian in anger. Brian looks at them; his eyes widen in realisation as he runs away and they give chase]

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Oh and in university I had a prof that gave bonus points in exams for any Latin or Greek words or sentences. These were for non language courses like history. I regularly used Romani ite domum.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

            Thank you for posting that script. Most enjoyable!

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

              I also recall him mixing up domus with dominus which is also a common Latin mistake.

          • Richard
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:13 am | Permalink

            Diana, do you also find Brian’s audience with Pontius (the Biggus Dickus scene) funny? IMO it is the funniest thing ever committed to film, yet when I played that part of the DVD to my sister (who has not seen the film) she did not so much as smile, making me think that perhaps it was a male/female funny/not funny thing.

            I too love the ‘Romanes eunt domus’ scene (Latin was my favourite subject at secondary school).

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted November 29, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

              Yes I thought the Biggus Dickus scene was hilarious and I liked that the threat was going to be that if they laughed again, they’d be forced to be gladiators.

        • BJ
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          It’s the people who are always willing to offend everyone and never apologize who succeed at this kind of comedy. I think Monty Python would still get by 🙂

    • darrelle
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Just watched it a couple months ago with the kids and thought exactly that, predictive of our times. Thought that several times but so much so when we watched this scene that I paused the movie and said so to the kids.

    • Richard benton
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post bravo

    • BJ
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for going with a reference that wasn’t “Judean People’s Front People’s Front of Judea etc. etc.” 🙂

  8. Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I find it interesting that this isn’t a place that hadn’t already prohibited this play for the reason I heard some feminists complaining about when it first came out – namely that it “reduces” women to “their body parts”.

    • mikeyc
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      That’s weird because if you see the play it’s obvious it doesn’t.

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Don’t get strung out by the way I look. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I’m not much of a man by the light of day, but by night I’m one hell of a lover.

        Don’t judge a play by its title.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      The root of women’s oppression has been their body parts and the capabilities of those parts. The Vagina Monologues candidly discusses this. That’s why the trans movement hates it.

      Trans women are a subset of men who sometimes want to participate in the “fun” of women’s oppression. They sometimes get jealous and resentful when reminded that the struggles of women are rooted in biology rather than in the nebulous realm of “gender identity”, whatever that is.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Your last pragraph is simply ridiculous (as is much of the discussion here).
        The struggles of women are rooted in an appearance that’s related to body parts they are assumed to have.
        Trans women are as susceptible as any cis woman to that assumption too.

        I hope you take some time to educate yourself about gender identity and the privilege those of us whose gender identity matches the body parts they were born with.

        • Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, there is no such thing as “cis” women, or “cis” men for that matter.

          Trans women are men, male people. Whatever struggles they face are the suffering of male people.

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            You can pretend the words don’t exist, but they do and they’ll stick around.
            The “get off my lawn” attitude you display here won’t work in public much longer (at least I hope not!)

        • Richard
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:18 am | Permalink

          If I had wanted to be educated about “gender identity” I would have kept on reading ‘Pharyngula’.

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            So all the jerks are over here?

            • Richard
              Posted November 29, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

              That’s right. You should fit in just fine.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Regressivism seems to have entered its Second International-phase, wherein the purists cut ties with anyone willing to participate in bourgeois coalition governing.

  10. BJ
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t the first time this has happened. Mount Holyoke did the same thing back in 2015: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/21/womens-college-cancels-play-saying-it-excludes-transgender-experiences

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Imitation is the sincerest form of fatuity.

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        HA!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        😎

      • BJ
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        I read “flattery” the first time around.
        Bravo.

  11. john himmer
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    What’s most puzzling about things like this to me is that obviously there is a difference between a woman with a vagina and a transgender woman without one. This doesn’t mean the latter deserves fewer rights or anything; I want to treat everyone equally. But so many people it seems want to ignore obvious differences.

    I don’t think I’m alone in saying that, as a straight man, not having a vagina is a deal-breaker for me in any romantic interest. I don’t think that makes me closed-minded or bigoted, simply that is my orientation.

    So I’m not sure why this distinction is offensive to some.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      The difference between a trans woman without a vagina and the woman with a vagina you are talking about here is that the trans woman is a MAN.

      Go ahead and say it. It’s not taboo. And everyone knows it’s true. It’s just become fashionable to pretend otherwise.

      • Adam M.
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I agree with you, except that it is a taboo, and people are actively working to make the taboo stronger day by day. In a lot of companies now (including where I work), it can get you fired. And, Twitter just instituted a new policy whereby they’ll permanently ban people who say that. (Already one prominent feminist has been banned over it. But of course those trans-exclusive radical feminists are just hateful bigots. </s> :-P)

        • Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, Meghan Murphy has been banned from Twitter. What’s much worse is that,Gallus Mag’s GenderTrender has been shut down by WordPress for “deadnaming” a certain Mister Yaniv. Mister Yaniv is a pedophile who has posted on many forums that his biggest fantasy is teaching ten to twelve year old girls how to insert tampons. He’s also brought human rights complaints against women who will not wax his scrotum saying it’s a hate crime.

          The weird thing here is that Yaniv always used h*s male name as part of his Twitter handle. GenderTrender has not released any private information.

      • john himmer
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        I don’t really care what you call it, so long as you don’t call two different things the same thing.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      … as a straight man, not having a vagina is a deal-breaker for me in any romantic interest.

      Zinnia Jones has a ‘cure’ for that.

  12. phil brown
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    The report says, “Eastern Michigan University’s Women’s Resource Center will no longer host productions of “The Vagina Monologues”.

    This isn’t a case of censorship, it seems, but a decision by the centre about what productions *they* want to host. Surely that’s in their remit? You can agree or disagree with their reasoning, but it’s a decision they’re entitled to make.

    • mikeyc
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they are entitled to make that decision. No one here is disputing that. It’s a critique of the reason for their decision; a idiotic way of thinking that permeates many college campuses today.

      • phil brown
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Comment 2 refers to censorship and other comments refer to “authoritarian left” and “control left”. It’s not authoritarian for a woman’s group to make it’s own decisions about what productions it wants to put on, quite the opposite.

        • mikeyc
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          Those are critiques of the reason. Again, no one is saying they can’t do it. It’s the reason for it that is criticized – a tactic used by the control and authoritarian left. If I say Trump is acting like an authoritarian idiot with his trade war with China I’m not denying his right to do it – I’m criticizing his reason for doing it.

          • phil brown
            Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            It’s not authoritarian to decide not to put on a play, because you disagree with its politics. They’re not forcing anyone else not to put on the play.

            • lkr
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

              What is being enforced is one view of “feminism” — and serious harassment or shunning of anyone who disagrees.

              I assume that you know this.

            • Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

              This is enough arguing about the use of a word, okay? The point is that banning the play was a bad idea. Stop with the pilpul!

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    As Paul Berman put it in a typically perceptive analysis, the American Left always seems to generate an undertow which destroys it. In its current phase: “the university left had made a mistake. It had fallen under the influence of the postmodernist professors, who led their adepts into an infinity of minicauses and controversies over language.” Berman’s three essays on the American Left can be found in recent issues of Tablet.

    • Richard benton
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Where the American lefts analysis of him e found?

      • Richard benton
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        I could have sworn I wrote where can the American lefts analysis of him be found?At what point will humans escape this left/right continuum and decide what really matters in life?

  14. Terry Sheldon
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    So do “Vagina Monologues” in rep with “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”!

    • Kelly
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Hedwig and the Angry Inch is one of my favourite movies!

      Sadly, that movie could not get made today, as a cishet male plays the part of the transgender woman, and that would be considered some sort of evil appropriation in todays’ toxic political climate.

  15. Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    cancelling this does not help anyone

    and I don’t recall any lesbian content either

    so are we really telling heterosexual women they can’t tell their stories

    • Christopher
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      How about someone write a new play, The Deuterostome Monologues, which would be fully inclusive and fitting, or maybe the Rectal Monologues, more fitting still, since so many these days seem to be talking out of their asses anyway.

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Ah, “The Rectal Monologues”! I would love to be involved with that writing team. Just imagine the enormous number of fart jokes. And, of course, that’s just prelude.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I think this is as good a summary of the situation that I have seen. One can bear in mind as well that the play was written in the ’90s and at the time it was pretty emboldening stuff, as I recall.

  16. Taz
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting article in Quillette by feminist Meghan Murphy, who’s run afoul of trans-activists:

    Twitter’s Trans-Activist Decree

  17. Richard benton
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Well ,what springs to my mind is the issue of the differences betwixt men and women.Isnt it wonderful that there are differences.To paraphrase James Brown-it’s a mans world except for that inconvenient factoid that none of us would be here if not for the weaker sex The female side dominates the reproductive cycle throughout nature(I have a strange love affair with obvious- obviously

    • mikeyc
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      “The weaker sex”??? Really?

      • Richard benton
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        It’s ironic Obviously

        • mikeyc
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          Oh. I guess I missed the obvious. Apologies.

          • Richard benton
            Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            That’s cool bro we’re all in this thing together

            • Richard benton
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

              I just thought of something im 65 in my day weaker sex was understood to be a joke how old are you

            • Taz
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              Keep your stick on the ice.

  18. Richard benton
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Trans women whatever they are in the genetic labyrinth aren’t really female in the reproductive arena Live and let live- of course They are simply stealing someone else’s thunder I say go right your own damn play and put it the—— out there

  19. Richard benton
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m confused about (well a lot of things)This term authoritarian left Did you mean authoritative left?Does anybody here read Counterpunch magazine.If so where do they fall on this alleged spectrum?

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Counterpunch represents a re-telling of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle”. A group of admirers of Uncle Joe Stalin in the CPUSA-backed “Progressive Party” of 1948 fell into a long trance, woke up 60 years later, and created Counterpunch.

      • Richard benton
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Evidence please thank you

        • Richard benton
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          So you made that parable up… because a serious respectful exchange is not your cup of tea I know ridicule is allegedly a powerful political weapon Julius Streicher the editor of Der Sturmer loved it

          • Richard benton
            Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Organizations evolve.Go to Counterpunch and read George Ochenskis article “no we won’t be raking our forests” and explain to me how that fits in your parable Libertarians regularly post there Carl Sagan said a pillar of the community can lying thru his teeth while a scumbag can be telling the truth

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

              Richard benton:

              “Carl Sagan said a pillar of the community can lying thru his teeth while a scumbag can be telling the truth”

              I suspect you are heavily paraphrasing or inventing this quote as a response to the ‘parable’. Is that what you’re doing or can you supply a ref for Sagan’s words?

              • Richard benton
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

                No ref I’m sure he said it stands out in my memory but Oliver sacks demonstrated how we can reconstruct memories that seem real but are revealed to be mistakes So anyway let’s say I made it up?Does it make sense or no?I think a more important point however is why are we talking to each other this way?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

                @Richard benton
                Like the way you ‘spoke’ to Richard Dawkins in a thread back in late 2010? One of the very rare occasions that Richard comments here?

                All that arrogance & malice you brought here back then for around 13 months – the stuff that got you banned by Jerry?

                Or like the way you belittled Eric MacDonald [a long time commenter of wit & intelligence]

                Or like the way you ‘contributed’ TWENTY-FIVE comments in one thread only a week ago?

                Or like the way you ask questions in comments & have a go at the persons who answer you? Sometimes those comments are in good faith, but instead you see a monster out to get you!

                Or like my polite query here about the origins of your Carl Sagan quote. Somehow it leads you to ask “why are we talking to each other this way?”

                You’ve returned to WEIT for two weeks now after an eight year absence & you’ve clearly not changed a jot, though you do admittedly try your best.

              • BJ
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

                This guy is like the kid who starts a fight on the playground and then cries to the teacher when he loses.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

                LOL exactly

  20. Roo
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m on the fence as to what this is about. On the one hand, it fits the virtue signaling pattern well; on the other, the Far Left can be super weird about sex (they use Freud instead of hellfire to justify it, but same end result.)

    Now that the Right seems to be leaning more and more libertarian about such matters, I wonder if the Left is just filling in the void (that I cannot even use that phrase without thinking “Oh no (facepalm)… ‘void’, ‘fill in’… those words are psychoanalyze-able to the Freudie crowd. I wonder if there’s another phrase…” is a testament to how effectively this brand of prudishness works as a psychological check,) and becoming the Party of Purity. Big change from the Summer of Love Generation.

    • Richard benton
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Who exactly is the alleged LEFT you keep referring to?

      • Roo
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Do you disagree with the premise that traditional Freudian psychoanalysis and framing is traditionally a facet of the Left? Do you feel it’s actually popular among Conservatives as well?

  21. Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Think yourself lucky. The BBC (British Broadcasting Company)claims there are eleven genders.

    • Christopher
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I recently read a fascinating story on the BBC news app about the Zapotec people of Oaxaca, and in their culture, there are only three genders: Male, Female, and Muxe. What surprised me the most was the acceptance by the local Catholic Church. Sorry I can’t link to it, I forgot which BBC rabbit hole it was down, but I’m sure anyone interested could find it easy enough,

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      The Beeb puts out a vast range of programmes. Would you care to be more specific about which instance this was?

      cr

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Anthony Garner [zenothestoic.com] is confusing the messenger with the message & he can’t do addition nor combinations.

        THIS is Anthony’s post on the horrors of Political Correctness Gone Mad.

        And THIS is the BBC Newsbeat report on “We know what LGBT means but here’s what LGBTQQIAAP stands for”. Note that it is 10 letters not 11 & to it you must add the two old timey genders. Another error in Anthony’s accounting [he’s an ex-investment banker & city lawyer BTW] is that “LGBTQQIAAP” isn’t a list of genders, some of those letters are about attitudes to the sexuality of others. Also some of the letters can be combined.

      • Posted November 29, 2018 at 4:07 am | Permalink

        Here you go: click the link in my article which will take you to the BBC https://zenothestoic.com/2018/06/01/all-gay-now/

  22. Joe Dickinson
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else notice the use of “minoritized students”? A little time on google revealed that term was coined to apply to cases where members of a class that is not actually a minority (e.g., women in the general population or blacks in a mostly black high school) are treated as if they were. But trans-women clearly are a real minority, so what’s up? I expect the concept creep is driven, perhaps subconsciously, by the feeling that “minoritized” seems more active and implies a perpetrator.

  23. James Walker
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Trans men have vaginas, so isn’t it inclusive of them?

    • lkr
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Some, not all. Probably not most do.

  24. max blancke
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    A couple of thoughts about this:
    First, we must be living in wondrous times when trans people can find the time to be outraged at such trivialities as not being generally included in the subset of “women”.

    Also, A very small percentage of people want us to completely redefine sex and gender to fit their personal and political views. I have no issue in addressing anyone however they want to be addressed, and generally I believe that how others choose to live is none of my business. But I am not really buying into this whole issue. I understand that there are a very small number of people who are truly intersex, and do not fit the usual sexual or gender classifications. But most of today’s trans folk do not fit that category. They are people who want to be what they imagine life as the opposite sex might be like, and even that perception is colored by their actual gender. (“If only I was a girl, my problems would be solved”). I have a kid going through this, and it is hard for all of us.

    But the whole idea of language policing is vaguely Stalinist. We are not changing the reality of what a woman is, we are going along with efforts to redefine the term to encompass someone’s imaginings. Like many other issues, there are a lot of reasonable people involved in these issues, but a tiny percentage of activists get an unwarranted voice in the discussion, because they are screaming the whole time.

  25. Posted November 28, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    And let it be known that the modern trans activist movement is profoundly anti-gay. They even endorse a Final Solution to the Homosexual Problem.

    They have succeeded in promoting conversion therapy of gay and lesbian youth beyond the dreams of what conservatives ever attempted. Gender-role variant children who are likely to grow up to be gay or lesbian are to be medically mutilated with cancer chemotherapy agents and subsequent hormone mutilation and surgical abuse.

    The trans activist movement is an anti-gay eugenics movement.

    • mikeyc
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      “They even endorse a Final Solution to the Homosexual Problem.”

      Absolute rubbish.

      • Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        No, the trans movement absolutely opposes the entire concept that there could be same-sex attracted people. And the trans movement is mostly controlled by heterosexual males who like to imagine they are lesbians. It seems to be some kind of porn-fueled fetish thing. They like to say that lesbians have to suck their “ladysticks” or else they are transphobes. Straight male fetishists call this the “Cotton Ceiling”.

        And yes, the modern trans movement is 100% committed to destroying gay and lesbian youth through medical mutilation. These straight males with a lesbian porn fetish who now lead the trans activist movement absolutely want to abolish the idea that there could be some people with same sex attraction. And they are going after gender variant children who are likely to grow up to be gay or lesbian.

        Their goal is to exterminate the upcoming generations of gay and lesbian youth by dosing children with cancer chemotherapy drugs they call “puberty blockers” followed by even more invasive medical interventions.

        And all so they can hide that they are heterosexual male porn freaks.

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          And, you know this how?

          As mikeyc already said, “absolute rubbish”!

          • Posted November 28, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            Well, most of the leadership of the trans activist movement is straight men who through porn addiction or whatever somehow like to imagine they are lesbians just because they assert they are women.

            They hate women and want to take things away from women. They spent twenty years trying to shut down Michfest and finally succeeded two years ago. They hated Fest because women made it for themselves.

            And yes, they hate gay and lesbian people. These straight men who get boners imagining they are women absolutely hate gay people. They promote the idea that somehow a child can be trans, and promote the idea that children who don’t behave the “right way” need to be dosed with brain-altering cancer chemotherapy agents like Lupron and then suffer subsequent hormonal and surgical abuse.

            There’s a whole reality show about some parents who thought their boy was acting the wrong way which they interpreted that he might be gay. Rather than love their son, they decided to pretend he was a girl and dose him with cancer chemotherapy drugs and medically mutilate him later on. This was all on camera and is called “I am Jazz”.

            And the straight men who assert they are lesbians and get boners from yelling at women just like other incels totally support the medical mutilation of children It gives them cover.

          • Kelly
            Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

            Just do a search for ‘cotton ceiling’, wherein autogynephlic transwomen argue that lesbians are very very bad people for not being attracted to penis. If a penis is a female sex organ (according to a subset of transactivists) then lesbians are bigots and ‘vagina fetishists’ for only being attracted to vagina and not penis.

        • BJ
          Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          This is bananas.

          • Posted November 28, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            Nope, the modern trans movement is totally anti-woman and anti gay.

            The standard leader of the trans movement is a straight male porn fetishist. He hates women and claims to be a woman to boss around women.

            These straight men also like to harass lesbians. They believe in corrective rape of lesbians. They are often panty fetishists. They even call their program to rape lesbians “Breaking the Cotton Ceiling”.

            These are dangerous men.

            • BJ
              Posted November 29, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

              “The standard leader of the trans movement is a straight male porn fetishist. He hates women and claims to be a woman to boss around women.”

              Which people are these? Stop making declarations and post some actual information. If you can’t, then just shut up, as you’ve already said what you’ve said. Back up your words or stop repeating them every time someone demands evidence.

  26. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    “390 adults per 100 000 are transgender individuals. Assuming that’s roughly equal in men and women (there’s some evidence of a slight disparity in a Dutch study), then 0.39% of people who feel they’re women were born biological men.”

    Errm, wouldn’t that be 0.195% ?

    I saw VM in Auckland in 2002. It was surprisingly entertaining, though it had good performers doing the monologues.

    cr

    • Adam M.
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Well you cut the 390 in half but then you also cut the 100,000 in half because we’re only talking about transwomen.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      No, the proportion is the same in males and females.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        Oops, sorry, of course you’re right.

        cr

  27. Posted November 28, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    For 22 years and counting, nobody seems to give a damn that the play contains a vignette describing statutory rape.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Why should they? It’s a play. I’ve also known plays to contain vignettes describing bad language and murder (and a few other things).

      That’s what plays do.

      cr

      • Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        For one, it’s about the double standard of the Outraged. Trans-exclusionism? Riot in the streets! Statutory rape? Meh.

        Second, IIRC, the vignette is about a teenaged minor being ‘recruited’ by a much older lesbian. In general, this criminal act seems to have been met by audiences with tacit approval. Following the exposure of Kevin Spacey’s serial predation, and even George Takai’s admission of having forced himself on a younger man, the ‘gay community’ was quick to deny any pattern of ‘recruiting’. Yet all this time that tale in The Vagina Monologues has avoided disapproval.

        • Kelly
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          I believe that some on the far left also gave feminist Lena Dunham a pass when she wrote that she molested her younger sister.

  28. Lynn Wilhelm
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m extremely disappointed in the discussion here and I’m afraid this blog* has become such a platform for the anti-“regressive” left that some people don’t seem to be thinking before posting some really rude comments.

    I’m disappointed that the Vagina Monologues can’t be amended to be more inclusive. The play isn’t about vaginas, it’s about women; there are many, many types of women-including trans women. To truly make the powerful statement the VM can make when produced, it needs to change just as women (and the definition of woman) have changed.

    *I’m purposely withholding the word “website” this time.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes re the comments! Well said.

    • max blancke
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      If everyone is a woman, then nobody is, like anything else.
      If we are going to change the definition of woman to include lots of new categories of people, then we will need a new word that means “An adult human female”, and “female” as “Of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes.”

      Or we could keep the current vocabulary, and add new terms for the new categories of people.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Trans and cis work just fine for any instance when woman really needs a qualifier.

    • Roo
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      You could make the same argument about literally every single play throughout history. Should we erase all of history and remake all works of art to align with modern standards? That’s a rabbit hole that turns dystopian pretty quickly. (By that same logic, one could argue that depictions of slavery should be scrubbed from books like Gone With The Wind, thus erasing atrocities that really did happen. Now that I think of it, that is pretty much 100% 1984, except with the arts.)

      There is a reason we make NEW art and create NEW plays over time. If someone wants a play that represents the experiences of trans people, by all means, write it, start a Kickstarter page, I’m all for it. But don’t change history. I thought art was supposed to be sacrosanct to artists, or at least it was at one time. (I say this, btw, as someone who has never seen the Vagina Monologues and don’t plan to, so I have no particular attachment to it… it’s the general concept that bothers me.)

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        The point of the VM as I understand/understood it was to empower women.
        In fact I didn’t actually realize it was a written play until long after I first saw it myself–I’d assumed that each vignette was created by the group of performers themselves. To me it seemed logical that it should evolve over time to stay relevant.
        And many plays are changed/edited as they are performed over the years–sometimes for the better, sometimes not.

        It’s really ironic to hear all these (apparently) conservative voices here talking about maintaining the integrity of VM now when lots of people with similar voices derided VM originally.

        • Roo
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          It just doesn’t make any sense, because this is a specific play, and no one play or work is representative of every single group / minority / however you want to categorize people. Literally none, zero. I am confident in saying that no play exists that represents every diverse group of people everywhere, unless it is some super abstract creation wherein people stand in silence and stare into the cosmos contemplating the whole of the universe or something. So why this play? No one is saying we have to rewrite Rent to include Cambodian sex workers, even though they deserve our sympathy and respect. I’m not seeing the logic behind this. If trans people were being excluded from public spaces, groups, employment, and so on, that is very different – those are fluid constructs that are meant to change over time. Plays are not.

          Looking at the Wikipedia article, if I’m being charitable I’ll say that maybe the reason this particular play is more sensitive is that it seems to center on actual vaginas (I thought the title was just a reference femininity in general,) an area where trans people are going to differ from those with two X chromosomes to various degrees. Perhaps that’s a sore point (although I still kinda suspect this is more about the college moving towards covert prudishness.) Being born with the particular plumbing that is the female reproductive system is to some degree unique to those born with a female reproductive system, but, I don’t know, I don’t really understand the emotionality around it so I don’t feel proprietorial about it one way or the other. Outside of sex, I put it in roughly the same category as my teeth – both high maintenance bodily systems that involve endless upkeep, money, procedures, and medical professionals prodding around in orifices. Maybe I’m missing some emotional element that is important to other people, though – it wouldn’t be the first time. So if that’s the issue, then sure, I’m not of the “Unless you’ve been through menstruations / miscarriages / pregnancy / etc. you Just Don’t Get It” group (which I think some people are, although I’m not super familiar with the topic and the divides there.) A trans person may never have doubled over with cramps or started their period unexpectedly while wearing white shorts in high school or whatever, but no two women’s experiences have been exactly the same either, and trans people have their own unique experiences. If they want to talk about them ‘as a woman’, sure, the more the merrier. I just don’t think it should involve randomly rewriting plays. And no, I was not a conservative voice who decried this work early but now wants to preserve it. I have my areas where I am open to change and my areas where I’m not. Inclusion of people of all sexual orientations? Yes, very open to change? Listening to covers of songs I like? NO, it doesn’t sound exactly like the original. Ordering new foods? When I walk into one of the two restaurants I frequent, they literally start making my order before I get to the register because it hasn’t changed in a year (I would say it hasn’t changed in three years, but last year I changed my side dish, because I’m a progressive like that.) I’m not singling out this play, I just don’t think people should go around rewriting plays on demand.

        • Posted November 29, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          I doubt anyone here is worried about the integrity of VM as you call it. VM, like any work of art, is owned by its author who is free to keep it as it is, modify it in any way, or create a new play to address new concerns. I think you are “moving the cheese” as they say. Do we even know what the author thinks of these objections to VM? I suspect not.

          If you think there are a bunch of conservatives here (as the term is used in the US), I think you are really mistaken. Calling someone a conservative because they disagree with your (apparently) regressive left opinions is a common mistake these days.

        • Kelly
          Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, Lynn. We need to empower women by talking about how glorious penises are.

    • Adam M.
      Posted November 28, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      But the definition of “woman” has not changed. It is a fringe view among the world’s English speakers that a man can actually become a woman. Even in the United States, only a small minority of people believe such a thing.

      That said, I’m okay with playwrights changing their plays voluntarily. Being badgered into it by abusive activists is not so nice. (Whether or not that happened in this case, that’s usually how it goes down.)

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        I don’t agree that a small minority accept trans women as “women” (thereby changing the definition in a very natural way). Definitions evolve and this one has and will continue to do so.

        Just to be sure, are you going to start checking everyone who appears to be a woman for vaginas? If not, then how would you define a woman at all?

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted November 29, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          First sentence should read “I don’t agree that ONLY a small minority…”

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      VM was written in 1996 and so must still be under copyright.

  29. pablo
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    How about they put on The Female Penis Monologues?

  30. pablo
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious that men have taken over feminism?

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

    • Kelly
      Posted December 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      And this is because women, in general, are more apt to conform than men. This is sexual dimorphism in action.

  31. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    You could always write an unofficial follow-up play and stage them both.

    I’m not sure what the title would be the my irreverent side thinks of “The Dick Ditchers Disquisitions”

  32. Posted November 28, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t is supposed to be called the “Fronthole Monologues” now, anyway?

  33. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 29, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    [Shakes head]

  34. Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I not pro-censorship and they have the right to display, but TVM always sounded so bad. Also, I’m pretty sure originaly accused (with reason) of being pro lesbian-rape:

    “The play is meant to decry rape and other violence against women. Yet, the original performances of the play and the published book eulogize lesbian “rape” of a 13-year-old girl by a 24-year-old woman who plies her with alcohol. The pedophile section is entitled “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could” — Coochi Snorcher being the nickname of the little girl’s genitalia. Her vagina’s tale of seduction begins, “She gently and slowly lays me out on the bed…”

    After becoming more graphic, the little girl gratefully concludes, “I’ll never need to rely on a man.”

    Both by statute and by feminist definition, the “seduction” scene is rape. Nevertheless, the Coochi Snorcher declares, “…if it was rape, it was a good rape.”” – http://www.ifeminists.com/introduction/editorials/2002/0212.html

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      “Betty Dodson — a leader of ’60s liberal feminism whose life’s work has aimed at demystifying women’s sexuality — expressed well-deserved horror at the play.

      Describing Ensler as “an evangelical minister,” Dodson believes that the play is a blast of hatred at men and heterosexuality. After all, the 24-year-old woman who seduces the drunken 13-year-old is portrayed as “rescuing” her from male violence.” =p

    • Posted November 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      “On Feb. 14, I am giving my husband an autographed copy of the latest book from one of his favorite authors: “Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say” by Warren Farrell.” – We need more of Wendy McElroy, less of ALL other feminists.


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