All-women’s Mount Holyoke College will no longer perform their annual production of Eve Ensler’s narcissistic celebration of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues, on Valentine’s Day because it fails to give a voice to transgendered women who don’t have vaginas.
The play served as the feminist bible for a generation asking the deepest of questions involving womanhood, such as “If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?” The Vagina Monologues is a tour de force of sexual discovery, pedophilia, homosexuality and other topics explored ad nauseam in plays since the 195os, except without the subtleties. Instead, the play is more of a grotesque “up-in-your-grille” style of performance art aiming to offend non-feminists, which it often does.
The Daily News reported that Erin Murphy, a spokesperson for the school’s Project Theatre Board, wrote in a campus-wide email, that “At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman.” The Board also wrote in a Facebook post that Ensler’s play “fails the trans community in a lot of ways.”
Murphy elaborated: “Gender is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions, and many of us who have participated in the show have grown increasingly uncomfortable presenting material that is inherently reductionist and exclusive.”
Refusing to remain in the past, the students at the South Hadley, Mass liberal arts college decided that they would no longer ignore the vagina-less women on campus. Instead they are debuting an original play called The Student Body, (kind of a Vagina Monologues 2.0), which will also explore topical issues of sex and gender, but throw a bone to non-vagina equipped women (no pun intended).
Not every student took kindly to the change in the Valentine Day tradition of showing Ensler’s homage to vaginas. Appearing on an online anonymous message board, the Holyoke Confessional, one student messaged, “I love how people who have never been able to discuss or embrace their vaj-wahs aren’t going to find an avenue here, either, since female-validating talk about vaginas is now forbidden. That’s so misogynistic under the guise of ‘progress.’”