Leaving class in Harrison Hall Thursday, I happened to pass by a poster from the Claire Booth Luce Institute that was, presumably, hung by the True Feminists of Miami University student organization. The advertisement, designed by the Institute, lambasts the production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues claiming that the play is disgusting and degrading to women. I’d like to voice concern over the True Feminists’ decision to paper the campus with these flyers.
I understand that not all people espouse the same political and social views and that The Vagina Monologues means different things to different people. However, I find it unfortunate that a student organization would so explicitly decry the production without offering any form of alternative discourse on the matter.
Understandably, there are elements to Ensler’s play that some may find objectionable, but to dismiss it entirely seems to demonstrate a callous disregard toward the personal sentiment of other members of the feminist community. For many, The Vagina Monologues has been an affirming and transformative experience. The play’s exploration of female sexuality, sexual assault and other topics of female empowerment is a powerful display of self-ownership and the reclamation of power that has been used against women in the United States and abroad. To blithely denigrate the importance of this play is a clear exhibition of the True Feminists’ exclusivity and disregard for the full spectrum of feminist ideology. Given that the proceeds of the Association for Women Students’ production of The Vagina Monologues benefit the Butler County Rape Crisis Program, it is especially troubling that the True Feminists would attack these efforts.
On a campus that occasionally struggles with social issues, the True Feminists seem to be engaging in an overt act of horizontal hostility that creates discord among groups working toward the same vertical goal. No social change can be brought about if we disregard the perspectives that differ from our own. Furthermore, to name a group in a manner that claims supremacy over a school of thought bears a degree of responsibility, and the exclusion of other perspectives is illustrative of an irresponsible, autocratic intellectual imperialism.