Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Vaginas unite!

This Magazine Staff

In honour of International Women’s Day tomorrow, I would like to designate today as “The Day in Honour of Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson.” These gutsy gals have just been suspended from a Cross, River, N.Y. high school for defying their principal’s orders, and reading out the following passage (in unison!) during a performance of the Vagina Monologues:

My short skirt is a liberation flag in the women’s army. I declare these streets, any streets, my vagina’s country.

Apparently, the school deemed the word vagina to be inappropriate for children to hear. You can read the full story here.
Can you imagine if other body parts were deemed arbitrarily inappropriate for young audiences? Like “elbow.” I think elbows are kinda lewd.
Anyway, this isn’t the only place where the proper name for pussy was deemed too racy. A Florida theatre tried to re-name Eve Ensler’s famous play “The Hoo-Ha Monologues” last month, but Ensler told them she’d pull the plug on the production, unless they dropped the moniker and used the play’s real name.
Still, there are hip feminists out there that take issue with the Vagina Monologues’ use of the wrong v-word. According to this writer, we should be teaching girls about both the vagina and the vulva, saying,

The widespread denial of female external genitalia (and thus of female sexuality, if not female reality) is a subject worthy of serious discourse. It is true that Americans do not excise the clitoris and ablate the labia, as is practiced in other cultures on countless girls and women. Instead, we do the job linguistically– psychic genital mutilation, if you will. Language can be as powerful and swift as the surgeon’s knife. What is not named does not exist.

Here’s to girls who get it! Your smarts and your bravery are the real liberation flags in the women’s army.

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