Students should have a choice to see play
This item originally appeared in the February 3, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
I am a Tech student, a single male, and a concerned citizen.
While I have only been alive for 21 years and have only attended a precious few plays in my lifetime, I consider myself a student not only of my major (molecular biology), but of the world around me, and of life in general.
I enjoy many kinds of theater, from "Waiting for Godot" to "Hamlet" to the one-act plays that are presented most every spring here at Tech.
I like to think of my tastes as being well-rounded.
I too am not in favor of a play that seeks to cheapen sex and promote rape and genital mutilation of women, but I have to disagree with the author of a letter printed in this publication on Jan. 21 when she says that the "Vagina Monologues" is such a play.
In response to her letter, which stated that reviews of the "Vagina Monologues" called it variously pornographic, vulgar, and which stated that the play sought to "cheapen sex and make [rape and genital mutilation] seem less evil, not more," I chose to do some research.
As a student of science, this is something at which I am more than a little proficient.
What I found was rather surprising, and made me wonder whether Ms. Jordan, the writer of the Jan. 21 letter to the editor, was using the same search engine that I was.
I invite all readers of this letter to simply google "Vagina Monologues" and to read what they see, for what I saw were a number of reviews, but all of them highly positive.
While it is said that the play's subject matter is indeed vulgar, it is also said that that vulgarity has a purpose.
That purpose is to make the audience more familiar and more comfortable with both themselves and society, in order to aid in making the world aware of the ongoing abuse of women around the nation and the world.
I do not think that this either cheapens sex or promotes the abuse of women throughout the world indeed, I think that it does much the opposite.
The reviews that I have read have stated that the "Vagina Monologues" can be seen as "an awesome and liberating piece of theatre," or that it is "fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable."
Reviews have also stated that the author of the piece, Eve Ensler, is "spearheading a new awareness and laying the groundwork for educational, protective and legislative endeavors for women throughout the world"
Now, while I am a male and I accept the fact that I cannot fully understand what it is like to be a woman, I see nothing wrong with any of these things.
I do not understand how I can see something as plain as this, and Ms. Jordan can see something so clearly different from me.
However, even if both of those views can be seen as equally valid, there is something very significant and undeniably powerful that she can do in order to protest the "Vagina Monologues."
If she does not feel that the show should be seen, she shouldn't see the show.
I invite (and I'm sure the cast and crew of the show are with me on this one) all people who are sure that they will not enjoy the show, or that believe the show to be nothing more than pointless vulgarity, to not see it.
I do not think that we, as citizens of the United States of America, need to censor art or sanction prior restraint in order to disagree with one another.
If you don't like what is on TV, you change the channel.
If you do not like what is on the radio, you change the station.
If too many people think that something is not worth watching, then that thing quickly disappears because it is not worth showing, right?
If, however, even the slightest bit of good can be done by showing this, if people can become more comfortable with themselves, more aware of the world, or simply have a good time, then there is more than enough reason to show the "Vagina Monologues" not only here, but everywhere that they can be.
I want to thank Ms. Jordan for taking the opportunity to express her views; however, strongly both I and the majority of theatrical reviews I have read disagree with them.
I want to ask that the university administration look past the title of the play before they put pressure on the cast and crew to cease its production.
Thank you for your time and your consideration, and I hope that my letter has found you, and all your readers, well.
Yours most sincerely,