‘Vagina Monologues’ empowers women by openly addressing taboo topics

To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the Feb 13 editorial cartoon comparing the Vagina Monologues to porn. It should go without saying that this comparison is highly offensive, and it is clear that the author of the cartoon either hasn’t seen the Vagina Monologues, or missed the point entirely. The Vagina Monologues were written to celebrate the vagina, and yes, to empower women, as the the author pointed out, and it does so by openly addressing topics of female anatomy and sexuality that otherwise remain taboo. As one would expect, these monologues can make both male and female audience members uncomfortable at times, and this is in fact what makes makes them powerful. The play’s frank portrayals of women’s sexual experiences are intended to help people understand and value a woman’s sexual autonomy and empower women to stand up to sexual violence.

Automatically associating the female sexual experience with porn is not only deeply sexist, but in this context, it is also absurd. Perhaps if the author wanted to level some sort of intelligent criticism of the monologue in which a 16 year old girl fondly remembers a sexual encounter with a 26 year old woman, he could have started by addressing issues of statutory rape, or the negative portrayal of heterosexual relationships as inherently violent.

I am deeply concerned that a newspaper produced by a university of educated people would even consider printing this.

Rachel Kauff